Never Give Up
• Fonte (og) 23 • Robinson 28
• Lambert 16, 85 (pen), 88 (pen)
Saturday, 17th March 2012
Match Report :
This was a great example of the old maxim, 'never give up'. With just over five minutes left Saints, although pressing hard, seemed dead and buried. Then came the two penalties, both of which there can be little argument about. Up steps Lambert to the plate.
Rickie Lambert, 28 goals, four hat-tricks, Football League Player of the Year. This man has the world eating from the palm of his hand. When one of the regulars on the IBO forum posted "Davies, Paine, Channon, Le Tissier, Lambert.", do you know what? It made perfect sense.
This game wasn't all about Rickie Lambert, at least not initially, but it was another giant step towards promotion. With nine games to go Saints are still top of the Championship, just as they were after the second game of the season. Now they need to hold their nerve, just as Saints fans need to hold theirs.
With Lee on crutches, Adkins opted to start Guly up front with Chaplow making a welcome return to the first team on the right. Saints started brightly and it wasn't Long before Rickie rattled the Millwall crossbar. Shortly after that Danny Fox found Morgan Schneiderlin in space and he squared it for Lambert to lash into the roof of the net.
So far, so good. Except that just over five minutes later the Saints defence allowed a mêlée to develop around the goal. Keogh shot from close range. The shot hit the post and rebounded straight into Fonte and from there into the net.
Another five minutes passed and a Saints defensive mistake allowed robinson time and space to hit a piledriver shot that fizzed past Davis into the net. The balance of the game had now swung away from them and change was needed.
The teams came out for the second half and Adkins decided on reorganisation. Off came Chaplow and on came De Ridder. He had an immediate impact and had a decent chance which Robinson deflected. After that the game got bogged down in a midfield battle, but not without it's moments. Like when Bouazza drew a good stop from Davis.
As the clock ran down it looked as if Millwall were going to get the three points until with about five minutes to go Saints were pressuring the Millwall goal and Rickie Lambert was unceremoniously upended in the box and Mr. Graham pointed to the spot. Up steps Lambert. Goal.
With less than two minutes remaining Saints were again pressing the Millwall goal and as the ball came into the area Dunne appeared to palm the ball away. Mr.Graham pointed to the spot again. Lambert stepped up again. Goal again. Hat-trick. Match winner.
A priceless win.
Attendance : 12,144
08 Bouazza (Feeney - 90' )
14 Henry Booked
07 Henderson (Kane - 77' Booked )
14 Hammond (Sharp - 63' )
18 Chaplow (De Ridder - 46' )
20 Lallana (Cork - 90' )
33 De Ridder