Stacks Image p984618_n984467

Southampton 0

Brighton 0

Loads of traffic heading East out of Southampton tonight so only just arrived home 11.30.So not too much from me tonight, it is past my bedtime, but for those who could not make it to the game here are a few hurried thoughts. Just one change in the saints team tonight, Schneiderlin in for Chaplow who failed a pre mach fitness test. No Connolly on the bench, two youngster promoted Gobern and Doble.

It was a good crowd and a cold chilly evening but any game under floodlights seems to generate an exciting atmosphere. Saints went for the game from kick off and we had all the attacking play and in the first 30 minutes or so little was seen of the Brighton attack, in fact they only showed an attacking instinct in the last 10 minutes or so before half time, Then Kelvin Davis showed his value to the side as he made one excellent save.

From where i was it looked as though Lallana had been brought down mid way through the half for penalty but the ref bottled it, Lallana had no reason to go down, he would have probably scored had he been able to stay on his feet. The Brighton players had been in the referees and linesmen's face from the kick off, disputing every free kick given against them, and Gus Poyet had been arguing and gesticulating to the fourth official after every decision against his team, he was also yelling at the ref from the technical area. This i think was a deliberate tactic from both team and manager, and that I felt put pressure on the officials to good effect in his favour.

Why the referee allowed Ankergmen, in goal for Brighton, to take the mickey out of him by wasting time over goal kicks and free kicks from the first whistle is beyond me, the ref warned him, but no noticeable difference in the time he took. He also wasted a lot of time within the laws of the game by not picking up the ball to clear his lines until challenged by a saints player, as i say within the law, but surely not in the spirit of the game.

Half time came with saints have by far the greater possession and looking the only team wanting to win the game. 0-0 at half time.
Understandably no changes by saints at half time, we had more of the play in that first half and more of the same would surely bring us a goal. But Brighton upped their game and it became a bit more even but they did not trouble us to much at the back and I think we shaded the second half. Although carving out plenty of chances we just could not put the ball in the net. Give Brighton credit they defended very well indeed and in numbers. They could have scored from a penalty, a decision hotly disputed by saints defenders, but Kelvin Davis went the right way and palmed the ball away.

Nigel Adkins tried to get a goal by introducing Holmes and Gully at the expense of Schneiderlin and Barnard, a move that had been successful on Saturday, Holmes again looked lively and in the short time he was on he put over a lovely free kick and a very good corner, but it wasn't going to happen for saints tonight. At the final whistle it felt like a loss instead of a draw. Brighton are top because they are organised, niggly, bordering on nasty. Not pretty to watch but effective. Maybe they will be found out as the season progresses.

As for saints, well it is obvious from the 'goals for' statistics that we do not score enough goals. Rickie Lambert is not frightening defences like he did last year, Barnard and Lallana can not make up for him by getting the goals. I think it is imperative that if at all possible we should bring in a big target man before Thursdays loan window closes because if Rickie does not start scoring soon waiting for the January transfer window window might leave us with a lot to do to catch up Brighton , Charlton and Bournemouth.

Time to give Ryan Doble a chance on Saturday in the cup me thinks. But do not despair, this was not a poor display by saints, we were excellent in the first half and played at a high tempo, it is just our finishing and final pass that is missing, and that bit of luck in and around the goal mouth. In my opinion we are a better team than Brighton, maybe we ought to be as streetwise as them, especially away from home, but i doubt it is Nigel Adkins style.

Thats how I saw it anyway. Goodnight



Tuesday, 23rd November 2010
Ref: Williamson

01 Davis
02 Richardson
05 Dickson
06 Fonte
15 Jaidi - yellow card
04 Schneiderlin - yellow card (Holmes 75)
14 Hammond
20 Lallana
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Butterfield 87)
07 Lambert
09 Barnard (Guly 75)

24 Bialkowski
12 Butterfield
17 Martin
11 Guly
21 Holmes
27 Gobern
29 Doble

16 Ankergren
03 Greer
06 El-Abd (Dunk 35)
14 Calderon
22 Painter
05 Battipied - yellow card (Smith 53)
07 Bennett
18 Dicker
25 Kishishev - yellow card
09 Barnesyellow card (Murray 65 - yellow card)
39 Wood

01 Brezovan
27 Taricco
37 Dunk
11 Baz
15 Hart
24 Smith
17 Murray