Friday, 10 February 2012

Lions Have Last Laugh At Saints' Expense

Southampton crashed out of the FA Cup after a last minute winner from Millwall in their fourth round replay at St. Mary’s. The visitors took the lead from Liam Trotter which was cancelled out by Adam Lallana’s well-taken equaliser before half-time. Substitute Rickie Lambert put the hosts ahead in the second half with Millwall replying through Dany N’Guessan with Liam Feeney firing home the winner in stoppage time to set up a home tie with Bolton. 

The Saints were looking to reach the fifth round of the competition for the first time in two years after a 4-1 defeat by arch rivals Portsmouth whereas for Millwall, they were looking to reach the same feat since their run to the final back in 2004. The match started with a high temp as the Saints had the first shot of the match through Steve De Ridder whose left-footed strike lofted high and wide of the left post. The visitors soon came back into the match moving the ball around the pitch very well with the Saints doing the chasing where it is usually the opposite. Millwall's domination of possession was soon to be rewarded as on 17 minutes, Liam Trotter played a one-two pass with Tottenham loanee Harry Kane on the edge of the area and Trotter curled the ball past Bartosz Bialkowski to score his sixth goal of the season. 

Liam Trotter puts Millwall ahead at St. Mary's

The visitors could have doubled their lead minutes later after when Ryan Mason was in a one-on-one situation with Bialkowski however he fired the ball into the side netting. Southampton gave a first start to Japanese international Tadanari Lee who lined up front with Guly Do Prado and Lee's pace was a very exciting sight as he looked to get onto the end of every pass that he could. The new partnership couldn't conjure up an equaliser for the hosts however it was a popular figure who would put them back into the match. On 35 minutes, Frazer Richardson delivered a long ball from the halfway for Adam Lallana to control the ball on the edge of the area to run past defender Tony Craig and finished with a low left-footed strike into the back of the net. The equaliser gave the Saints a huge lift as they looked to get a second straight away. They could have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time where De Ridder delivered an inviting cross for Guly Do Prado to head towards goal which produced a fantastic reflex save by David Forde to his left with Adam Lallana shooting over from the rebound. 

POPULAR FIGURE: Adam Lallana equalises for the Saints

In the second half, the Saints adopted into a diamond in midfield which has seemed to work very frequently for them this season. The pace of Tadanari Lee continued to cause problems for the Millwall backline where a misplaced pass from a Millwall defender let him through on goal however he put his side wide. Moments later, Lee won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area where Adam Lallana's effort struck off the crossbar. Millwall went on the attack at the other end where José Fonte's misplaced clearance found midfielder Henry whose low curling effort away from goal produced a superb one handed save from Bialkowski to go out for a corner. The Pole was called into action again when he denied Liam Trotter's volley from Alan Dunne's cross. 

Nigel Adkins made two substitutions in a matter of minutes where he brought on tallisman Rickie Lambert for Guly Do Prado and youngster Ben Reeves was given a run out after replacing Richard Chaplow who made his comeback from injury after two months out. Lee had another chance to open his account for the Saints however he fired his close range shot over the crossbar. It was end-to-end play with Harry Kane having his effort saved around the far post by Bialkowski who was producing some vital saves for the Saints. It was the home side who took the lead for the first time in the match through substitute Rickie Lambert's low placed shot past Forde after a quick move on the right hand side. Moments later, Lee Barnard replaced Steve De Ridder for the last ten minutes to see the match out however Millwall had other ideas. James Henry delivered in the cross for former Saints loanee Dany N'Guessan to head home past Bialkowski to make it an interesting last ten minutes for both teams. Former Bournemouth player Liam Feenery replaced N'Guessan soon after and the Saints had the ball in the back of the net again through Ben Reeves however his goal was disallowed for offside. When the clock his 90 minutes, both teams were given three more minutes to find the all important winner. The last laugh would come from the Lions as a quickly taken free-kick, from a needless foul from José Fonte on the halfway line, was launched up the left hand side up to Liam Feeney who ran towards the edge of the penalty area, took on Frazer Richardson and unleashed a wonderful strike past a flying Bialkowski to seal a home tie against Bolton Wanderers in the fifth round.

LAST GASP WINNER: Bartosz Bialkowski watches the ball fly into his
net as Millwall net the winner

                                                Southampton               2 – 3           Millwall
Lallana (35)                                                      Trotter (17)
            Lambert (77)                                                     N'Guessan (79)
                                                                                      Feeney (90 + 2)

            21 Bialkowski                                                   1 Forde
  2 Richardson                                                  2 Dunne
  3 Harding                                                       3 Craig
  6 Fonte                                                         16 Barron
16 Martin                                                        18 Ward
10 Do Prado (Lambert 54)                               6 Trotter
14 Hammond                                                  14 Henry
18 Chaplow (Reeves 60)                                 32 Mason
20 Lallana                                                        44 Wright
33 De Ridder (Barnard 77)                              22 N’Guessan (Feeney 84)
19 Lee                                                             37 Kane

Substitutes                                            Substitutes
1 Davis                                                            13 Allsopp
15 Jaidi                                                            21 Smith
28 Reeves                                                       28 McClaren
32 Stephens                                                     12 Hackett
30 Ward-Prowse                                              15 Feeney
  7 Lambert                                                        9 Marquis
  9 Barnard                                                     

Referee: Whitestone
Attendance: 8,493

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sean,

    Great work, really enjoying it! Keep it up :)