FA Cup 3rd Round Derby Away Drew 2 – 2
We’ve come to expect Ralph to make major alterations to his line-ups and it was no surprise to see an unfamiliar XI at Derby – he’d been promising it all week and anyway it’s almost a sign of a coach’s machismo to ring the changes for the FA Cup. A debut for Slattery and a recall for Elyounoussi were the notable features but in all likelihood neither had touched the ball by the time Redmond put his side ahead with a left foot shot past Roos that was diverted into the left corner of the net by Keogh – it was surely destined for the right corner anyway. Saints we’re enjoying the first half although Slattery was having trouble coming to terms with the game… but so too was Elyounoussi. After the break a fine curling shot by Redmond doubled the lead and was surely guaranteeing a safe passage into the fourth round, until the home side started to get their shots on target – a skill notably lacking in the opening period. First Lawrence set up main striker Marriott for his side’s first and, would you believe it, within two minutes they were level – Lawrence this time the scorer with a shot every bit the equal of Redmond’s second effort. The goal exposed an inherent weakness in Ralph’s pressing game – when the opposition do break out, we can be a bit short in numbers. Nevertheless a Southampton winner always seemed a strong possibility but Elyounoussi spurned the best chance and ended up being replaced by someone called Barnes who also looked out of his depth. Redmond came close to beating Roos at his near post but right at the death Marriott had, and missed, a very presentable opportunity to avoid a St. Mary’s replay.
LSSC Man of the Match: Nathan Redmond with two more goals to show for a more direct approach these days. Ward-Prowse also looked good but there were others who failed to make the most of an opportunity to impress.