'I Thought He'd Saved It!'

By SFC Media Wed 26 Dec Club

Rickie Lambert kept up his flawless penalty record to equalise at Fulham – then admitted he thought his late spot-kick had been saved!

With Saints trailing to Dimitar Berbatov's early opener, Chris Baird's late handball gave Lambert – who has never missed from the spot for Southampton – the chance to level.

Cottagers goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer got his hand to the striker's thunderous effort but could not prevent the ball from creeping inside the post to make it one-all late on.

"Thank goodness I hit it so hard because I honestly thought [Schwarzer had] saved it!" