Adkins on stopper’s shocker

Southampton keeper Bartosz Bialkowski tries in vain to stop the ball from crossing the line after fumbing Callum McManaman's shot.
Southampton keeper Bartosz Bialkowski tries in vain to stop the ball from crossing the line after fumbing Callum McManaman's shot.
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Nigel Adkins refused to blame his keeper as the Saints lost their year-long perfect home record.

Polish stopper Bartosz Bialkowski played his first league game in more than two years because of an injury to Southampton’s usual No.1 Kelvin Davis.

Bartosz Bialkowski

Bartosz Bialkowski

But he was nervy from the start and completed a miserable afternoon by allowing a harmless-looking shot from Callum McManaman to slip under his body and into the net.

Southampton grabbed a 2-2 draw in stoppage time courtesy of Rickie Lambert’s leveller but it was the performance of the unfortunate Bialkowski that was the talking point afterwards.

Adkins said: “Bart is always outstanding in training and he will be a stronger character for what happened.

“We will support him and help him get over this mistake, and the good thing is we did not lose the game. Will he play next week against Portsmouth? We will see. Kelvin might be back but I’m not sure yet.”

Reflecting on the Saints’ failure to record a 23rd straight home victory, Adkins said: “We had plenty of chances to win but it looked like it was going to get away from us. When we were losing and time was running out, we showed great spirit and desire. Lambert got a great goal at the end.

“As for the record, it had to go some time. If you had said at the start of the season we would win ten and draw the other of our first 11 home games I would have taken it without a moment’s hesitation.”

Given how Pool played – attacking throughout – Adkins added rather mysteriously: “Teams are taking no chances when they come to our ground now, as you would expect, so it is often hard to break them down.”