For Those Who Could Not Attend.
FA Cup 3rd Round Saturday 5th January 2018
Crowd, 17,000 plus a few.
Referee. Oliver Langford
Conditions Flat calm and grey
Ground conditions. great as usual but strange with the unoccupied North Stand
Bogle, Keogh, Tomori, Lowe.
Bryson, Bird, Lawrence,
This would appear to be an eminently winnable game and one in which our Championship side can measure itself against Premier League opposition. The team and fans should have a good level of confidence of progressing further.
In the event we had too many young players and Lawrence was not match fit. Consequently for the first hour The Saints looked to be completely in control. Our players seemed to be uninterested and lacking in belief. In the meantime Soton scored a couple of goals - both down to Redmond (with a bit of help from Keogh - which was a deflection rather than an an OG so I don’t think we can blame him). Redmond burst in from the wing and fired in a low, fierce shot which hit Keogh’s leg and went in. Kelle Roos - no chance. The second, a superb strike from 25 yards which he could not keep out. In fact he hardly moved.
The bored, unconfident approach to at the game continued into the second half until Frank changed the formation and brought on Nugent for Bird for whom the occasion proved to be just too much for his young head. Now with two strikers, Derby looked much more threatening. Tom Lawrence chipped a pass to Marriott who hit it - half volley into the net to give a sudden fillip and belief into Derby hearts. 3 minutes later Evans made a great pass to Marriott who chipped a lovely pass to Tom Lawrence who controlled it and hit a superb ball into the net. It was a great shot - at least the equal of Redmond’s second goal for the Saints.
It was ding-dong after that and either side could have won the game. In added time Marriott of all people had a glorious open goal to aim at. He was odds -on to score. But he fired over the bar when it was surely easier to score. Hw will lose sleep over that miss but I suppose we should be grateful to have got back in the game to be still in Monday’s draw. FL’s tactical change was shrewd and mainly the reason we were able to play better than the first hour or so.
Who played well? Holmes was our best player. Bogle did OK and Max Lowe after an hour of, nervousness. Keogh and Tomori and Tom Lawrence. Bird will have learned from the experience it is hoped and Max Lowe's return will help him back to the team. For the last 30-40 minutes of the game Derby easily matched Southampton. Possession was just about equal and I think The Rams will be happier with the result though neither manager wanted a reply next week. The referee - by and large - also did ok.
Franks’s post match Radio Derby interview was for me very illuminating. I like the way he is grounded and realistic and how he doesn’t criticise his players - rather you can see him putting his arm round them and reassuring them when things don’t work out and praising them when they do. as they develop. I think at first they hugely respected him as a great player and now they are beginning to respect him as good manager.
FA Cup for Those who Could not attend
For Those Who Could Not Attend.