Saints Go Marching on
St.Mary's Stadium, Southampton
Jason Dodd and John Gorman took over for Saints FA Cup tie against League 2 side Bury. As saints showed battling qualities and Dodd showed that he was capeable of changing the game in Saints favour, something which never seemed to happen under Burley.
Dodd and Gorman didn't change too much, making only one enforced change, Alexander Ostlund had a tight muscle, and wasn't risked, Wayne Thomas stepped into Right back.
Bury could have gone ahead after 2 minutes, the ref gave a free-kick, much to the displeasure of the Saints faithful. Baker took the free-kick and it hit the base of the post. Davis had it covered and Saints cleared.
Saints almost took the lead, Thomas crossed and Rasiak headed down, despite the ball going backwards from Thomas' cross the linesman awarded the offside to Bury.
Baker got a fortunate bounce which set him on his way after 7 minutes, clear through on goal, Davis made a good block.
Saints had lots of possesion in and around the penalty area, Wayne Thomas had a shot go wide and Adam Hammill was running riot with the Bury defence. But the on-loan Liverpool midfielder just couldn't get any shots on target. An area he needs to improve on.
Jason Euell again was poor in the middle of the park, and Jermaine Wright wasn't that great either.
Saints racked up a few corners. Adam Hammill's corners looked good, always making it to the far post, and Wayne Thomas was looking a threat, he had a header cleared off the line.
Saints could have taken the lead half-way through the half, Vignal crossed and Rasiak vollied just over the bar.
Saints were dominating the play. But no saints players where willing to shoot, and Bury where happy to pump the ball upfield.
The referee wasn't much help either, giving free-kicks which where never worthy to the League 2 side, Saints fans where not happy with the ref. Saints won another corner before half-time, but the referee wouldn't let saints take it, and blew for half time. Even though it was a scoring chance.
Half time Southampton 0-0 Bury.
Saints made a change at half time. Davies had picked up a knock and was replaced by Inigo Idiakez, Wright moved into right-back and Thomas into centre back.
Surman plucked up the courage to shoot, his tame shot was saved by the keeper.
Neat work again from Surman found Vignal, who prodded just wide.
Darren Powell picked up an injury after a rash tackle which wasn't punished again by the ref. He couldn't continue. Saints had already had a centre half injured, Powell went off for Skacel who went to Left Midfield, Surman moved into the middle, and Jason Euell moved into the back 4. Despite being a striker by trade.
Rasiak had a shot pushed round the post as saints started to dominate proceedings. But only Surman and Rasiak plucked up the courage to shoot.
Saints finally took the lead on 71 minutes. SURMAN controlled the ball and hit a shot, it may have been going in anyway, but it took a deflection and wrong-footed the keeper and hit the net. The St.Mary's stadium was rocking with cheers!
The Saints supporters had been the 12th man throughout the game, Singing throughout which clearly helped the team, who looked low on confidence. Hence the lack of shots from the saints players.
Bury almost equalised a cross from the right was headed onto the crossbar by Bishop. Davis may have saved it but definatley had it covered.
All of a sudden saints seemed to have a surge of life in the seemingly depleated players. Events off the pitch may have taken the focus away from the game. Skacel had a shot, well saved by the Bury's bald keeper.
Saints dominance payed off just 11 minutes from time. Skacel crossed and sub Stern John was bundled to the ground. The ref pointed to the spot and finally gave a correct decision.
Rasiak had a 100% penalty record since being at Saints, but his shot from 12 yards was poor and the keeper saved it, nobody seemed to react to the save and Rasiak hit a rebound, only for the keeper to save that. But sure enough RASIAK tapped in from a yard.
Rasiak almost got another in the last few minutes, A Vignal cross was taken off his head by the keeper witb the goal at his mercy.
Southampton 2-0 Bury
Kelvin Davis 7
Wayne Thomas 7
Andrew Davies 7
Darren Powell 6
Gregory Vignal 7
Adam Hammill 8
Jason Euell 3
Jermaine Wright 3
Andrew Surman 7
Bradley Wright-Phillips 1
Grzegorz Rasiak 7
Inigo Idiakez 7
Saints looked better in the middle of the park when he was on.
Rudi Skacel 7
Offered some width. We lacked that in the first half.
Stern John 6
Won a penalty and held the ball up well. Could start next game.