EFL Cup - Round 3
Referee : James Adcock
Attendance : 14,080
Crystal Palace 50%
Crystal Palace 6
Shots on Target
Crystal Palace 2
Crystal Palace 4
Crystal Palace 6
Southampton v Crystal Palace
St.Mary’s - Wednesday, 21st September 2016
> Another penalty from Charlie Austin
> A first goal from Jake Hesketh
> 3 games, 3 wins in a week, 6 goals for, 0 against
IBO Reporter : ormerdog
There's nothing like the early rounds of the EFL Cup to get the footballing juices going, as the saying definitely goes. This was a game Claude and many players could do without but the league cup represents an opportunity to have a squizz at how some of Saints' latest batch of prodigious nippers are progressing. Targett, Hesketh and Reed all started this one, as well as seasoned veteran James Ward-Prowse. Austin and Long both started too, so surely this means a 4-4-2 and getting it forward to the big man at every opportunity, right shirleymush? Lets hope so reader(s). Pardiola fielded a strong side including regular first teamers Zaha, Dann, Ward, Delaney and err...Wickham (Are they regulars? I don't bloody know really).
My frantic search for a stream ended up fruitless for first 15 minutes but from what I could make out Hesketh was doing some nice things and Reed was looking very keen and buzzing around asking for the ball off everyone (this could be because I occasionally mistook him for Clasie too). Austin was doing his usual playground goalhogger impression and had a few early chances, but was offside for both of them, once very lazily. He also gave Hesketh a roasting for not putting a ball in early at one point. He had a point, but I don't think there was any need for him to make it for the benefit of everyone else. As you can tell I've decided I don't like him.
After 18 minutes Scott Dann got injured and came off for Henry Kelly. The former Going for Gold man covered himself in glory on 32 minutes by mis-controlling a Martina cross. Long pounced on it and Kelly decided to lunge in and bring him down. Penalty. Nice one. Up stepped everyone's favourite penalty king Charlie Austin who sent Hennessey the wrong way and bobbled it into the corner. 1-0 saints. This proved to be the proverbial rocket up our arse and from that point Saints were totally dominant. First Austin volleyed over from a Long pull back that was at a slightly awkward height, then Hesketh, who was gradually growing into the game, turned into Roberto Baggio. First he held off his man and slipped a perfect through ball into Austin. Hennessey rushed out and smothered the shot well. 30 seconds later and Hesketh was at it again, this time a perfectly weighted ball picked out Martina's thundering run but the angle closed on him and he dragged his shot wide. Then on the stroke of half time another peach of a pass finds Long clean through. He rounds the keeper but his finish is poor and it's cleared off the line.
My stream went a bit dodgy again at the start of the second but it all seemed very comfortable. Austin was hauled off on 55 minutes to be replaced by Redmond. A smart move by Puel. Palace would surely start leaving gaps his pace could exploit. NB - Puel was wearing a black v neck jumper and white shirt which made him look a bit like Ben Stiller playing a social sciences lecturer in a pseudo independent coming of age film about university life in California. Just saying.
Saints did begin to a look a bigger threat on the break and on 62 minutes Hesketh got the goal he so richly deserved. JWP did his best Jake Hesketh impression by slipping in Long, Long did his best Shane Long impression by doing everything right until the finish, Hennessey saved and Hesketh slammed it in from the edge with his left foot. 2-0. Game over. Palace get even worse from this point. Zaha was in Targett's pocket and Fonte has got Benteke even more tightly marked. In his pants perhaps. Smothered by his manly Portuguese arse cheeks. Cor.
McCarthy had very little to do but looked assured in coming for the odd cross and saving well at Wickham's feet. Saints see it out for another win, another clean sheet and another reason to be optimistic about how things are shaping up.
We are looking good, make no mistake. Big commercial radio DJ style shout outs to Harry Reed for an action packed performance, Targett, who gets better every time I see him, Long and Martina. But Hesketh is the one to crow about. I know it's only the League Cup, I know it's only a half-arsed Palace, I know it's only one game, but if we can't get excited about a performance like that then who can? This lad has poise, deceptive strength, skill and most importantly and rarely for someone his age, golden vision, and the ability to translate it into perfect footballing reality. What I'm trying to say is...he's off to Liverpool in January. Forza Saints.
33 Targett - Booked 80'
42 Hesketh (Højbjerg 77')
7 Long (Tadić 88')
10 Austin (Redmond 57')
6 Dann (Kelly 19')
7 Cabaye - Booked 85'
22 Mutch (Puncheon 69')
14 Lee Chung-yong
26 Sako (C Benteke 65')
17 C Benteke