I don’t really know what to say about this one, but I feel I should emphasise that very few of us thought we’d get anything at all today.
So getting a point is a fantastic bonus in my view.
I have to be honest though and say the defending for the first twenty minutes was shambolic; truly Keystone kops type stuff and as early as the second minute we were lucky we weren’t one down.
It’s not just poor positioning either, it’s also real nursery level stuff, where we just seem unable to kick the ball and actually clear it.
It has to be totally down to a lack of confidence and nerves being shot.
So for that first twenty minutes we were entirely under the cosh, with Southampton consistently attacking and of course creating chances. It’s perfectly fair to say they could easily have scored 4 or 5 goals, but because of poor finishing, by some miracle they didn’t actually score.
I’m not sure if we improved or the Saints eased off, but we rode the storm and got back into it a bit more in the second part of the first half. That’s not to say we were the better side though and the opposition were firmly in control.
We did have a great chance around the half hour mark though.
The ball came in from the right and Gestede was smack in front of the goal, where he should have buried it with his right foot, except he missed it by a mile. Lack of quality, confidence or luck? I don’t know.
And so it continued until around the 43rd minute, where a corner from Veretout ended up at the back post for an unmarked Lescott to poke the ball home, totally against the run of play.
The next couple of minutes were a bit nervy, as I always have the feeling that we’ll concede straight after we score, but we went in at half time one up.
I was just as nervy at the opening of the second half, but we actually started to get into the game a bit more and I certainly felt a little more relaxed, but I always had the nagging doubt that our lead wouldn’t last.
The ball came in from a Southampton corner and Sanchez was the wrong side of Romeu, who scored to make it one each.
Westwood came on at around 75 mins and had a great chance which again should have been buried and that had me cursing.
The nervy bit continued, but in short we managed to hold on and this draw almost felt like a victory.
Indeed, there was a period where I actually thought we might win the game; a feeling I haven’t had for a fair time now and I was actually disappointed as well as relieved when the final whistle blew.
We shouldn’t get carried away though.
That opening 20 minutes was truly shocking and if Southampton weren’t so off form, they’d have destroyed us today.
And some of the passing was just abysmal. You really have to wonder how players who do it for a living can’t kick a ball with the right pace and direction over 10 yards.
Again, it must be purely down to confidence.
But there are some major plus points to take from this game.
Although we definitely rode our luck, we were resilient in getting the point, that’s beyond doubt.
Our heads didn’t drop anywhere near as they have done in some previous games when we conceded.
And Ayew is starting to look a very decent player.
I also thought Sanchez did well, but recognise that some of you think he’s awful.
Yes, I know he gave the ball away terribly a couple of times, but he wasn’t alone, so shouldn’t be singled out for that.
At least it wasn’t a loss and at our level, a point at St Marys is not to be sniffed at.