Verdict: Saints 0 Blackpool 1

Last updated : 31 August 2008 By Chris C
Line ups

Poortvliet kept his word making no changes from the previous league game including the bench despite the signings of Pekhart and Pulis earlier in the week.

However, Saints were a shadow of the side that outplayed Derby with several of the youngsters looking their age after the third game in a week.

The defence in particular was in chaos not helped by the lack of protection from Gillett and a strangely quiet Schneiderlin in front of them.

Going forward Saints were better in the first half, but faded badly in the second after going behind on the stroke of half time. Lallana and McGoldrick stood out and might have scored at least a goal each.


After an excellent week that saw the signing of two players, a new contract for Lallana and of course two wins, this looked like a game too far. Perhaps the expectation to win after being the underdog all season got to them.

Blackpool more than played their part and were a constant threat on the counter and on set pieces and could and should have scored more but for Kelvin Davies' agility and three disallowed goals!

Saints were too often guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net and with several of the youngsters short of their best, Saints lacked a real cutting edge. Even so Saints might have got at least a point with John missing a sitter late on, Lallana having an amazing three shots cleared off the line and McGoldrick hitting the corner of the post and crossbar.

After the excitement of the wins over Birmingham and Derby this was a reminder that this is a very young side still learning the game. When Plan A failed to spark, they lost confidence and shape resorting to some uncharacteristic long balls downfield.

A barmy afternoon didn't help with several players fading in the heat, but Saints didn't make it easy for themselves with some sloppy passing and insufficient pressure on the ball, particularly in the second half.

Today's frustration will reset expectation levels and will hopefull prove another valuable lesson in consistency for the youngsters. This side is not yet good enough to win the league, but is certainly good enough not to go out of the league.

Two steps forward, one step back, time is on their side.