Sunday, 23 August 2009

Saints 1 - Brentford 1: Saints progress but win still proves elusive

Saints took a few more jittery steps in their recovery yesterday but were thwarted in their attempts to secure a breakthrough victory.

Saints 1 - Brentford 1

Nearly 20,000 flocked to St Marys to show their support for Pardew's new era, most of whom would have returned home with mixed feelings after another patchy display. Saints did well to capitalise upon a period of sustained pressure in the second half, but, as against Millwall, defensive frailties proved costly.

Good signs Though the result was not ideal, positivity with the new signings and progress made carried the day, showing that fans are willing to give Pardew as much time as he needs. He will be thankful for that, as the inadequacies of last year are taking a while to shake off, especially given the short pre-season he had to work with. The manager was probably right in saying the pre-season process is spilling into these opening fixtures, with new signings fitting in and pieces still falling into place. Key man: Dan Harding again excellent at left-back and got the goal to boot.

Pard times If Graham Murty had played we would not have lost this match. Though he is no gazelle, he would have had the nouse to take down Brentford's midfielder before he could get to the touchline and tee up their equaliser. Lloyd James, the perfect example of Saints' policy of blooding youngsters before they are ready, did nothing. He was captain for a game pre-season. Crikey - he really is atrocious.

Comedy moments Brentford manager Andy Scott lit up the touchline, with his long-sleeve shirt striking a shade of peach melba few can have seen before. It was more imaginative than anything we saw on the pitch - but Gok Wan would not have been impressed.

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