London Saints

Saints 2-2 Stoke City

Rickie Lambert celebrates his early opener against Stoke City

Rickie Lambert celebrates his early opener against Stoke City

Wanyama’s 45 minutes at Fulham seem to be enough for the moment as he was back on the bench for the visit of Stoke, with Cork rewarded for recent good performances.

In the earlier meeting between the sides, Asmir Begovic embarrassed his opposite number, Boruc, with a wind-assisted goal within seconds of the start – that might have been in Lallana’s mind if it was he who had the decision to start with the elements behind Saints on another blustery day.

Whatever the mechanics of the toss, it proved a handy move when Adam handled on the right hand edge of his penalty area. As well as a strong south-westerly behind him, just two in the wall made this a tempting situation for Lambert, but it has to be said that his free kick into the top corner was superb.

Pre-match thoughts suggested that an early goal would lead to an easy afternoon, and maybe that complacency spread to the team as they failed to build on the lead, and conceded an embarrassingly easy equaliser when Odemwingie took advantage of a hopelessly out of position Shaw and strolled through the home defence.

The status quo only lasted a few minutes as Davis got lucky with a cross that eluded everyone and ended up in the back of the net – maybe another assist for the conditions? That ought to have seen Saints through to the break but a late corner was bundled in by Crouch, with question marks over quite a few defenders, and the goalkeeper, as there seemed to be enough bodies around to cope.

That was the end of the scoring, and pretty well the end of all scoring opportunities as well. With Ramirez a long-term absentee, Gallagher on bereavement leave, Osvaldo back in his adopted homeland and Sharp also at a loan club (and being sent off, as it happens), there wasn’t much to liven things up from the bench, and our only change was Chambers for Clyne.

Stoke’s substitutes each seemed to be taller than their replacement, but they had no joy either.

LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Cork, but he may find opportunities becoming rare once Wanyama is match fit.

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