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Town 0-1 Southampton - Match Report
Wednesday, 14th Jan 2015 22:01

Shane Long’s 19th minute goal was enough to see Southampton to a 1-0 FA Cup third round replay over the Blues at Portman Road. Town never looked like getting back into the game against an impressive Saints outfit, who now face Crystal Palace at home in round four.

Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski started against his old club with Dean Gerken, who played in the first tie, having picked up an injury. Third-choice Michael Crowe was on the bench.

There was no place in the 18 for the apparently exiting Conor Sammon and with Noel Hunt ineligible having not been at the club for the first game, first-year pro Darren McQueen was amongst the subs.

Ill trio Teddy Bishop, Jay Tabb and Cole Skuse missed out, while Tyrone Mings dropped to the bench having tweeted that he was under the weather earlier in the week with Jonny Parr returning at left-back.

Southampton, who started in a 3-5-2 formation against the Blues’ regular 4-4-2, made five changes from the team which beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday with Morgan Schneiderlin, who scored in the 1-1 draw with Town at St Mary’s, missing out due to a knock. Ex-Blues keeper Kelvin Davis was on the bench.

In front of an almost capacity crowd Town started on the front foot, Kevin Bru, alongside Luke Hyam in the centre of midfield, turning an early ball into the area but too far in front of ex-Saint David McGoldrick, as usual up front alongside Daryl Murphy. On five, Darren Ambrose, Town’s scorer at St Mary’s, lashed well over from distance.

A minute later Town had the ball in the net but with a linesman’s flag having been raised. Bru played a clever pass into the path of Stephen Hunt, who beat Fraser Forster but having strayed offside, only just according to replays.

Soon after, Victor Wanyama was first to a poor Bialkowski clearance but looped his effort at goal well over.

Neither side threatened again, although with the Blues having had the upper hand, until the 19th minute when the Saints went in front via their first serious chance of the match.

Nathaniel Clyne played a ball to Dusan Tadic’s feet, the Serbian flicking it into the path of James Ward-Prowse, who broke into the area. Blues skipper Luke Chambers slid in to dispossess the England U21 international but the ball fell to Long on the right of the area and the Irishman hit a first-time shot past Bialkowski and into the net.

Town, who were unfortunate to find themselves behind on the overall balance of the game, looked to get straight back into it but McGoldrick shot high and wide from the edge of the box.

The Blues number 10 broke forward promisingly on 25 but took too long over a ball to Murphy and his pass was intercepted.

A minute later, Ward-Prowse struck a 25-year effort which caught a Town player on its way only just over the bar. From the resultant corner, Bru and Hunt broke, the Mauritian international eventually just failing to find Ambrose. Murphy had suffered a head injury as Town defended the corner and after treatment required a bandage and a change of shirt.

There was a scare for the Blues on 33 when Parr over-hit a back-pass to Bialkowski, the keeper needing to take a touch before clearing. Goalscorer Long blocked and was first to the looping ball but Chambers and then Bru cleared his cross into the box.

McGoldrick won a freekick 30 yards out on 37 but hit his strike into the wall and out for a corner. From the flag-kick the Blues claimed the ball had struck Jose Fonte’s hand but referee Graham Scott wasn’t interested.

Moments later, Bialkowski needed to come off his line quickly to clear ahead of Long after Chambers had under-hit a back-pass, the Pole’s kick striking the Irishman in the midriff and falling safely.

As the half moved into injury time, Tadic cut into the area from the right but was thwarted by Tommy Smith’s block.

McGoldrick had a chance to put his side on terms deep into injury time having been fed on the right of the area by Murphy. The Blues striker should have sent a ball across the six-yard box but instead, perhaps trying too hard to score against his old club, screwed a shot well wide from a tight angle.

Seconds before the whistle, Wanyama went down with what looked like a hamstring problem and seemed unlikely to return for the second half.

