London Saints

Cardiff Away Lost 2 – 1(Gutted how did we lose that)

Downes didn’t make the second half against Preston or the entire game at Cardiff where McCarthy continued in goal – well, of course he did, but we’ve been surprised before by our selection strategy. With the mid-table Welsh side hit by injuries, this should have been a straightforward victory for Saints, and for the majority of the game there was nothing to suggest that it wouldn’t be. Southampton might already have been ahead before Stuart Armstong hit the post on eight minutes and then Aribo gave them the lead in the twelfth minute, nicely dispatching the loose ball after Horvath parried Adam Armstrong’s shot. In truth, A.A. should have scored himself and poor finishing was the story of a dominant opening period, with Brooks the chief culprit. This relates to an incident mainly of City’s own making, but when Adam Armstrong fed Brooks and the Welsh international took the ball past Horvath, there was only a lone defender on the line to stop a certain goal… or so Brooks thought, and as he dithered, Horvath got up and came back to block the ball. Doh! Manning was replaced by Bree at the start of the second half, for reasons that have not been completely explained. This gave Cardiff the chance to attack our left flank, if only they could get more of the ball – a ball that was stubbornly refusing to find its way past Horvath for a second time, with the keeper saving brilliantly from Adam Armstrong. Then on came Conte to put pressure on Bree, and astonishingly he was to cross for an equaliser in the 68th minute, the goal scored by Diédhiou following a fortuitous touch by Méité. Southampton’s management seem to have a theory that Aribo can’t manage 90 minutes so he was replaced by Rothwell soon after, but the complexion of the game was changing and a bizarre set of substitutions, introducing three wingers in the shape of Sulemana, Fraser and Edozie hardly helped our cause. Sulemana went down with a head injury that looked serious, with players rushing to put him in the recovery position, but he was soon up and running, and able to appreciate a fine save by McCarthy at the other end. Then, would you believe it, the Saints keeper was beaten in added time when Ashford‘s shot was deflected past him. There was still time for a close call at the other end when Stuart Armstrong’s goal-bound shot was booted away, but then it became alarmingly obvious that the Scot was in some distress and had to be stretchered off and out of what is left of this campaign, and probably the Euros to boot.

Three LSSC Man of the Match candidates to choose from:

2. Kyle Walker-Peters, with plenty of opportunities to get forward.

7. Joe Aribo, who surely has a full game in him.

17. Stuart Armstrong, whom we wish well.

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