Saints v Terriers Report
St Mary's Stadium
Tues 28th December
Star centre back Jose Fonte was recalled for his first game for a month. Richardson, Chaplow and Barnard were added to the squad as substitutesd.
The game started with the Terriers attacking the Northam End and Saints nearly opened the scoring in the fourth minute. A clever chipped pass out to young Alex Chamberlain by Schneiderlin led to the youngster finding Lallana with a beautiful pass. Lallana had his effort cleared of the line by Peter Clarke to thwart the Saints.
Next it was the Terriers who came close when Pilkington sent in a deep cross from the right which was met firmly by Lee. His header was struck well but it hit the top of the crossbar as it went behind for a Saints goalkick.
The action was open and end to end and lambert found Lallana with a glorious pass. Lallana cut inside and his shot looked goalbound until keeper Smithies diverted the shot with his leg.
Huddersfield should have gone in front in the 14th minute when Novak broke clear and unselfishly found Arfield. With the goal beckoning it looked a formality that he would score and as he shot the ground went quiet. His shot went wide of the left hand post and the fans breathed again with relief.
The relief was not long lasting as a mere two minutes later Town took the lead. A free kick was awarded outside Saints box and the kick was in the back of the net almost before you could blink.
Saints complained bitterly as Robert had not taken the kick from even close to where the foul had taken place. The goal stood though as Novak had met the cross from Robert and headed it home.
With chances at both ends the game continued in a high octane fashion and though Saints were trailing they were gradually gaining in the control of the game.
Schneiderlin, Lallana, Lambert and Guly all showed up well before Harding took a quick throw-in and threw to Lambert. Lambert had his back facing the ball but he swivelled brilliantly and smashed a rocket shot home at the near post to level the scores.
Within four minutes Saints had taken the lead and grabbed a firm hold on the game. Lambert found Guly who in turn passed to Chamberlain and he drilled a good shot past Smithies after some good ball control.
Saints were now running rampant and first Schneiderlin had a shot goal agonisingly close from distance, and then Guly saw an effort blocked late.
Saints continued to press and after Schneiderlin was booked for a bad tackle Saints made another sweeping move forward. Chamberlain and Guly linked up well before Lallana wasted a golden opportunity and saw his shot hit the crossbar after it was deflected.
With time running out Lambert had the last effort as we saw his effort land on top of the net. HT 2-1.
As the teams came out for the restart we saw that Richardson had replaced Butterfield.
Saints again began brightly and Lambert had a fine effort saved low by Smithies. Chamberlain was then brought down by Robert who got booked for his trouble.
Lallana took the resulting free-kick and he sent in a great inswinging cross for Jaidi to rise and head powerfully home to make the game look safe at 3-1.
Just after another bad foul Schneiderlin was removed from the action and replaced by Chaplow. This move was then covered by the Terriers who brought on Arsenal loanie Afobe for Lee.
Smithies was now a very busy keeper as first he kept out a Hammond drive and then a great save kept out a Lallana special.
Arfield then made a hash of a pass and Hammond picked up the ball before unleashing another power drive which Smithies did well to save.
In the 69th minute Gudjonsson replaced Tom Clarke and shortly after Chamberlain was subbed with Dickson. Again the youngster cam off to a rapturous round of applause.
Soon after Saints made totally sure of the points. Chaplow received the ball on the edge of the box and fired it majestically home into the far corner.
chaplow then became the second Saint to go into the box as he made a late tackle. This was rather stupid as the referee had just warned him about his tackles and he didn't give him any alternative.
Huddersfield did manage to cause a moment of concern as a Pilkington effort seemed to catch Davis out but he recovered well to save and he was quickly up to prepare for any more threats but the ball was cleared to safety.
Saints were now pushing for a fifth and Fonte collided with Peltier as he raced in to try to head a Lallana cross resulting with both players going down for attention.
Saints were now completely in control and the game ended with Saints running out worthy 4-1 winners.