While the Blues had started brightly and perhaps unfortunate that Hunt was a whisker offside, once they’d gone in front the Saints had been well in control, looking every bit a side from a higher division and the likelier scorers of the next goal with Town making more than a couple of uncharacteristic unforced errors.

Aside from set pieces, McGoldrick’s opportunity towards the end of the half was probably the Blues’ best chance get back on terms but the Town frontman’s decision to shoot was the wrong one.

As expected Wanyama failed to appear after the restart with Steven Davis replacing him in the Southampton midfield.

The Saints began the second half on top but without causing Bialkowski too many problems.

On 55 Town boss Mick McCarthy swapped one-time Saints academy schoolboy Tyrone Mings for Hunt and switched to a 3-5-2 formation with Mings at left wing-back, Parr on the right and Berra, Smith and Chambers in the centre.

Mings’s introduction almost immediately paid dividends. The 21-year-old crossed from the left and Ambrose headed goalwards but too close to Forster.

On 63 Balint Bajner replaced McGoldrick, who looked to have suffered a knock moments beforehand, the Hungarian making his first appearance since October. McGoldrick had had a rather frustrating game against his old side.

As the match moved into its final 15 minutes the Blues started to show some signs of putting the Saints, who up then had seen out the half with ease, under pressure, Bru hitting a shot from 25 yards over. Cameron Stewart replaced Ambrose for the final seven minutes.

But Town’s big finish never came and the Blues’ FA Cup run came to an end at the third round stage for the fifth year running and they are still to win a cup tie under Mick McCarthy’s management.

In the end if was a comfortable night for Southampton, who having gone in front controlled the game professionally and confidently and competently and never seemed in any danger of letting their lead slip.

For all their usual effort and endeavour, the Blues were never able to lay a glove on the Premier League's third-placed side.

Town now have a free weekend following the away games at Millwall - who lost 4-0 at Bradford in the FA Cup this evening - on Saturday and Brighton next Wednesday.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (c), Parr, Berra, Smith, Hyam, Bru, Ambrose (Stewart 83), S Hunt (Mings 55), Murphy, McGoldrick (Bajner 63). Unused: Crowe, Clarke, Anderson, McQueen.

Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte (c), Gardos, Targett, Wanyama (S Davis 46), Reed, Ward-Prowse, Tadic (Pelle 66), Bertrand, Long. Unused: K Davis, Cork, Isgrove, McCarthy, Hesketh. Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Att: 27,933 (Southampton: 1,126).

Photo: Action Images

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miltonsnephew added 22:05 - Jan 14
Hope the injuries to Murphy and Mcgoldrick aren't too serious. Or we're Foocked!!!

ME better get that cheque book out!!

A definite new striker or two, a centre mid and a winger!!
Or we may aswell kiss this season away now!!!


TractorBoy85 added 22:07 - Jan 14
No excuses tonight, we were beaten by a far superior team and although their goal was slight fortunate, we simply didn't deserve anything from the game. Our passing was most probaly the worst I've seen in ages and its a shame it had to be tonight but now we just have to focus on the league and the game against Millwall is a big one now. Hope this sends a message to everyone that assumed we didn't need Jonny Williams anymore when he left, we need a player like him in this team badly because we created nothing in the final third. A wake up call but one that we maybe needed, just need to get back on track come Saturday. COYB

yorksblue added 22:08 - Jan 14
Not bothered about the defeat, just the nature of it. Complete dross from start to finish. Let's hope Millwall don't sack Holloway til next week.

alliedaz added 22:09 - Jan 14
waste of time and showed the nation nothing and i no it was a fa cup game but what a difference and we should at least tried

loyal_Blue added 22:10 - Jan 14
Really hope Murphy and mcgoldrick aren't injured. We played rubbish today but Southampton didn't play much better to be honest. The passing was rubbish and no creativity, well I say this but we were on top and playing well till they scored their goal and that was complete luck how our clearence went strait to long. I know we won't play like that vey often but with the amount of people there today we would of expected better. Just hoping we can beat millwall and get on another terrific run like we have done so many times this season. COYB! need to bring in another striker just invade Murphy or mcgoldrick get injured! Let's put these two results behind us and really push on! Like I know we can! COYB

town93 added 22:10 - Jan 14
Well what a god awful game that was to watch. A real shame for a BBC game to see us like that.

