Spurs Home Drew 1 – 1
Spurs at home was the fourth consecutive game against a London club – it should have been five, but for the Brentford postponement. It was also the second game within 48 hours and Ralph went for wholesale changes, with his team looking as much like a like a list of substitutes as a starting XI. Livramento was a casualty after playing at West Ham but Walker-Peters would have to wait a bit longer for a chance at right back as he was employed in an uncomfortable midfield role, probably protecting Valery from a potential threat from Son. Southampton’s first half style was controlled aggression, an approach that wasn’t pleasing referee Taylor who was in turn displeasing the home crowd and, indeed, the home manager who managed to earn himself a caution on the touchline. With Romeu sitting this one out, most of our fouls were committed by Salisu who had a verbal warning before a yellow card and then tried a half way line challenge that left no room for error. It was a sending off waiting to happen but with Stevens and Lyanco recording positive tests, Ralph just had to let nature take its course. Much earlier in the action Salisu made a very positive contribution with one of his moderately long throws causing a loose ball to fall nicely for Ward-Prowse who lashed it home. The visitors weren’t coping well with the game but they did have the ball in the net when Davies headed in a free kick, only to find that someone had been flagged offside in Forster’s eye line. Then, shortly before half time, Son ran into the box and, rather than trust in Forster from a narrow angle, Salisu launched into an injudicious challenge that not only gave Kane an easier shot from 12 yards but also brought a second yellow card. Kane duly converted, of course, and he thought he’d given his side a lead and, no doubt, three points after firing home on 53 minutes. He looked a bit offside and, despite the lack of a flag, VAR used their lines wisely to concur. By now Walker-Peters had his full back position back, with Valery in the middle, and twice KW-P did well to keep Kane out, as well as receiving a wince-inducing smack in the head when throwing himself at a powerful shot. In theory Saints still had the luxury of two strikers, although Adam Armstrong was probably operating more in midfield. He remained on the pitch when Broja came on for surprise selection Long; you know what you’re going to get from Long, and what he does well was as effective as ever – what he does badly is finishing, and a fifth minute header should have been better. Broja was clearly the only remaining forward for the last ten minutes and he might have snatched an unlikely winner in added time with our only serious second half threat. Beforehand, Spurs had the ball in the net for a fourth time when Forster fumbled a hanging cross into his own net, but Mr. Taylor had now started to help us out, and he gave a foul against Doherty instead of a goal. More of Fraser in the MotM thoughts…
LSSC Man of the Match: Fraser Forster. A sometimes eccentric performance by our keeper behind a brave second half back line – the disallowed goal was not his finest moment. He is a formidable barrier, though, and just right for this valiant rear-guard action against some talented attackers.
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