Writer: Stef C
Date:Thursday January 26 2006
Saints made some progress tonight with a hard earned point against in-form Crystal Palace.
After the dire display against Ipswich on Saturday George Burley made six changes to the starting line up, including bringing in rookie keeper Biaklowski and Andrew Surman, just back from a loan spell at Bournemouth.
The game was again played out amid protests against the chairman, with fans handing out 12,000 red cards to make a statement to Lowe before kick off.
Despite this Saints dug in and worked much harder for each other, in a vastly improved performance.
Early in the game Saints squandered several chances, Brett Ormerod hit the side netting after five minutes after a great cross from Surman and Kenwyne Jones should have done better with a free header after 20 minutes.
Palace had chances too, several fell to Andy Johnson and by the second half Palace were on top.
But Saints determination was evident and they stuck in there, Marian Pahars looked our most dangerous player - nearly scoring with a fierce left footed drive from the edge of the box but it was brilliantly saved by Gabor Kiraly.
The return to fitness, and form, of Pahars could be a huge boost with the departure of Walcott. The Latvian stars now come through two games in a week and having him back in the side is like the signing of a top quality player that we'd never be able to attract now.
The game ended all square and the result has hopefully stopped the rot and will give Saints something to build on. George Burley was happy with the progress:
'It was a good point for us'
'I am in the process of rebuilding the team and saw enough today to suggest we have a bright future.'
It seems more players will be leaving and arriving at the club before the end of January, as the rebuilding job continues.
Captain Nigel Quashie was absent from this match, apparently due to injury, but its been rumoured he's close to joining Pompey or West Brom.
Date:Thursday January 26 2006
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