Writer: SFC Forever
Date:Sunday May 1 2011
Sat 30th April 2011
Southampton travelled to Griffin Park as they continued their search for another valuable three points in their quest for promotion.
With a reduced groundswell of support, due to the Bees restricting our numbers, it was a slight surprise to see so many empty seats when we could have sold many more tickets.
Saints made just two changes from the last game with Jaidi in for Seaborne and Chaplow for Stephens. This left David Connolly up front partnering Rickie Lambert.
The match began with Saints on the front foot and after Guly pulled the ball back to Richard Chaplow, Chaplow crossed to the near post to find David Connolly but his shot went just over the bar.
Saints continued to do the pressing and on five minutes Dan Harding did well down the left flank before sending in a good cross and this time the ball was met by Guly do Prado who headed over.
Next chance also fell to Saints who were dictating play with Lallana sending in a cross for Rickie Lambert but again the chance sailed over the Brentford goal. Then in the next attack we managed to get a shot on target from Connolly after he showed a little trickery to fashion the chance.
Rickie Lambert then forced a headed clearance from Karleigh Osborne as his header seemed to be heading into the top corner of the Bee's goal. With Saints so much on top it appeared to be inevitable that we would score.
When we did it came after Lallana picked up the ball on the left of the box, before cutting in to shoot past Simon Moore in the Brentford goal, to open the scoring. 1-0 to Southampton and no more than we had deserved.
Saints maintained their superiority and it wasn't until the 27th minute that Jeffrey Schlupp managed Brentford's first attempt on goal as he shot wide from a narrow angle.
Brentford were still struggling to break out of their half and conceded again in the 30th minute from an unusual source. A long ball from Kelvin Davis was allowed to bounce in the Brentford box and taking a chance David Connolly ran in behind the centre backs beating Moore to the ball and in one movement lifted it over Moore and into the net. 2-0 to Saints and they were in total control.
Straight after this Guly was able to take no further part in the action and was replaced by Oscar Gobern. This made little change to the proceedings with Saints firmly in control.
Lambert tried his luck from a free kick which went just past the post and with a couple of minutes to go Kelvin Davis made his first save. Lewis Grabban firing in a shot from 20 yards that Davis saved at the second attempt. HT 0-2.
The second half began in a much calmer manner with Saints content to hold a two goal cushion. With Brentford unable to make any headway it looked like the game might meander to a slow finish.
With the Saints support suddenly cheering wildly as Brighton equalised at home to our closest promotion rivals Huddersfield, Saints again hit the accelerate button.
David Connolly got a shot off which Moore saved down low after more good work from Lallana. Then Connolly deflected a Chaplow shot just wide with the Brentford keeper beaten.
Brentford began to get more of the play though Lambert had a good effort but it was too close to the keeper. Then Connolly went down with some help in the penalty area from Osborne but the appeals were turned down.
The two players held a rather heated discussion between them before settling down and play resumed. Brentford made a substitution then with Myles Weston replacing Adam Reed.
Brentford improved after the change and were soon appealing for a penalty themselves after Jaidi and Schlupp got in a tangle but nothing was given. Grabban then went on a run and shot into the side netting.
Saints brought on Ryan Dickson for Dan Harding. Brentford replied with Luke Hacker replacing Schlupp. While play settled back down Saints had a major scare.
On 82 minutes Frazer Richardson brought down Weston as he entered the box and Brentford won a penalty. Sam Saunders stepped up to take it and drove it wide to the right of Kelvin Davis who guessing correctly just managed to finger tip it onto the post where it then flew to a defender who cleared to safety.
Saints almost immediately brought Danny Butterfield on for David Connolly to strengthen the right side of our defence and see out the clock.
Brentford were still after a goal and made another substitution bringing on Nathan Byrne for Saunders. There chance had gone though and they were doomed to failing in their hunt.
Instead Lallana went on one of his weaving runs before crossing square for Oscar Gobern to tap in and score his first goal for our first team. 3-0 to Saints and game over. Four minutes were added but the game ended without any scares and Southampton were clear and deserving winners.
With Huddersfield beating Brighton to keep the pressure on the shine was removed from the performance but nothing could take away from thje fact that the Saints had shown a vastly superior brand of powerful attacking football.
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Date:Sunday May 1 2011
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