Frustration for Saints
Saints 0, Notts County 0
Saints had first half opportunities to turn the game against Notts County into a very different affair by taking the lead.
The best chance fell to Guly Do Prado, and with his recent record you would have backed him to score: he became the bookies’ favourite by shooting wide. Then a nice move down the right resulted in a cross that Puncheon failed to control properly and his eventual shot was far too high: so still no Saints goals this term, despite his hat trick and others for Millwall. Finally of note was a corner that Jaidi met solidly at the far post: under pressure, he failed to keep his header down.
Chaplow noticeably pulled up when chasing down the right and was replaced by Gobern at half time, while there was little obvious change in tactics from County, who had built a pretty solid yellow wall to keep Saints at bay. It needed something special to break them down, but Saints often give the impression of not having a plan B, even when Lallana is available – and he won’t be for a little while.
BBC TV highlights consisted of a second half header from Fonte which goalkeeper Nelson blocked on the line (and clearly not behind it, as some Saints players are claiming). And that was about it, really.
Barnard came on for the closing stages, with Do Prado dropping back to midfield; not a wholly positive move, where the brave one would have been to take off Lambert. Fair play to Paul Ince’s team, who just worked very hard to a plan and weren’t over-hard, niggly or bad tempered. They may not be the last to try this tactic at St. Mary’s, where Southampton have failed to score in eight matches this season.
LSSC Man of the Match: Morgan Schneiderlin, who did his bit to ensure that at least there wasn’t to be an embarrassing slip up.
10 Puncheon (Barnard 79)
30 Chaplow (Gobern 46)