Everton Away Drew 1 – 1
After a rare league victory Saints made one change to the team sent out to face Everton, Hojbjerg coming in for Redmond in what must have been a close call. If stopping the home side from playing was the purpose, it was achieved quite readily in a first half that wasn’t for the purists but left most visiting fans contented enough at the break – after all, very few would ever have seen their team win at Goodison Park. The always fragile Lemina picked up a knock just before the turnaround and although he didn’t appear for the second 45, replacement Redmond made up for his absence with some incisive running. A good Redmond performance, mostly in the wide left position, was rewarded with a goal as well, heading home Soares’ inviting cross on 56 minutes. Everton under manager Allardyce are not suiting a demanding set of supporters and they may not have appreciated the introduction of Niasse to provide more muscle up front – but this is a tactic that so often causes panic in our nervy central defence and a second caution for Yoshida made the task of taking maximum points even more difficult for the last five minutes plus added time. Four extra minutes had been signalled before delay for treatment to Soares meant that had to be extended but when McCarthy saved brilliantly from a Baines free kick, maybe it would be our day – the players thought so judging by their reaction and when Redmond won the ball cleanly near the corner flag it surely would be. Well it looked clean to the nearby assistant, to Mark Hughes on the touchline and to those of us in the opposite stand… but not to referee Moss. No matter, he’d surely stop Everton taking a quick free kick from the wrong place? No he didn’t, and the rest is history. Sure enough the Toffees moved the ball upfield and then got a huge slice of fortune when Davies’ shot was deflected off Hoedt and past the wrong-footed McCarthy. After a goal in the fifth of four minutes added time at Manchester, the scandalous handball at Watford and various interventions off the bench by Giroud at St Mary’s, what have we done to deserve this latest blow? You do often make your own luck though, good or bad, and a better clearance by Bertrand in the build up to the equaliser would have saved the day, as would the availability of another sub to help run the clock down; nevertheless the football gods have a lot to answer for at the moment.
LSSC Man of the Match: Oriel Romeu, my go-to guy in games like this.