A youthful Saints XI ended the club's pre-season campaign with a victory away to local rivals Eastleigh last night, after their older colleagues had lost at home to Championship side Reading on Saturday.
Saints 2 - Reading 4
Eastleigh 0 - Saints 1
Pards was most pleased with the performance of his strikers Lee Barnard and David Connolly on Saturday after his side had matched Reading for seventy minutes until a number of substitutions disrupted the pattern of the game and allowed Reading to take the advantage. Concern remains, however, over the players who couldn't play on the day, with Rickie Lambert, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jason Puncheon all touch and go for the season proper's kick-off versus Plymouth on Saturday. Adam Lallana will definitely be unavailable, with the manager admitting his star midfielder had not done nearly enough preparation in an injury-riddled pre-season.
A well-taken Sam Hoskins strike was enough to see off Eastleigh last night in a tightly-contested game at the Silverlake. Martin Hunter's young team did well under pressure against the physical approach of an older Eastleigh side and it was a good early advert for the work being done at the club's new football development centre.