The chief concern of us fans was our poor record in front of the Sky TV cameras. On several occasions we have been seen to turn up in name only not spirit.
There were no surprises in Saints starting eleven and we settled down to watch what was hopefully going to be a good game.
The match started fairly slowly and the first real danger was to be found in the Saints box when Paul Heffernan got a dangerous cross into the box with Jaidi deflecting it luckily into Davis’s arms.
Soon after Rickie Lambert collected the ball and turned Batth inside out before heading for goal but Batth reacted by pulling him back. His reward was the first yellow card.
The free-kick was struck well by Lambert but O’Donnell was able to get down quickly to save the shot.
Lallana was next in the action as he drifted out wide before turning and cutting inside. He shot firmly enough but wide.
then Chaplow got into the act when he chased a long ball down the right flank. The ball hit the corner flag and bounced back which he took full advantage of by beating Reynolds easily before passing to Lallana. Adam took another shot but his effort was tame and easily saved.
Wednesday were being pushed back mostly but when they did manage to break forward their final ball was usually poor.
When they did finally get a good cross into the box Gary Madine got a header in but it sailed well wide. Then in the 33rd minute Wednesday Osbourne powered forward dangerously until he unleashed a great shot which whistled just wide.
With Wednesday growing in confidence they came more into the game and started to cause a few problems for Saints defence.
Real chances were still hard to come by and both Morrison and Jones had attempts that went wide with Chamberlain showing us a glimpse of his talent as he cut in from the wing before curling a shot wide.
As time ran out Lallana sent a good inswinging cross into the box which caused pandemonium but eventually O’Donnell was able to collect the ball. HT 0-0.
The second half began with Davis coming off of his line quickly to stop Coke. Wednesday had started the second half brightly but Dean Hammond came really close on 51 minutes. Wednesday cleared the ball out to Dean some 20 yards out and he smashed the ball goalwards with O’Donnell diving brilliantly to turn the ball round the post.
Wednesday were still causing us a few problems and Butterfield did well to head a Teale cross clear as the Owls stormed forward.Then in the 59th minute Miller wasted a golden opportunity by hitting a free-kick directly into the heart of the wall.
Saints responded by making Wednesday pay the price for the miss. Lee Barnard had a shot deflected for a corner. Chamberlain sent in the corner and it was met by Jose Fonte and his header flew into the welcoming home for a Saints goal.
Weds immediately subbed the hampered Osbourne with Johnson. They then won another free-kick in a dangerous position after Chaplow fouled Madine.
The danger was cleared with Davis rising high to collect the resulting cross into the box. Then he sent a long ball forward to start another attack.
Lambert flicked the ball on to Barnard who turned and shot. The ball was deflected into Rickie Lambert’s path and our star striker raced in and superbly volleyed the ball home with his right foot. 2-0 and at last the game looked safe.
Chaplow then found Lallana with a great crossfield ball and he in turn struck the ball well. The ball smashed into the Post and luckily for Weds flew to safety.
Wednesday then made their second substitution with a former Saints loanie Darren Potter coming on for Miller.
Alex Chamberlain then brought another great save from O’Donnell as he curled a shot that looked to be heading for the far corner until the keeper flew across the goal to tip it away.
That was to be Chamberlain’s final act of the day as he was then substituted with Guly do Prado returning to the team from his lay-off through injury.
Weds had another chance to strike back but Jones could only head a Potter cross tamely goalwards giving Davis no trouble. Johnson then tried his luck from 20 yards but hit the ball well over.
With time running down Barnard was subbed by Jonathan Forte and then Adam Lallana was subbed at the death with Seaborne. Adam getting a rapturous round of applause for his efforts.
The added on time passed comfortably and Saints had finally managed to win a game with reasonable comfort in front of the Sky cameras. FT 2-0
Nigel Adkins – 7
Played what most fans would select as our strongest eleven but the team started slowly as it often seems to nowadays. The team improved gradually and after Nigel switched the formation to a normal 4-4-2 we saw more chances being made.
Gary Megson – 6
Played a tight game and frustrated Saints for an hour but ended up with few options.
The most pleasing aspect was the fact that we managed to win in front of the Sky TV cameras. Another win as we fight for a top two position and one that was earned without getting into top gear.