Extended player ratings: Saints 0 Bristol 1

Last updated : 10 November 2008 By Chris C

Starting line-up

Davis - 8: Man of the match yet again. The penalty save was the icing on the cake of another excellent performance where he had to perform the role of sweeper with the defence in front of him unable to deal with simple balls over the top. Some eye-catching saves and improved command of his box. Could do nothing with the expertly placed Bristol goal.

Cork - 6: Some moments of real class on the ball and in defence, he is a far better option than Lloyd James at present and fits in well with Saints' passing football. However, he had a difficult afternoon against the lively McIndoe with much of Bristol's best attacking play coming down his side, although this was in part due to the lack of cover from Thompson in front of him.

Lancashire - 4: Despite some good tackles on the ground and clearances in the air, he does not look ready for this level. Uncertain under simple balls over the top and caught out of position too often, he is also still prone to rash sliding tackles around the box. Plenty of potential, but he should be learning his trade on loan or in the reserves. Missed a good headed chance from a corner.

Pearce - 5: Good aggression in and around the box, but didn't offer the necessary leadership to help the equally young Lancashire alongside him. Should be a good option alongside the experience of Perry or Svensson, if Saints can get one of them on the pitch on a consistent basis.

Skacel - 5: Added experience to a young backline and made one crucial interception in the six yard box to prevent a Bristol tap-in. However, still looks short of fitness and needed to impose himself more on the game and build a partnership with the debutant starter Gobern in front of him. One piledriver of a freekick deflected for a corner, another less impressive effort sailed over. His sometimes magical left foot was wasted at left back as he resorted to punts down the line.

Wotton - 4: No lack of effort and communication, but no real quality as the game passed him by. Failed to get on top of a lively Bristol midfield and didn't help retain possession with some wayward long passing. In his defence, he often lacked support in the centre to break up Bristol's attacks.

Surman - 7: A player visibly growing in maturity now he has moved to central midfield, he drove Saints forward with some incisive running and passing. One lovely backheel to play in Lallana deserved better. Let himself down by wasting some promising attacks through overhit passes and freekicks, but no one could fault his effort and desire to win.

Gobern - 5: Not the impact of last week's second half cameo, as early nerves got the better of him. Looked uncertain as to where he was supposed to be on the pitch and what he was supposed to be doing. Quick and tall for 17, he did show signs of his potential with some lively tackles and attacking play. May have been better suited to coming off the bench at this early stage in his career.

Thompson - 5: Early on looked Saints best chance of getting behind the Bristol defence with a couple of lively runs, but that was about it for a player substituted at half time. Failed to offer Jack Cork enough protection at right back and needed to get involved more in the play. Another who doesn't look quite ready yet for this level.

Lallana - 7: Showed some sublime close control to weave his way through the Bristol defence as he looked Saints best source of an opening. However, needs to add some steel toe-caps to his ballet shoes to improve his powderpuff shooting!

McGoldrick - 6: Despite lacking any real support up front, he did his best to play the lone striker role he is not ideally suited to. Tried to replicate his heroics against Preston with some runs from distance, but took on one man too many. Toe-poked wide from his one real chance, but an incorrect linesman's flag saved his blushes.


Wright-Phillips - 5: Like Gobern, failed to make the impact seen at Preston with many of his runs well clear of the danger area. His pace helped stretch the Bristol defence, but he didn't look like scoring. May have been better suited to pushing up alongside McGoldrick in a 4-4-2.

Euell - 6: Made things happen when he came on adding vital height and experience to Saints' side, but his rustiness cost Saints the chance of a draw when he sliced wide a simple chance on the edge of the six yard box when put through by a superb Lallana pass.

Pekhart - 5: Failed to use his extra height to any real effect against some experienced defenders. Needs to offer more to get nearer the starting line-up.


Poortvliet - 5: Claimed he couldn't understand why his players were so poor in the first half, until going 1-0 down fired them up, but isn't that the manager's job? Players still seem unsure of their roles in the 4-2-1-2-1, with the wingers failing to support either the lone front man or their full backs.