Hull Away Lost 2 – 1
After Europa League excitement, Claude Puell reverted to most of his favourite starters for the game at Hull, land of the cream-coloured phone box, the sub-£3 pint and a team coming into the match with a string of seven league defeats behind them. The Saints line-up included changes on both sides of the defence, Bertrand surprisingly partnered by Yoshida, and this paid early dividends when Tadić exchanged passes with Yoshie only for the defender’s progress to be halted by Davies’s baulk – Austin did the business from the spot after encouraging words from Tadić. This was exactly the start that Southampton wanted and Hull feared, and the home side suffered further blows with two injury substitutions in the first half hour, although the second served to reintroduce their best player, Snodgrass, after injury. Saints were in total control and talk at half time was that we should have been three or four up. In a way, yes, but in fact the team probably only had only a couple more shots at goal in the period, for all their dominance. It was the same story as the game restarted and Van Dijk bounced a header on top of the bar from a corner. Don’t forget about Snodgrass, though! On the hour he flighted a free kick into the path of Maguire who should have done better, but Saints immediately went behind from the resulting throw in and slack defending allowed Snodgrass to fire in the equaliser. That was a huge shock, but worse followed just two minutes later when Dawson got on the end of another Snodgrass free kick to head his side into an unlikely lead. Saints upped their shot rate in a bid to salvage at least a point from what had seemed a comfortable win, but Austin in particular was foiled by goalkeeper Marshall and some brave blocks, and the earlier control disappeared as players attempted to force something to happen. Four minutes added time seemed to have expired by the time Saints came desperately close to levelling the score but when a goal line clearance hit Rodriguez, the ball somehow found its way over the bar. Hugely disappointing, but two critical deliveries from Snodgrass had provided more threat than Southampton’s ten corners plus a host of attacking free kicks of their own.
LSSC Man of the Match: Steven Davies, as Yoshida’s touches began to let him down as the game wore on.