London Saints

Saints 0-2 Bristol City

Fonte missed out against Bristol City, so in came Aaron Martin. However this isn’t really a like-for-like swap as Fonte is the key to the way Southampton build from the back. Teams who do well against Saints usually try to put pressure on the Portuguese and his mates as they look to pass the ball around, but City didn’t need to do this.

At Ashton Gate, though, they had shown themselves to be well organised and willing to work hard for a result. It was more than enough for a win at St. Mary’s too. Southampton’s attack was muted throughout, with the best move of the first half ending with a fine save by James from Schneiderlin. Surprisingly the ex England keeper doesn’t seem fazed by continuing taunts regarding his previous employment in South East Hampshire – who would have thought it?

The Robins had not looked too dangerous themselves, despite showing more ambition than our previous visitors (Crystal Palace). After the break, though, they got the ball in the net, only to be denied by an offside flag, to most people’s surprise. On 77 minutes, Nigel made a move to win the game by bringing on Connolly for Lallana.

Personally I would keep an out of sorts Lallana on the pitch as he is always capable of producing the unexpected, while I remain a Connolly-sceptic. Whatever its merits, the move didn’t work as Connolly’s first touch lost possession on the half way line and his second was at the resulting kick off after City had broken away and Pearson had scored the winning goal. Davis nearly rescued the situation for Saints but after a couple of blocks the ball just had to go in for a near carbon copy of the disallowed effort.

LSSC Man of the Match: Frazer Richardson. OK, this is a bit of a long shot, as no-one stood out on the night.

And so 2011 ends rather dismally. But let’s not lose sight of what’s been achieved. I doubt if there’s been a more productive calendar year for the club in terms of points, even allowing for the change to three points for a win. I’ve not researched the facts to support that contention, but I make the 2011 League record to be Played 49, Won 33, Drawn 9, Lost 7, Goals for 101, Goals against 44. Well done to all concerned!

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