Back To Square One...
St. Mary's Stadium
Saturday 30th January '10/3pm
Boss Gary Ablett will have a massive task on his hands to rally the troops so to speak for Tuesday's local derby with Oldham after a potentially morale-deflating 2-0 loss at St. Mary's today.
More than eighteen thousand - plus 400 from Stockport - made their way to the stadium today to see Southampton climb to tenth in the table but consign County to another defeat, making it 111 days since a win for The Hatters - a televised 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Tranmere.
To be fair, we more than held our own in the first 45 minutes of the tie as The Saints failed to get into their stride. David Poole, for some reason back into the side after his three-match ban ended, could have put County ahead halfway through the half when he raced clean through on goal, but his shot was well parried away by keeper Kelvin Davis.
In some ways, it was our own fault that we couldn't capitalise on a sloppy display from the Saints in the first half as David Perkins also had a decent chance but blazed his shot wide.
Owain fon Williams' kicking was causing a problem as he repeatedly sliced balls out of play under no pressure from Rickie Lambert or new signing Lee Barnard.
The home fans soon got on Williams' back and put him under even more pressure to get it right, but in the 63rd minute of the match he was at fault for the opener.
A floated corner was flimsily fisted away by the Welshman, and who else but Lambert was left with a tap-in from barely a yard out.
After a poor - by their own standards - showing in the opening 45, Southampton had improved and you have to say deserved the lead.
Much of the credit has to go to on-loan Fiorentina (yes, I thought it was strange too) striker Papa Waigo, who was thrown on by manager Alan Pardew in the second half and constantly got at the impressive Danny Swailes.
And it was Waigo who sealed the nervy win when he side-stepped past debutant Mat Sadler and rolled the ball into the Fon's far corner.
So that was that, not the worst of performances from The Hatters but it's a massive ask to stay up from here.
The most we can hope for - in my humble opinion! - is a decent improvement in our performances and a good few wins to help us climb off the bottom of the table at least. Starting with Oldham at EP on Tuesday. Jabo back in the side, along with new boys Mat Sadler and George Donnelly, and hopefully we can get stuck in and come away with the three points.
In other news, I'm about to stick a new poll up on the site, suggested by one of you. The question this time, after a lot of differing opinions on Gary Ablett, is whether you believe the new owners (presuming, for the sake of argument, that we do actually have new owners) should/will stick with the Scouser to re-build in League Two with his own signings. Permanent signings, and not ones made by Mr Melrose in the form of Adam Griffin, David Poole and Luca Havern. Presuming, again, for the sake of argument, that we are actually relegated to League Two. It's sad, I know.
Animo Et Fide.