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Dagenham & Redbridge

Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Ref: Danny McDermid
Att:
20,161

Southampton
01 Davis
02 Richardson
03 Harding
06 Fonte
19 Seaborne
14 Hammond
20 Lallana
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Schneiderlin 81)
30 Chaplow
07 Lambert (Guly 64)
09 Barnard (Bignall 63)

Substitutes
24 Bialkowski
05 Dickson
15 Jaidi
04 Schneiderlin
10 Puncheon
11 Guly
31 Bignall


Dagenham & Redbridge

30 Lewington
04 Doe (Walsh 74)
06 Arber
12 Ifil
20 Vindelot - yellow card
03 McCrory
07 Green
15 Scannell (Nurse 66)
18 Taiwo
10 Scott
11 Tomlin (Pinney 77)

Substitutes
17 Currie
33 Gain
35 Pinney
09 Nurse
16 Savage
31 Walsh

Southampton 4

• Oxlade-Chamberlain 11, 37
• Barnard 56
• Fonte 69

Dagenham & Redbridge 0


I love football under floodlights and this game lived up to my expectations. There were changes made my NA tonight, he started with the pace of Chamberlain out on the right with Puncheon having to drop to the bench. Chaplow partnered Hammond in central midfield with Lalanna out on the left. The defence was the same as at Notts County with Richardson at right back in place of the injured Butterfield.

The game started with a bit of a flurry with saints looking to take the game to Dagenham with the lively Chamberlain looking dangerous. The visitors did not follow the usual pattern of trying to stifle us with a packed midfield, they played with an ambitious 4 -4 -2 This enabled saints to move the ball around and after about ten minutes saints took the lead our attacking play merited, but truth be told it was a fortuitous goal but it was made by the persistence and pace of Chamberlain as he harassed and harried the opposing full back before crossing high to the far post where a swirling wind lofted it over a despairing 'keeper. There was no denying though that we were worth the goal start.

Dagenham had some lively forwards and they stretched our defence at times and Davis had to make a superb finger tip save to help the ball over the bar from a snap shot hit with power. But gradually our passing game began to impose itself and it was young Chamberlain again who scored the goal, he burst down the right wing and turned their full back inside out before lofting the ball into almost the same spot as his earlier goal. From my seat I thought he looked up and spotted the 'keeper off his line before curling the ball over him - others might say he intended it to be a cross but not a shot - but by the way he was mobbed by his team mates I think he meant it. He certainly has the skill to score that sort of goal. I think at 2-0 up the game was won, Dangenham did not know how to handle either Lalanna or Chamberlain who made life for their defenders more difficult by changing wings occasionally.

Half time came with saints not having played at their best but still two goals to the good. No complaints from me for that.

No changes at half time although Hammond had limped off at half time with the trainer going on the pitch to meet him, it must have been just a knock as he looked ok as he came out for this second half. Saints took control and it was nearly all one way traffic with saints carving out some good chances but they could not quite finish then off, but I would have been more worried if we weren't making those chances.

Our pressure brought its reward, and what a beautifully created and finished goal it was, one for the purists and typical of what Nigel Adkins is trying to get the team to do. A ball down the channel was superbly and deliberately headed over a defender by Lambert right in to the path of Lallana running down the wing outside of him, Adam took the ball in his stride, jinked inside and then back again outside, leaving two defenders floundering as he headed to the byline where he hit a superb pass all the way along the ground right in to the path of an onrushing Barnard who had a simple task to hit the back of the net. This was right in front of where I was sat and it looked like a training ground routine.
The visitors were finished and NA knew that, so with a half an hour still to go he had the luxury and the courage to bring off his two main strikers Lambert and Barnard to replace them with Guly and Bignall. This is in keeping with his ' we are a squad, not just a team' philosophy.

This did not appear to weaken the team too much and with Chaplow running the midfield, tackling like a terrier and breaking forward in to space, saints had full control of the game. The final goal game with 20 minutes to go and again a superbly created and finished goal. Chamberlain was set free, this time down the left, where his pace, ball control and determination got him to the by-line and he hit a pin point cross on the run at full pace and Fonte coming from deep rose to head home. These two second half goals were both well worth the admission money. Young Alex Chamberlain had run himself in to the ground and appeared to have cramp and again the astute NA spotted this and brought him off with ten minutes to go to a standing ovation not just from the crowd but his team mates and the bench. Schneiderlin replaced him with Lallana going out wide right and Bignall wide left with Gully up front.

Saints could not add to their goal tally, but 4 goals, a clean sheet, 3 points and no bookings. What more could we ask for?

I think Nigel Adkins is beginning to forge a good squad with a good work ethic, along with skill and team work. Some of our passing at times, especially in the second half, was not only a pleasure to watch but it had purpose. We were never going to lose this game. Of course Chamberlain will get the head lines and well he deserves them, some of his crosses tonight were top drawer, but Chaplow had his best game for saints, his work rate is great, he gets up and down the pitch and on this form he is the terrier in midfield we have been looking for. If he had a nose for goal he might have scored 2 or 3 tonight as he found himself in some good goal scoring positions but it was his determination to win the ball that caught the eye.

Lambert did not score but he is getting in to good positions, and the goals will come from open play again if he keeps getting in the right places, as usual his lay off passes are good and he brings others in to play. Lallana at times threatened to takeover the game and I think this was our best midfield display at home this season. Our bench again looked strong and we now have competition for places all over the team. We will play better, but a 4-0 win satisfied me.

This squad is well worth supporting and Nigel Adkins and his staff are forging a great unit. You can see what he wants and what a joy it is for an oldie like me to see us play with two wide men. Can't wait for Saturday to come round - I am enjoying my football - please don't say it was only Dagenham and Redbridge, we have lost to worse teams that them in the past and you can only beat what is in front of you. Be happy, the future is bright, it is red and white. Now get on the phone tomorrow and get your ticket for Saturday and see for yourselves. This is an emerging team.

Herbie ( 11.45 time for bed )