Peterborough v Southampton
Sat 5th February 2011
Southampton twice took a two goal lead before allowing their hosts to claw their way back into the game.
Three changes were made to the side with Guly, Hammond and Seaborne returning in the place of N'Guessan, Schneiderlin and Jaidi.
Sky cameras were there and the neutrals who watched would have enjoyed the fare on offer. Though neither camp would have been happy with the defensive work on display.
The game started with both sides playing open attacking football. Saints attacking play brought three quick corners but the first clear opportunity came with Peterborough sprung the offside trap and sent in a firm nearside shot which Davis saved with his legs.
Saints continued to threaten and Chaplow came close as he raced in but just failed to connect with a Lambert cross with the goal looking very inviting. then maybe with a hint of disappointment he got booked for a late tackle with Peterborough trying to break forward.
With play continuing at a high tempo, it was after a Peterborough attack that Saints broke quickly and scored the first goal of the game.
Lambert flicked on a header to Barnard and his fierce shot was saved superbly by Lewis. The keeper was left helpless though as Chaplow followed up and gratefully drove the ball home for Saints.
As Posh tried to make a comeback both Lee and Tomlin blasted shots high wide. Then Lambert came close to doubling the lead but Lewis saved his effort at the near post.
Peterborough then had a dangerous break with Whelpdale going on a run before blazing over. Moments later as he tried to get the Posh attack going again he was robbed by Chamberlain who went on a run into the box where he was brought down by Little.
Penalty and our spot-kick specialist stepped up to try his luck. Rickie duly stepped forward and smashed his kick unerringly into the bottom left of the goal and Saints were leading 2-0.
Saints continued to press and next we saw Chamberlain just fail to reach a Lambert pass. Then our youngster smashed another chance goal-wards but a deflection took the ball out for a corner.
Then out of the blue Peterborough broke free with Mackail-Smith running onto a through ball and after beating Seaborne he beat Davis with a low shot which went in at the near post.
Soon after Harding joined Chaplow in the referee's notebook. McCann powered a drive goal-wards which was deflected over. The corner was too close to Davis who collected the ball comfortably.
Then on the stroke of half-time peterborough equalised. Mackail-Smith sent in a cross from the left and Seaborne was beaten too easily as Whelpdale headed the cross back across goal and into the far end of the goal.
Saints retaliated with another chance which fell to Fonte. He connected well with a Chamberlain corner only to see Peterborough clear the ball off of the line and to safety.
The second half started with a quick attack from Peterborough and Mackail-Smith smashed a shot wide. From the resultant goal-kick Saints pressed forward and Chaplow running into the box won a second penalty which was more than a little dubious in appearance.
Lambert again stepped forward to take the kick. This time he chose to smash the kick high and into the net and Saints once again were in the lead.
Two minutes later Saints won a corner and Chamberlain again took the kick. Hammond was seen riunning into space outside the boc and Chamberlain found him allowing the Saints' skipper time to side foot a shot high into the net.
With Saints again celebrating a two goal lead Seaborne succeeded in sticking out a leg and bringing down Langmead in the Saints box. Penalty number three and like the others put away with aplomb with Davis being sent the wrong way by McCann.
Saints nearly regained a two goal cushion with Butterfield going very close as he strode forward befor letting a venomous strike which flew just wide.
Soon after Lambert sent in a lofted cross which Fonte guided back across goal and Chaplow was thwarted by a blocking tackle as Posh cleared their lines.
Ryan Dickson replaced Harding on 65 minutes with the high tempo continuing. Mackail-Smith again showed his talents before blazing a free-kick over. Then Whelpdale was replaced for Posh with Mendez-Laing.
Guly then became the third Saint to be booked before he was replaced with Richardson. With the free-kick from Guly's tackle being hit over Saints were showing a bit more determination to hang on to their lead.
Barnard was then replaced after an attack where he came close to reaching a cross. His replacement was Jonathan Forte who was brought in by Nigel.
Soon after Davis saved well from Boyd who had run onto a Mendez-Laing cross before smashing his shot goalward. Seconds later Davis was on hand again to thwart Mackail-Smith who shot from distance.
With time running out and Posh getting ever more desperate a firmly hit cross struck Chamberlain on his arm and Posh were awarded the fourth penalty of the game.
With McCann off Tomlin stepped up to take the kick. He struck a well taken kick into the left hand side and it beat the despairing dive of Davis to level up the scores at 4-4.
Kelvin Davis 6
Danny Butterfield 6
Jose Fonte 6
Dan Seaborne 4
Dan Harding 6
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 6
Dean Hammond 7
Richard Chaplow 7
Guly do Prado 6
Lee Barnard 6
Rickie Lambert 7
Ryan Dickson 6
Frazer Richardson 6
Jonathan Forte 5
Thought his selection of substitutes looked a bit understrength. Hopefully Schneiderlin and Lallana will be back next week.
Not sure why N'Guessan wasn't brought on in the second half when we needed something different.
Played his squad well and had the team playing better than they did at St Mary's. His team will always score but sometimes not enough.