London Saints

Rickie’s penalty double gives Saints the points

Saints 2, Bournemouth 0
Obviously the young gentlemen who engaged the attentions of the police after the game thought a serious matter of local pride was at stake, but the first League fixture against Bournemouth in fifty years just didn’t have that derby feel for most Saints fans.

However, early season form amongst the contenders showed how the visitors could easily end up as the county’s highest rated club next season. As befits a second placed team scoring goals for fun, they were quick out of the blocks and Feeney shot against the post before many had reached their seats. However, this was an explosive beginning from both sides, and when play switched to the other end, Jalal made a fine save to deny Barnard while Lambert’s follow-up effort was blocked on the line.

With plenty of attacking endeavour on show, it was ironic that the telling contribution that led to the first goal came from an alert linesman who spotted Wiggins’ unnecessary handball on the very edge of the box. Lambert stepped up to dispatch the penalty into the roof of the net in a departure from his usual style, but it was Barnard who was causing most problems, notably for Pearce who was eventually booked after a series of fouls.

Jalal remained the busier keeper in an open game, and he was most tested after 55 minutes when he saved from first Barnard and then Lallana. This latter effort took him well off his line, and although Saints couldn’t exploit the situation by finding a clear shot at goal, Bartley was panicked into a challenge from behind on Schneiderlein. Again Lambert did the rest from 12 yards.

Chaplow seems to have given his head an even better polish during his absence from St. Mary’s but he had to wait until 80 minutes before marking his return on the pitch, partnering Do Prado up front for the later stages as 10-man Bournemouth (Smith sent off for a second caution) went quietly. For once there were no bookings for Schneiderlin or Hammond but recent experience suggests suspensions will soon let Chaplow have his chance in the engine room. Meanwhile Saints still await their first home league goal from open play, but there are definite signs of an improvement in form.

LSSC Man of the Match: Jason Puncheon. Logistics usually prevent an exercise in democracy at home games, but this shows how an unsolicited recommendation can take effect. I just hope it wasn’t intended as a joke, given “Punch’s” recent form.

01 Davis
03 Harding
06 Fonte
12 Butterfield
19 Seaborne
04 Schneiderlin
10 Puncheon
14 Hammond
20 Lallana (Chamberlain 69)
07 Lambert (Guly 84)
09 Barnard (Chaplow 80)

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