Southampton brought striker Lee Barnard back and picked Ryan Dickson ahead of Harding at left back. Danny Butterfield and Aaron Martin returned to the matchday squad with places on the bench.
The game started with Peterborough attacking the Chapel End. The dull atmosphere outside the ground was apidly extinguished inside when Lallana started the Saints first attack within a minute of the start.
Taking a free-kick from the foul on him he whipped in a wicked cross which Lewis the keeper did well to hold. Moments later young Alex Chamberlain managed to get a shot in and then on five minutes a move which showed us Saints were on their game.
Chamberlain received the ball tapped it past Williams and left him for dead before sending in a great cross which was met superbly by Adam Lallana only to see Lewis make a brilliantly save at point blank range.
Soon after from another free-kick Lambert surprised Posh by not shooting direct from a 25 yard free-kick. Instead he passed to Hammond who found Barnard and his goalbound shot was blocked by the defence.
Lallana then got in on the act when his near post effort was pushed over the bar brilliantly by Lewis for a corner. The corner was fizzed in by Lallana and barnard saw his low dive cleared off of the line.
Fonte then saw a firm header well saved before Posh broke free and in a swift counter Mackail-Smith forced Kelvin Davis into a goood save. One on one he saw Kelvin make a good one handed save to keep the shot out.
With Saints playing some great attacking play it was Dickson who next made the crowd stand on it’s feet in anticipation. He burst down the left flank before picking out Lallana but The ball was just too far in front of him and the chance went begging.
In the 18th minuye another fre-kick outside the box was taken by Lambert. This time he shot only to see the ball scrape the post as it hit the side netting.
The game began to slow but Saints were still playing with a lot of movement and flair as they tried to open up the Posh defence. This we finally did in the 27th minute when Barnard hammered a Lambert pass into the roof of the net.
Minutes later Chamberlain showed us more of his amazing skill as he tried to force his way past the defence on the right before crossing to the far post with several Saints players waiting.
The half continued in much the same vein with Saints doing most of the attacking and pressing hard when Posh had the ball. Half-time came and the fans were left wondering how we had only managed a single goal.
The crowd was wondering whether we would be able to start as well in the second half and were overjoyed to see the way that the team came out of the starting blocks.
A short interchangfe between Hammond and Dickson saw the full back go down the line before crossing a brilliant ball into the box for Jose Fonte to head powerfully home to double our lead. Less than a minute into the half and the fans were singing their hearts out.
Posh replied by Mackail-Smith again forcing Davis into a fine save before we struck again. Hammond this time sped down the left after receiving the ball before he crossed for Richard Chaplow to hammer home with a shot on the volley. A great move and a great finish to surely make the game safe.
Barnard who is still catrrying a slight groin niggle was immediately replaced to give him a well earned rest by Guly Do Prado on 50 minutes.
Radhi Jaidi was nearly the next name on the scoresheet as he headed narrowly wide from another Lallana corner.
Peterborough then made two substitutions with Tomlin and Clayton replaced by Adam Clayton and James Weslowski. This appeared to work as Posh looked far more secure as a result.
With Saints perhaps taking their foot of the gas a little Posh came more into the game though Guly was proving to be a bit of a handful to the Posh defence.
On 67 minutes Davies shot was saved by Davis and soon after Saints made another substitution. Lee Holmes coming on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who like Barnard received a rapturous round of applause for his efforts.
A mix-up in the Saints defence then led to Peterborough nearly scoring. A Mclean header was saved with the loose ball falling to Langmead who blasted just over.
McCann then made way for Mendez-Laing as Posh made their final substitution. Almost immediately Posh broke through with McLean going one on one with Kelvin Davis and placing the ball into the far side of the net to give the visitors some hope.
Jaidi then headed wide again as Saints returned to the attack. Then Guly saw an effort saved as he headed a Holmes cross goalward.
Straight after another free-kick which Holmes took was headed magnificently home by Guly to give Saints a three goal cushion once more.
Connolly came on for Lambert in the 82nd minute and still the Saints pressed forward looking for more. A Connolly shot on the turn was saved comfortably by Lewis as the clock ran down.
As time ran out it looked certain that we were going to see a fifth goal when a superb through ball from Holmes sent Guly clear only for him to hammer the ball wide. A minute later and Guly saw another effort saved well by the Posh keeper Lewis.
The referee blew his whistle and the euphoric crowd gave the team a standing ovation for the performance that they had witnessed. Many were left wondering how we had only managed to score the four goals but all supremely happy with a performance of distinct menace.
A great day at the office for all concerned and especially for Ryan Dickson who is quickly making the left back spot his.
Kelvin Davis 7
Made a good save save before we scored and was on hand to make a couple more before Posh finally scored.
Frazer Richardson 7
Solid in defence and made some good runs forward with some good crosses as well. Improving with every game as he regains maych fitness.
Jose Fonte 8
Our star defender was almost back to his best and this will be pleasing to the management as we search for more performances like this.
Radhi Jaidi 7
Had a much better game and was big and strong in the air. His partnership with Fonte looked much better as he played a second successive game.
Ryan Dickson 8
More powerful performances from Ryan like this and the leftback position will definitely be his. Defended well and was often impressive with his forward runs when linking up with the midfield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 8
Alex has been the spark that gets this team moving. He complements the trick skills of Lallana and can play on both flanks. His speed is frightening and his youthfulness allows him to take on players without fear.
Dean Hammond 7
Dean looks as if he is finally returning to his best as he settles into his new partnership with Chaplow. Made some great tackles and a few good runs.
Richard Chaplow 8*
Richard is my man of the match for the way he is starting to help dictate to opponents as his partnership with Hammond, and confidence grows.He ran non-stop and tackled and passed well. Scored a great goal and his link-up play helped make this game as easy as it was.
Lee Barnard 7
Another spirited performance from Lee and another goal to add to his tally. Worked his socks off for the cause as normal.
Rickie Lambert 7
Had a better game but still needs to score a goal to start him off on a goal fest. Made some intelligent flicks and passes and helped with the link play.
Adam Lallana 7
Adam was his usual tricky self and could have scored a couple of goals with a lesser goalkeeper facing him. had big part in several moves and his link play was pleasing on the eye.
Lee Holmes 7
His cameo role was a genuine nudge to the manager as he did well and showed a lot of skill. Best cameo seen from him for ages and hopefully his injury nightmare is now over. His return to fitness is a big boost for the team.
Guly do Prado 7
Came on for Barnard and scored our fourth goal. After a momentary lapse where he got told off for not tracking back he put in a good alround display. Would have had an eight but for wasting two great opportunities after he had scored, through getting over excited.
Didn’t have much time to impress but linked well and did have one good snapshot.
8 – Set the team up well and bringing in Dickson and leaving Chaplow and Hammond in midfield showed that he is learning about the team all of the time. After a great first half he had the team raring to go and they came out for the second half even more ready than for the first. Good substitutions as well which always helps.
Gary Johnson made a double substitution which worked and there wasn’t a lot he could have done on the day with Saints in such a powerful mood. 6
Nigel praised the side’s ruthlessness and said that we could have had even more as posh keeper Lewis made several outstanding saves.