I headed up to London today for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final between Southampton and Carlisle at Wembley. It was a great day out with Saints winning 4-1 in an entertaining game. Regular readers may have seen my football page charting the progress through this competition. It started as a way of keeping in touch with a couple of friends of mine on a regular basis. Little did I know as Saints scraped past Torquay United on penalties that it would lead to this day out. Following Torquay came, Charlton Athletic, Norwich all at St.Mary’s stadium and then MK Dons in the Southern Area Final over 2 legs. For the full story click here.
We were three rows from the back of the stand, pretty high up, so had a great view and the atmosphere was fantastic with both sets of fans making the most of this Wembley day out. It was Carlisle’s fifth final, they have won once, and Saints first.
For the statto’s amongst you here’s some facts. The trophy competition started in the 1983/84 season and was first won by Bournemouth. Previous winners who now reside in the Premier League are Stoke, Wigan, Birmingham and Bolton. Attendences this year are up over 50%, 235,084 people saw the matches leading up to the final with around 73,000 at Wembley. Saints hold the record for a non-Wembley tie at 29,901 and took 44,000 fans to the final.
Carlisle dominated the early exchanges until Murphy inexplicably handled a Saints cross and conceded a penalty. Saints talisman Rickie Lambert duly scored on the quarter hour mark. From then on Saints took control with Lallina scoring just before half time. Some fans keen to get ahead of the half-time queues would have missed that one and those late back missed Saints third nodded in by Papa Waigo. Antonio finished off Carlisle with a great shot from the edge of the box to make it 4-0 on the hour. A late consolation goal was conceded as Madine scored in the 84th minute. For the full match report click here.