Extended player ratings: Saints 1 Doncaster 2

Last updated : 17 January 2009 By Chris C
Starting line-up

Davis - 7: Commanded his area well with a porous Saints defence in front of him and made his trademark set of impressive saves to keep Saints in touch. Could do little with the two goals, one a fortunate deflection where the whole defence stopped playing and the second when the Doncaster player was allowed to waltz all the way to the goal.

James - 5: Reasonable performance from James who now looks solid in defence where once he looked lost at sea. Made some strong challenges on the ground and in the air, some better timed than others. Still lacked understanding with the two central defenders and was guilty of letting the player stroll past him for the second. Still crosses from far too deep making it far too easy for the defenders - will you please stop doing that every single game?!

Saeijs - 6: A ringer for Claus Lundekvam, but actually with a turn of pace, the Dutchman is the leader we have been lacking in defence. He was strong in the air, aggressive in the tackle and a calming presence at the back. However, he has to take his share of the blame for the gaps in the Saints defence that Doncaster exploited.

Perry - 5: Unspectacular performance from the previously in-form Perry who put in some well-timed challenges and some key headers under pressure in the box, but still lacked understanding with the newly formed defence alongside him. Clearly angry at being substituted, he had a point and would have been a better option in the back three than Molyneux.

Molyneux - 4: Decidedly average performance from Molyneux who on only his second first team appearance looked short of the quality required even at this level. May well improve with experience, but offered little going forward and failed to dominate in defence. Whether he wants out or not, Rudi has to come back into the side when available again.

Scheiderlin - 4: Looked a luxury player as Saints lost the midfield battle. Too often found strolling through the game, his wayward positioning left Surman exposed with far too much ground to cover. Still has plenty of quality as some impressive crosses and touches showed but needs to do more without an aggressive defensive midfield partner alongside him.

Surman - 6: Lacked support from Scheiderlin limiting his impact on the game, but still managed to show some class on the ball, particularly at the start and finish of the game. Played his part in Saganowski's goal with the run and pass. Needs to cut out some of his wayward passing to make the next step up. Looks short of confidence in front of goal.

Holmes - 5: Inexplicably played on the right, this meant he kept having to cut in on his left foot rather than reaching the byline. Lacked his early season confidence in the final third, wasting some crosses and rashly shooting wide when in acres of space and with time for a touch. More to come from a player working his way back to fitness.

Wright-Phillips - 5: Likewise inexplicably played on the left, but he still made a nuisance of himself showing good pace and skill, but not the finishing quality to match. Had a decent chance at the death to equalise with a header, but was unable to find the power or direction required. Competed better than of late and earned a booking for dissent when frustration got the better of him.

McGoldrick - 5: Started full of confidence, tackling back and working himself chances, but drifted out of the game until the Doncaster goals woke him up again. Still needs too many chances to score, but can at least create them with his skill on the ball. May yet prove a decent partner to Saganowski if he can match the Pole's excellent movement.

Saganowski - 8: A goal at St Mary's gets you an 8 by itself these days, but this came with a performance to match as the hard working striker showed just how to play the centre forward role with his movement and cool head in front of goal. Worked the keeper with nearly all the chances that came his way and had a header cleared off the line. Deserved his goal slotting confidently into the bottom corner. Despite poor service showed that hard work can earn you a goal.


Smith - 6: Looked lively and full of running when he came on, but why oh why was another left footer played on the right, limiting his ability to get decent crosses in? Piledriver from 25 yards came out of the blue and was well tipped over by Sullivan.
Lallana - 4: Despite some silky skills, the youngster played like a headless chicken charging around to little effect, with a shot that missed even the corner flag summing up his cameo. Shot wastefully from distance in injury time with colleagues much better placed. Will be much better when fitter but needs a clear role in the team to get the best out of his talent. And some shooting boots.