London Saints

Saints stun the champions

Brighton 1, Saints 2

By common consent, Brighton are the only other serial passing team in our division, so it was essential to get the midfield right when facing them.
Saints opted for quantity rather than out and out quality as Lallana was on the bench to watch Forte, Chaplow, Hammond, Gobern and Do Prado perform. Of course the first half formation may have been completely different, but it’s difficult to judge when play is at the far end and you’re in the visitors’ compound at Withdean.
Certainly the team began brightly with Ankergren seeing Lambert’s effort cleared off the line and also saving well himself. It seemed a good enough opening half for Southampton, but the league tables don’t lie in April and Brighton always posed a danger. Just before the break, a ball forward exposed Jaidi’s mobility problems and while the defender still had the option of belting the ball into the stand, he chose the dangerous option of a backpass towards the advancing keeper. The best outcome would have been Davis belting the ball into the stand, but things didn’t go that well and Barnes nipped in to score.
In retrospect the goal may have done some good as Lallana replaced Forte and the team responded with a positive approach. Ankergren produced a blinding save to deny Guly and Lambert headed against the post, but time did seem to be against Saints until our second sub, Connolly, proved his predatory instincts with a neat finish from Lambert’s nod down.
A draw would not have been sufficient to retain second place, so Saints still sent the centre backs forward for a free kick on the half way line taken by Davis. Good move, as Fonte won the ball and sent a header looping over Ankergren and apparently over the line before Lambert made sure. When the delirium had died down, Brighton had an undefeated home record to preserve, but Saints held on through 6 minutes of added time for a famous victory.

LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana, from Jose Fonte thanks to Chairman Mick’s casting vote.

LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana, from Jose Fonte thanks to Chairman Mick’s casting vote.

Nigel Adkins:
“It was a great afternoon for our supporters and we gave them some thing to cheer about.
“They put their best team out so that was interesting, but we came here and had business to do and the players have shown great character having gone 1-0 behind.
“I just thought there was something coming and the shape we set up nullified them greatly.”

01 Davis
05 Dickson (Seaborne 90+2)
06 Fonte
12 Butterfield
15 Jaidi
14 Hammond
27 Gobern (Connolly 76)
30 Chaplow
07 Lambert
08 Forte (Lallana 46)
11 Guly

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