Tilly salutes fans as Saints send Shrimpers to last day defeat

09 May 2010 01:48
Southampton 3 Southend United 1: A Rickie Lambert brace saw off a brave effort by the relegated Shrimpers who took the lead at St. Mary's with all four goals coming in the second half. So Tilly kept to his word, and loanee Scott Vernon was dropped to allow the youthful forward line off former Saint Matt Paterson to start along with Harry Crawford.Other than that it was the same as Stockport, the difference was the subs bench looking like a school outing as Bentley, Milner, Woodyard and Smith all took their place.The official total was 1,105 away fans packed into a rain swept St. Mary's once again giving more than they received and it was in line with the miserable season coming to an end that the side lost, it would have been strange to have seen any other result!All the goals came in the second period, though the first was lively enough at times with Paterson trying to show the home crowd what they were missing, while Saints player-of-the-year and top scorer Rickie Lambert seemed hell-bent on a personal mission to add to his tally, that's what a million quid gets for you.No Lee Barnard, the good Lord falling to the ankle injury picked up last week at Gillingham and so no answer to how the Blues faithful would have reacted to his comments this week.However, it fell to centre back Jean-Yves M'Voto, more than likely his last game for the club, to miss the first real chance with a header wide, while the Moose made his presence felt, Saints shot stopper Kelvin Davis saving his kidding shot well.Dean Hammond and David Connolly came close for the Hampshire based side before the latter had two further chances, Steve Mildenhall being called into action on both occasions.In fact Connolly had now taken over as the main man for seeing Southampton go into the break one up, Simon Francis making sure he didn't connect to a Lambert cross.And it was Francis who went up the other end, and once again see one of his free-kicks fail to find the net, this one from 20 yards.Lambert had his own set piece go past the post as the referee brought a halt to proceedings.Sadly the second half commenced with the Shrimpers missing two good chances when both Matt Paterson and Alan McCormack decided to miss when it looked easier to score inside the hosts penalty area.Cue mass singing of 'that's why we're going down' from the away end, and brilliant renditions of 'we're going to Shrewsbury', quality stuff guys.Mildenhall pushed away yet another Lambert free-kick before the SUFC Exiled sponsored Franck Moussa decided enough was enough and show the rest how to do it.Johnny Herd set up the Moose in the 55th minute, and the Belgian-born midfielder curled a brilliant shot passed Davis. Young Harry Crawford, on a plane to join the Irish under-18 side as you read this, immediately shot just wide of the Davis goal, and sadly that was about it for the Shrimpers chances of sealing victory as a couple of minutes later the Saints were level and it just went down hill after that.Jason Puncheon went on a good run and his cross found Lambert who did what comes naturally for him, and especially against Southend, when his firm header found the back of Mildenhall's net.Former Blues loanee left back Dan Harding got involved by shooting wide, before M'Voto decided to bring down Lambert in the penalty area, and the former Bristol Rovers striker got up, dusted himself down, and smashed home the resulting penalty for his 37th goal of the season in the 85th minute.Marcus Milner replaced Stuart O'Keefe in midfield to make his first team debut, congrats to the young man. Then in stoppage time Adam Lallana finished well from inside the area to set the seal on a victory for the Saints and an amazing 17th away defeat for Southend, a horrible statistic, their fans deserved a lot more.And hopefully we'll start seeing it next time around in League Two, but for that we're have to see how many of the present squad is still here come August, and how many new faces Tilly can bring in.With the cash position as it is though, expect to see more of those youngsters that were on the bench, but at least we don't have to go to Hartlepool or Grimsby.Blues boss Steve Tilson told www.southendunited.co.uk after the game: "We were far too nice with the three goals we gave away. We had other chances ourselves, but we didn't take them. The fans were in a different class today though and made the club proud."Southend United player markings: Mildenhall - 6, Francis - 7, Baldwin - 6, M'Voto - 6, Herd - 6, Grant - 6, McCormack - 6, Moussa - 7, O'Keefe - 6 (Milner 87), Crawford - 6, Paterson - 6.Referee: Mr. R. Shoebridge - 7. Coca-Cola League One, Saturday, 8th May 2010 @ 15:00; St. Mary's StadiumLambert 58, 85Lallana 90 Moussa 56 Starting Line-ups 1 Davis 2 Harding 6 Jaidi 39 Martin 40 Otsemobor 4 Puncheon (Oxlade-Chamberlain 82)14 Hammond 37 Antonio (Papa Waigo 46)7 Lambert 20 Lallana 38 Connolly (Wotton 63) Substitutes 9 Papa Waigo (Antonio 46)10 Wotton (Connolly 63)18 Mills 23 James 28 Bialkowski 35 Seaborne 41 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Puncheon 82)19Goal Attempts99On Target410Off Target50Hit Woodwork02Offsides110Corners96Fouls11 Starting Line-ups 1 Mildenhall 2 Francis 5 Baldwin 18 Herd 20 M'Voto 7 Grant 8 McCormack 14 Moussa 22 O'Keefe (Milner 87)30 Crawford 9 Paterson  Substitutes 15 Sankofa 17 Vernon 29 Milner (O'Keefe 87)32 Woodyard 34 Smith 36 Bentley RefereeR Shoebridge, Derbyshire Attendance25289Southampton Cards(none)Southend Utd. Cards(none)