London Saints

Saints 0-2 Wigan

Jos Hooiveld hits the bar with a header against Wigan

The early season fixtures held out the greatest expectation of a result with the visit of Wigan, a game apparently witnessed by 29,604 people, although the number of empty spaces suggested that a fair number were investing in the opportunity a ticket gave to sign up for the Manchester United game as well.

Nigel seemed to be going for the win by selecting both Lambert and Rodriguez, although few players seem to know what the latter’s role is when stuck on the wing. Wigan may employ such frills themselves, but their reputation for organisation rather than flair was evidenced more and the game fully earned the Latics’ traditional place near the end of Match of the Day. The best moment by far came when Al-Habsi produced a flying save to turn Lallana’s 15th minute shot onto the bar. The visiting keeper produced a couple more fine stops while his opposite number only had one piece of successful action.

Kelvin did let in two goals, though, with the first coming in the early stages of the second half, and while it is difficult to point blame on any one player, there was a suspicion that the defensive unit as a whole had switched off: Di Santo supplied the finish to a goal that was remarkably similar to one scored by Udinese pre-season at St. Mary’s.

Saints’ starting line-up was struggling to create chances but they stuck with it for 75 minutes, until Steve Davis’s home debut ended, as did Rodriguez’s spell in the left wing wilderness. Ward-Prowse and Sharp fared little better, but Hooiveld sent a header against the bar before Fonte was caught in possession in added time and Kone ran clear to score with an efficiency that marked the entireWigan performance.

LSSC Man of the Match: Nataniel Clyne. Another difficult decision, but Clyne managed to catch the eye a couple of times – maybe not enough for MotM, but it’s the best I can do.

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