Barnard brace keeps Saints on course
Southampton 3, Yeovil 0
The Saints website tells us that Nigel Adkins “couldn’t have asked for much more” than the 3-0 home win against Yeovil. A fair few of the disappointing 18,000 crowd weren’t as easily satisfied, but three points ended up in the bag, and there are no additional prizes for the manner of a win.
Yeovil were already the victims of derision after a couple of sloppy pieces of play when Butterfield hit a long pass from a free kick into the path of Barnard who netted on 15 minutes, but Southampton then made things unnecessarily hard for themselves by attempting to play from far too deep. League One defenders attempting to pass the ball around at the back in the face of eager, if not necessarily gifted, opponents is a recipe for disaster, and although there were only one or two alarms before the break, you could see how it might all have ended up.
But Nigel used the interval to rethink tactics and put Hammond back into the position just in front of the back four normally occupied by the unsung Schneiderlin. This made us more secure, and simply playing in the other half helps create chances. So do the skills of Lallana, and some tricky wizardry on the right resulted in a cross that unmarked Barnard headed home. Barnie could have had a hat trick but Henderson’s speed off his line prevented a goal and it was left for Chamberlain to complete the scoring on 67 minutes with a shot that probably took a deflection.
Gobern came on in case Chaplow picked up a second caution, and he was lively and set up a great opportunity which fellow substitute Forte never looked like taking. Had any of several late chances gone in, it would have been churlish to complain about the evening, but there had been a lot of nondescript football in this game.
It’s also worth pointing out that there was some surprise that the football club chose not to commemorate Dean Richards in any way at the first home game since his passing. Just wearing a set of low grade black armbands that failed to last the 90 minutes at Walsall seems insufficient recognition for someone who was a player of the year in very recent memory.
LSSC Man of the Match: Lee Barnard, with two important goals.
20 Lallana (Forte 77)
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Richardson 80)
30 Chaplow (Gobern 69)