Saints Battered By Blackpool
31st March 5.25pm
Southampton went to Blackpool full of confidence after winning their last four games away from home and being unbeaten for twelve games in total.
Southampton striker Rickie Lambert was rested with his groin niggle and Frazer Richardson was still out. Th
loss of Lambert came home to roost very quickly with Saints starting on the front foot. Lallana put a lovely ball through for Guly but he chipped wide with the goal gaping as he lifted the ball over the Blackpool keeper.
Blackpool responded with Taylor-Fletcher seeing Kelvin Davis superbly tipping his goal-bound shot over for a corner. Soon after the striker again saw Davis thwart him as Blackpool showed how dangerous they could be.
Davis then saved from Ince before Saints responded and after some neat work, Lallana fed Guly again only to see the Brazilian tripped by Bob Harris. Billy Sharp stepped up to take the penalty and looking nervous tamely hit it to the keeper's right. Matt Gilks had no trouble saving the shot and Saints were already missing their talisman.
Five minutes later and it got a lot worse as Schneiderlin was harshly adjudged to have brought down Taylor-Fletcher in the box. Loanie Stephen Dobbie playing his first game for Blackpool since returning, elected to take the penalty. Kelvin Davis chose the right way to go but even at full stretch he was unable to reach the spot kick and Blackpool had made us pay for our missed chances.
Saints responded with two quick corners but were unable to reply. Jos Hooiveldt had a superb chance but mistimed his header and it went well wide. Again the missed chance was punished as Blackpool broke quickly with a long ball over the top and Dobbie muscled Fonte out of the way before placing the ball past Davis and into the right corner of the net. Hooiveldt had disappeared and a gaping hole had been left where he would normally have been.
The game reached half time with Saints still trying to regroup unsuccessfully. HT 2-0.
Richard Chaplow was replaced with Steve De Ridder as Saints tried to find a way back into the contest. Saints attacked from the off and Sharp was thwarted by a brilliant last ditch tackle as he looked to be through on goal. Worse was then to come as Blackpool went up the other end.
Blackpool won three corners on the trot. The first two were headed clear as Baptiste charged in nearly collecting and finally the third corner was met by Ian Evatt who headed home. This goal again showing Saints defence had gone missing as Evatt was left alone.
Blackpool now led 3-0 and were cruising. Saints made a couple of half chances which tamely missed the target and both teams made substitutions but the game was now devoid of any real purpose. Blackpool had stifled the Saints attack and ended up worthy winners. Though what might have happened if Saints had taken either of their golden early opportunities we will never know.
A bad day all round for the team with little of note to cheer us up. Apart that is from the fans who made themselves heard even when Saints were three down and heading nowhere. Still next we have the little matter of a home game against Pompey to consider and that is a game where the team should need no help in building up themselves in readiness.
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Played well and was a good link man for the team as well as scoring twice.
Had his team ready for action and was too good for us.
We were very poor and the substitutions made little difference.