Bournemouth Away Won 0 – 2
Ralph took the last away game of a highly successful campaign on the road very seriously, naming what was probably his best available side to face Bournemouth: Bednarek missed out through injury but there was a rare start for Long. The hosts had finished strongly when losing at Manchester City and were expected to be in Southampton’s faces from the word ‘go,’ so a cautious opening from our team was excusable. We certainly stopped the Cherries from making life too difficult, and I think that, like Norwich, they’ve suffered more than most from playing in a deserted home stadium. Their biggest moment came midway through the first half when Walker-Peters had to be at his best to prevent a low cross reaching Callum Wilson, and they ended up turning round behind after failing to be alert to Ings‘ characteristic cut in from the left before an accurate shot. Manager Howe brought on a second Wilson (Harry – didn’t he used to be Prime Minister once?) for the second half and he should have been instrumental in literally handing the game to Saints when VAR spotted his handball from a corner, but Ings, not for the first time, tried to be too clever with an ineffective penalty, letting Ramsdale save. Redmond too was guilty of a bad miss, but the clock was not on Bournemouth’s side at this point and the game was deep into added time when they had a final chance from a long throw. These shouldn’t really cause problems for a competent defence but McCarthy spilled the ball when it came his way and after an intervention from Callum Wilson, Surridge forced it home. That touch by Wilson was crucial, though, after VAR intervened to find the player had drifted offside, so Saints stayed on course for a ninth away win. Now into time added to added time, they were happily playing the ball around near the corner when Obafemi found some space and passed to fellow sub Adams who shot home with the precision of a Danny Ings, leaving Bournemouth with a 0-2 defeat that jeopardises Portsmouth’s claim to be the top south coast team in the EFL.
LSSC Man of the Match: Kyle Walker-Peters, although it could have been McCarthy but for that late scare he gave us.
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