London Saints

West Ham Home Drew 0 – 0

West Ham were the visitors on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and, as it happens, the same 20 years since our first visit to the un-missed Withdrawn Stadium (win for us in the League Cup). With the Hammers in good form, Ralph adapted his line-up to cope with their threats by flooding the midfield and employing Adam Armstrong as a lone forward. At times in the first period it seemed to be going OK, but at others Rice and Soucek looked to be running the game, so a goal-less half was just fine. Our manager, whose tailor seems to be on an elongated acid trip, made his first move on 53 minutes, replacing the important Romeu, who doesn’t appear to be fit for 90 minutes, with Diallo in a more advanced role, and this worked well. Then after 74 mins on came Broja for Armstrong, who was struggling to make an impact; this worked extremely well. The forward soon gave notice that he could outpace Ogbonna but Elyounoussi couldn’t get on the end of the cross, but when he picked up the ball in his own half and began to run at the visiting defence, people really began to take notice – the move ended with a shot on the run that came back into play off the foot of a post. In added time Broja again came close to breaking the deadlock with a header cleared off the line by Rice as home fans hoped for better news from goal-line technology. There may have been an even later opportunity when Saints looked to break downfield only for referee Coote to halt play so he could show a second yellow card to Antonio. 

LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Stephens. It looked like it would be Livramento but some sloppy defending as the game wore on ruled him out, while Stephens and Salisu, like Southampton’s game in general, were improving. Stephens isn’t afraid to take on the Premier League’s big names either verbally or physically, and a wrestling match with Antonio resulted in cautions for both players, and is why it all ended badly for Antonio.

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