Verdict: Saints 2 Bristol City 0

Last updated : 06 April 2008 By Chris C

Pearson made the three changes, bringing in Lucketti alongside Perry at the back, fit again Idiakez for Viafara and Wright-Phillips for Pericard.

It meant yet another defensive reshuffle at the back, but you wouldn't have known it from the assured performance of the back four who held their line superbly, led by a hugely impressive debut from Lucketti.

Even the loss of Vignal failed to upset the organised back line with Bristol trying and failing to spring the offside trap, with their attacks limited to a few dangerous balls into the box from set pieces.

It was a concern looking at the midfield line-up with again four central midfielders picked, but both Licka and Euell were on form getting down the flanks to good effect and making a nuisance of themselves in the box.

Up front John did what he did best and got on the end of chances and Wright-Phillips had one of his better games running the channels well and doing everything but score with Basso in simply inspired form.


In this most inconsistent of seasons, we shouldn't really be surprised that we comfortably beat the team top of the league! If only we could have played with that passion and organisation for the majority of the season we would be looking upwards not downwards.

If Saints had been more clinical in front of goal and Basso had not had such an impressive game it could have really all been over in the first half as Bristol simply failed to turn up, perhaps due to the pressure of being top and surprise at how well Saints played.

This was no fortunate win as against Leicester. The key was in midfield with Safri in control and Bristol giving us far too much space, allowing Idiakez to run the game at walking pace. Give him time and space and he is a quality player.

Just as results went against us last weekend, they went for us this weekend with Barnsley not playing, Leicester and Coventry losing and Sheffield Wednesday only drawing with Scunthorpe. We are by no means safe with tough games to come, but have to take encouragement by the potential shown in this performance.

So, we head to Charlton on Saturday, a team who outplayed us at home, but who have been inconsistent and have lost the imperious Andy Reid to Sunderland. We have to hope that Saints can pick up where we left off here and get a result at one of the pre-season title favourites.