buntITFC added 22:11 - Jan 14
Not many positives to take from that game. Southampton didn't trouble us all that much, on the other hand we did not trouble So'ton at all...
Mings looked great when he came on and I wish we got the ball to him more. He was our most threatening and most assured when on the ball.
Hyam had a real poor game as well, maybe even worse than against Derby.
McGoldrick is obviously getting frustrated by his lack of goals. He had to square that ball rather than shoot. But what was most noticeable was that game by game he is coming deeper and deeper to get the ball and going further and further away from goal. Ultimately it is leaving Murphy increasingly isolated - certainly this was the case this evening.

Hopefully Skuse and Bishop are okay for Millwall because it is abundantly clear we need those two in our midfield. BIG game coming up, lets get behind the team again and make sure we get back to winning ways.

bluefeast added 22:12 - Jan 14
been saying for a while now our style of play every game is high energy , hard work and little skill. Well now our players are fatigued we have run out of options on how we can play.Absolute must to bring in 3 or 4 players in this window that will allow squad rotation to keep the team fresh. Hyam ,Banj , just nowhere near championship standard.

rambohambo added 22:12 - Jan 14
just a replay of derby , awful ref , no pace , and a lucky goal

buddsterblue added 22:13 - Jan 14
Shame didn't look like we were willing to have a real go, either that or just couldn't do anything against a prem side that didn't look like it got out if second gear, hey ho tho onwards and upwards coyb

Lightningboy added 22:13 - Jan 14
So so disappointing again (as saturday)...would've rather gone for it all guns blazing and lost 3-2 than that non-performance..don't want to hear anymore excuses from players,you've been brilliant so far this season but you've let yourselves down over the last few days.

Ok we're missing Skuse,Bishop & Tabb but those are professional players out there and they couldn't put 3 passes together.

Chambers & Smith really got on my tits tonight with the amount of times they knocked the ball backwards 40 or 50 yards and I think Mick seriously needs to think about playing Parr at right back.

Big result is needed saturday to get the show back on the road.. Plus we need another striker badly cos when M & M misfire we've got zero on the bench.

BlueSince93 added 22:14 - Jan 14
Poor game for the cameras to be at. Felt we lacked control, no one able to put their foot on the ball and dictate play, seemed to go long far too often and we didn't win enough first and second balls. Not the best of nights but we go again, hoping the injuries aren't too bad and that we still have enough to push all the way to the last game for a playoff spot or better.

jas0999 added 22:14 - Jan 14
I doubt the BBC will be rushing back to PR in a hurry. A truly terrible game. Southampton didn't need to get out of first gear as we failed to trouble their keeper. At home! When Bajner came on the writing was on the wall. Not good enough I'm afraid. The midfield was yet again non existent and the lack of a goal scoring midfield player remains a concern. Been saying for a while that we need back up to Murphy and McGoldrick. Yet the club thought otherwise. Now we could have a problem. Disappointing that we only had 14 available outfield players tonight. At what point did MM and ME think that's acceptable or a good idea. Mick has worked wonders with no money and a painfully small squad. Saturday and tonight have demonstrated the need to improve and enhance our options. No disgrace losing to a PL side, but manner of it on national TV was not acceptable. Must now beat a very poor Millwall side on Saturday. No excuses as no other result will do. Not good tonight. Shame for the large crowd.

chepstowblue added 22:14 - Jan 14
Keep the cameras away from Portman Road. I hope Mark Lawrenson doesnt come on here telling the truth as hell be on -472 by the end of the night !! Emotional moment in the 55th minute when Ambrose header just about reached Forster ! Deflated but looking forward to 3pts against those cockney w*nkers nxt saturday.

