Hull City 0-2 Saints
Nigel Adkins has amassed a large squad of experienced players to take us into the squeaky bum part of the season, and he started with Puncheon and Cork at Hull City – a tricky but winnable away game against a side who concede few but have trouble scoring themselves.
However, they managed to get a name on the scoresheet after 15 minutes when defender Hobbs panicked when faced with Fox’s low cross and the knowledge that Lambert must be lurking somewhere behind him – whatever he was trying to do, he only succeeded in putting the ball past Mannone. It could and should have been even better for the visitors soon afterwards when Cork sent Lallana clear to round Mannone with consummate ease but then send the ball over the bar when it came to the important bit.
Hull have acquired winger Josh King on loan from Manchester United and he was the player causing most problems for the Southampton back line: an angled shot hit a mixture of post and bar on its way to safety, and then he was let down by a poor finish from Brady (another Man. U. loanee) after a right side cross.
Saints introduced DeRidder for Do Prado soon after the break, and this was effective in keeping Hull’s defenders occupied, although a nasty foul on Dawson produced a caution. A second Saints goal did arrive, but from an unlikely source: Fonte managed to get clear on the right of the box (possibly with a bit of help from his arm?) and crossed low for Hooiveld to convert from point blank range.
Puncheon was replaced by Hammond, which seemed reasonable in the circumstances, but then Fox made way for Harding. This was more of a surprise as the full back appeared to have come to terms with King, who was now able to mount some late but ultimately unsuccessful raids for the Tigers. Hull don’t seem to have released the visiting attendance, but just as at Oldham last year, probably our lowest number of travellers witnessed a highly satisfactory performance.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jos Hooiveld. Surprisingly only he and Schneiderlin received votes from the LSSC contingent despite all being agreed that it was a fine team effort. A fair number of us would like to thank Ye Olde White Harte for their hospitality into the early hours as well.
13 Fox (Harding – 77′ )
10 Guly (De Ridder – 50′ )
42 Puncheon (Hammond – 62′ )