Saints 4-3 Burnley
Jesús Pérez took charge of the team that faced Burnley – that seems to be the plan for all cup matches, including the world’s oldest competition.
Jesús came up with a five-man midfield that enabled Schneiderlin to play a more forward role, while Lambert was left to fend for himself – a worrying ploy for those who wanted to avoid having to decide whether to travel for a replay.
Two splendid first half strikes made that eventuality look unlikely, with Clyne’s sweet volley rather forced upon him by an ugly first touch – the finish more than made up for that. Then Lambert finished off some neat approach play with another fine shot from outside the box that probably set him dreaming of the days when Championship defences allowed him all the time in the world. That was about it for Lambert as injury forced him out of what could have become an exhibition.
But Burnley’s two Hampshire-born strikers soon put paid to thoughts of a comfortable afternoon, with Vokes getting them back in the game with a glancing header, before Ings comfortably beat Hooiveld for pace and then shot through Davis in what was not the ‘keeper’s finest moment.
Kelvin made up for that with a reaction save from Vokes that may have turned the tie, as Saints soon retook the lead.
With a former Saint and a fellow from a family of supporters netting for the visitors, it was perhaps inevitable that ex-Burnley player and fan Rodriguez should score as well, but he may have preferred something more satisfying than a tap-in after Heaton had saved at the feet of Ward-Prowse and players from both sides seemed to stop – did they hear a whistle, perhaps?
Even then there was plenty of action left, with Ings hitting the post just before another substitute, Lallana, finally put the game beyond the Clarets. Only just though, as Long profited from some pretty poor defensive play at a corner, but there was to be no equaliser as Burnley barely had another touch in the remaining six or seven minutes of actual playing time. Maybe a replay was the last thing their promotion bid needed?
LSSC Man of the Match: Steven Davis. Busy rather than spectacular.
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