oscarwhiting added 22:15 - Jan 14
one word somes that up:" terrible"
Terrible game-for the neatrul
terrible performance- didnt test them enough, would of rather gone at them second half and lost 3-0 than that.
teriible officiating- hunts goal was onside, he was level, and the reff gave them everything they appealed for
terrible commentary-of topic a bit i know but lawro was criticising us all game for lack off class but everything southampton did was world class. even that free kick they skied, didnt even criticsed that.

however, in a way im happy as we can now focus fully on the league, didnt really want us to go through. still think this can be our year hopefully didz is ok.

still, win draw or lose up the bloody blues hay?

brazilblue added 22:15 - Jan 14
McGoldrick has to move for the ball. It takes him 45 minutes to get back onside.

Michael11 added 22:16 - Jan 14
Well we may as well have just stayed at home and not bothered. I'm not overly fussed about being out of the cup but at least go out with a bit of a fight. Can't be too critical as Southampton are a top side but McGoldrick just doesn't seem right to me at the minute. He's being very greedy and not playing for the team. Luke Hyam gets away with murder purely because he's a local lad, he seems incapable of completing 5 yard passes. Hopefully the lads just don't want to go to Millwall on an empty tank and we'll bounce back. I'll be shocked if Holloway's in charge thats for sure!

HALLSJ added 22:17 - Jan 14
Spot on buntITFC

floridaboy added 22:17 - Jan 14
Let's hope we don't appear on TV anymore this season

Think MM is going to stick ten bells into the players. Two really poor home matches. Bit of a shame up needed. Far too reliant on Murphy because McGoldrick is not the player he was before h e got injured last season and I think the Leicester business has affected him as well

And please MM keep Hyam out of that team otherwise we are going nowhere

bluefeast added 22:18 - Jan 14
Chambers in possession is absolutely terrible ,not only does he kick it long he kings it high. What a shame and last two performances at home have been shockers. No goal threat. McGoldrick is looking like a prema donna with a bad attitude. He needs to pass and move to receive again ,not shoot from mad distances or angles when a simple ball would create a goal scoring opportunity. The whole team looks totally fatigued the last two games. Signings needed to generate further impetus.

runaround added 22:23 - Jan 14
Frustrating yet expected defeat. As always the effort was there but once behind we never looked like scoring.
By no means were we humiliated & Bru was excellent.
We now have the important bit, 21 matches to win promotion starting with a must win at Millwall.
Please Holloway don't go just yet!!
This season can still be a massive success

CharlieITFC added 22:24 - Jan 14
Disappointed tonight. Like many, not so much the result, but the performance. I don't think Southampton were miles better than us, and it was a scrappy game, but they always had that extra bit of quality and didn't really get out of second gear.

Hyam and Chambers were particularly disappointing for me tonight, but no one really covered themselves in glory. I do think ambrose looked decent first 30 minutes, and although he's not up to speed just yet, Bajner looked much better tonight than at Fulham on the opening day.

All this being said, I'm actually quite pleased - Firstly, Mick will know we were poor and will give them a right kick up the backside for Saturday. And secondly, we switch to 3-5-2 and looked fairly comfortable, giving us more options going into the most important final stages of a season for a very long time!

I still believe we could be celebrating at the end of the season, and although it may not seem it at moment, this could be a blessing in disguise.

Norwichbeater added 22:24 - Jan 14
Showed that we must gamble in the transfer market. 1 point off of top but no back up for injuries. We can't miss out on promotion because we aren't willing to strengthen a little to cover for the rest of the season. A shame that we showed nothing tonight. I am so proud to support ipswich but felt a bit let down tonight.

RedDust added 22:25 - Jan 14
Best result possible really.. Avoided humiliation, performance very similar to Derby and Norwich game so it should be a major concern not to fall back into that mentality and keep the confidence high and the ball low on the deck!!

Flewitt85 added 22:27 - Jan 14
Hyam terrible! So bad he has got to be dropped! Bru to replace him he was motm for me, always looking for the ball, looking to pass forward he's a great player.

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