Millwall 1-1 Saints
We know who’s to blame for the defeat against Leicester, and I’m afraid it’s Chairman Mick. Unfortunately an honest answer to the intriguing but ultimately pointless question of ‘would you trade tonight’s league points for progress in the cup?’ had inevitable results… and we haven’t progressed past Millwall yet either. But spare a thought for the manager who has to make such decisions for real. Mr. Adkins had it easiest at the back where he picked the only four fit experienced defenders left at the club, even though it meant Fox at centre back (Jaidi was on the bench, but I don’t think we can ever call him ‘fit’). Elsewhere Lambert had served his sentence for misbehaving, Lee was newly arrived and Puncheon sort of fitted into both categories. All needed the game, with Lambert scoring a good goal and generally showing why he was missed, while Puncheon had an effective 77 minutes of action (making way for Shaw’s debut) and Lee eased his way in quietly from the 62nd minute. It had been a difficult opening, though, with Henderson doing well to head down for Feeney to strike a shot against the post. There was more trouble on 17 minutes when Henderson got the better of Fox and forced a good save from Bialkowski. Saints then switched DeRidder and Puncheon which seemed to help, and they went ahead when Lambert headed home Harding’s cross – a good through ball to the full back by Reeves would have done him no harm, either. The second half swayed between periods of Southampton control and Millwall pressure, and in one of the former, Holmes should have made the tie safe after being set up by Lambert for an easy headed chance. The miss was punished in the last few minutes when Henderson was able to hook in a tame shot that caught Bialkowski either wrong footed or unsighted. This was the striker’s 100th senior goal, a fair number of which seem to have come against Saints.
LSSC Man of the Match: Aaron Martin, with no contrary opinions expressed at all. That Henderson seems to have been behind a lot of Millwall’s good work wasn’t really his fault.
33 De Ridder (Holmes 60)
42 Puncheon (Shaw 77)
09 Barnard (Lee 62)