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Bolton

Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Ref: Hill
Att: 10,251

Southampton

01 Davis
03 Harding - yellow card
06 Fonte
12 Butterfield (Mills 82)
17 Martin
04 Schneiderlin - yellow card (Oxlade-Chamberlain 75)
10 Puncheon
14 Hammond - yellow card
20 Lallana - yellow card
07 Lambert (Connolly 78)
09 Barnard

Substitutes
24 Bialkowski
05 Dickson
15 Jaidi
18 Mills
16 Wotton
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain
22 Connolly

Bolton

01 Bogdan
12 Knight
18 Ricketts
25 Alonso
31 O'Brien
07 Taylor
11 Gardner (Holden 66)
16 Davies - yellow card
14 Davies - yellow card
17 Klasnic (Elmander 46)
20 Blake

Substitutes
22 Jaaskelainen
04 Robinson
05 Cahill
06 Muamba
08 Holden
10 Petrov
09 Elmander

Southampton 0

Bolton 1

• Klasnic 31

Just got home. A bit late so maybe a bit shorter report. Do not be fooled by the score, saints were in this game for 90 minutes and any neutral looking at the game would not have thought that Bolton were a Premiership side.

Saints started well and played some neat football, Bolton played ugly kick and run football. Their centre half Zat Knight must be 6' 4'' or more but he was all safety first, heading and kicking in to touch when under any pressure. The Bolton goal was a typical Bolton goal, a long ball won by Kevin Davies who laid off a good ball to a supporting Bolton player - result goal. But in truth they did not look like scoring again until late in the second half when Kelvin Davis made a superb save which was then ushered off the goal line by Harding. The ref allowed a lot of pushing and shoving and as you would expect Kevin Davies was always in the thick of it. Even at 1-0 down I thought saints had the better of the first half. We might have had a penalty but the ref decided Adam Lalanna had dived. Could not really see from where I was . Having said that I think I had my best ever seat today, right behind the home dug-out just about three rows behind the substitutes. Could see all the action from the bench.

Second half no changes to start with and I could not see any need to change, Bolton were there for the taking. But it was not to be, even though we really got amongst them. Eventually AP made his changes and I agreed with all three of them, especially when he went 3 at the back, even if meant taking Rickie Lambert off. He had looked in a bit better form than on Saturday but still not back to his best, his free kicks were a bit wayward apart from one beauty in the second half that I think most of the ground thought was in. He rarely won much in the air which is unlike Rickie.

Saints finished the stronger team, with Bolton playing for time in the corner during the last five minutes. Owen Coyle was spitting blood and fire on the touchline throughout the game, he looks a candidate for an early heart attack!

I thought saints had no big weaknesses tonight and played the better football against a big powerful side. Davis in goal had little to do and did what he had to do well, especially that great save in the second half. Butterfield gets better and better, Fonte and young Aaron Martin had their work cut out, but to be fair Bolton did not get many efforts on goal, Harding played well and in midfield both Hammond and Schneiderlin were far better than last Saturday against L Orient. So too was Puncheon who was more effective. Adam Lalanna was here there and everywhere and looked head and shoulders above anything the visitors had. They targeted Adam early on and I felt the ref did little to protect him, but he just gets up and gets on with it. Up front Barnard carried on where he let off against Leyton O and Rickie Lambert was a bit more involved in the early stages but he is still not looking as dangerous as last season yet.

The team really went for it in the closing stages and deserved at
least to take the game in to extra time, but maybe it might be for
the best that we went out of a cup that I doubt we have any chance of winning. But don't be despondent, we were not out played at any time during this game, out muscled and bullied perhaps, but we gave a goodaccount of ourselves. We just need a bit of strength and inspiration from midfield!

Herbie

The following was added the next day :

A couple of extra thoughts on last nights game, the stadium had rows and rows of empty seats. With only just over 10,000 attending the game I thought the gate was poor, but looking at the low crowds in all the other games from last night I suppose we must have been in the top 5 or 6 for attendance. The atmosphere was a bit flat as the ground was only a third full, (or two thirds empty) I felt that a full stadium with noisy support might have got us a result. So maybe the club got their pricing wrong. Bolton are not an attractive fixture even in the Premier League so maybe a lower ticket price during school holidays would have see a much bigger gate.

I don't see why any football club can't see that even a two thirds full stadium with a lower ticket price is better than a small crowd like last night at a higher price. I have always believed that every fan starts by coming to a game (or on a stadium tour!) You have to get youngsters in to the stadium and then get them hooked. Then they come again, and again, etc. Last night was a lost opportunity as we are coming to the end of the school holidays and family's might have jumped at a chance to go to watch a game at a price they could afford.

I don't know how much an adult ticket cost but I paid £18 for a concessions and it was £10.50 car parking at the stadium. Too expensive for some pensioners, but then I would go without a meal to watch saints! Maybe something to bring up at the forthcoming saints forum! Or do we need a fan on the Board or the Committee to put these points over.

I see the price for tickets for the JPT are better. £12 adults and £10 for OAP's and kids. But it goes up by £3 buying online and by £2 on the day. I don't expect a full stadium at those prices.

It was a pretty good game last night and saints were unlucky to lose. I was much happier last night, even though we lost, than I was on Saturday when we drew. With our new addition and maybe one more before saturday I am optimistic. There are a lot of points still to play for and once we get on a run I feel we will do well this season but we do need to fill the stadium and make St Mary's a fortress.

Herbie