London Saints

Not So Wow Bristol City Away Lost 3 – 1

Going 25 games undefeated is all very well, but can you continue it on a wet Tuesday night at Bristol City? Turns out that for Southampton the answer was ‘no.’ Adams and, crucially, Downes were missing through injury while Stuart Armstrong and Fraser were benched, probably for ‘rotation’ purposes in view of a crowded fixture list, and maybe as a result the game was a slow starter, but for both sides. It soon got moving with both now looking dangerous on the break, often in quick succession. The nearest thing to a first half goal came when Edozie tried a speculative shot from broken play that bounced on the bar with O’Leary beaten, while Brooks, on his first start, tried to set up Smallbone after an exhilarating in down the right, but City were not converting from very good positions so everything was in the balance. With S. Armstrong on for a game-rusty Charles, Saints went close right from the restart with Edozie firing just wide as Brooks slid in to injure himself by sliding in against the post. But it was the Robins who took a vital lead when an inadvertent touch by Smallbone set up Mehmeti whose cross went through Bednarek’s legs to be tapped in by Bell. Immediately Saints were back at the other end with Walker-Peters as amazed as anyone when his first time shot was somehow kicked off the line by goalkeeper O’Leary. It was a vital moment as they never really threatened as much again, not within a competitive contest anyway. The task in the last third of the match became extremely difficult when Dickie headed home a 72nd minute corner for far too easy a goal, and it became impossible ten minutes later when substitute Sulemana gave away possession (not for the first time!) and Cornick finished off a swift riposte decisively. That was enough for a lot of visiting fans – probably the ungrateful ones who had booed the team off at half time against Huddersfield. More couldn’t face seven minutes added time that only seemed to be prolonging the agony but they would have missed Walker-Peters winning a clear penalty that was dispatched by Adam Armstrong

Three LSSC Man of the Match candidates to choose from:

2. Kyle Walker-Peters. Often amongst our most dangerous attackers despite given less cover by Smallbone than he’s used to from others.

19. Joe Rothwell. The only midfielder who seemed able to pass to colleagues consistently.

23. Sam Edozie. He probably was our most dangerous attacker until being replaced by Fraser.

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