Saints v Posh
St Mary's Stadium
Sat 20th November
Southampton brought striker Lee Barnard back and picked Ryan Dickson ahead of Harding at left back. Danny Butterfield and Aaron Martin returned to the matchday squad with places on the bench.
The game started with Peterborough attacking the Chapel End. The dull atmosphere outside the ground was apidly extinguished inside when Lallana started the Saints first attack within a minute of the start.
Taking a free-kick from the foul on him he whipped in a wicked cross which Lewis the keeper did well to hold. Moments later young Alex Chamberlain managed to get a shot in and then on five minutes a move which showed us Saints were on their game.
Chamberlain received the ball tapped it past Williams and left him for dead before sending in a great cross which was met superbly by Adam Lallana only to see Lewis make a brilliantly save at point blank range.
Soon after from another free-kick Lambert surprised Posh by not shooting direct from a 25 yard free-kick. Instead he passed to Hammond who found Barnard and his goalbound shot was blocked by the defence.
Lallana then got in on the act when his near post effort was pushed over the bar brilliantly by Lewis for a corner. The corner was fizzed in by Lallana and barnard saw his low dive cleared off of the line.
Fonte then saw a firm header well saved before Posh broke free and in a swift counter Mackail-Smith forced Kelvin Davis into a goood save. One on one he saw Kelvin make a good one handed save to keep the shot out.
With Saints playing some great attacking play it was Dickson who next made the crowd stand on it's feet in anticipation. He burst down the left flank before picking out Lallana but The ball was just too far in front of him and the chance went begging.
In the 18th minuye another fre-kick outside the box was taken by Lambert. This time he shot only to see the ball scrape the post as it hit the side netting.
The game began to slow but Saints were still playing with a lot of movement and flair as they tried to open up the Posh defence. This we finally did in the 27th minute when Barnard hammered a Lambert pass into the roof of the net.
Minutes later Chamberlain showed us more of his amazing skill as he tried to force his way past the defence on the right before crossing to the far post with several Saints players waiting.
The half continued in much the same vein with Saints doing most of the attacking and pressing hard when Posh had the ball. Half-time came and the fans were left wondering how we had only managed a single goal.
The crowd was wondering whether we would be able to start as well in the second half and were overjoyed to see the way that the team came out of the starting blocks.
A short interchangfe between Hammond and Dickson saw the full back go down the line before crossing a brilliant ball into the box for Jose Fonte to head powerfully home to double our lead. Less than a minute into the half and the fans were singing their hearts out.
Posh replied by Mackail-Smith again forcing Davis into a fine save before we struck again. Hammond this time sped down the left after receiving the ball before he crossed for Richard Chaplow to hammer home with a shot on the volley. A great move and a great finish to surely make the game safe.
Barnard who is still catrrying a slight groin niggle was immediately replaced to give him a well earned rest by Guly Do Prado on 50 minutes.
Radhi Jaidi was nearly the next name on the scoresheet as he headed narrowly wide from another Lallana corner.
Peterborough then made two substitutions with Tomlin and Clayton replaced by Adam Clayton and James Weslowski. This appeared to work as Posh looked far more secure as a result.
With Saints perhaps taking their foot of the gas a little Posh came more into the game though Guly was proving to be a bit of a handful to the Posh defence.
On 67 minutes Davies shot was saved by Davis and soon after Saints made another substitution. Lee Holmes coming on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who like Barnard received a rapturous round of applause for his efforts.
A mix-up in the Saints defence then led to Peterborough nearly scoring. A Mclean header was saved with the loose ball falling to Langmead who blasted just over.
McCann then made way for Mendez-Laing as Posh made their final substitution. Almost immediately Posh broke through with McLean going one on one with Kelvin Davis and placing the ball into the far side of the net to give the visitors some hope.
Jaidi then headed wide again as Saints returned to the attack. Then Guly saw an effort saved as he headed a Holmes cross goalward.
Straight after another free-kick which Holmes took was headed magnificently home by Guly to give Saints a three goal cushion once more.
Connolly came on for Lambert in the 82nd minute and still the Saints pressed forward looking for more. A Connolly shot on the turn was saved comfortably by Lewis as the clock ran down.
As time ran out it looked certain that we were going to see a fifth goal when a superb through ball from Holmes sent Guly clear only for him to hammer the ball wide. A minute later and Guly saw another effort saved well by the Posh keeper Lewis.
The referee blew his whistle and the euphoric crowd gave the team a standing ovation for the performance that they had witnessed. Many were left wondering how we had only managed to score the four goals but all supremely happy with a performance of distinct menace.
A great day at the office for all concerned and especially for Ryan Dickson who is quickly making the left back spot his.
He ran and tackled and also knitted the central areas with Dean Hammond to secure the midfield for Saints. He also broke his duck with a brilliant strike and looks like he is thoroughly enjoying himself which has to be a good sign for our future.
Kelvin Davis 7
Frazer Richardson 7
Jose Fonte 8
Radhi Jaidi 7
Ryan Dickson 8
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 8
Dean Hammond 7
Richard Chaplow 8*
Lee Barnard 7
Rickie Lambert 7
Adam Lallana 7
Lee Holmes 7
Guly do Prado 7
David Connolly 6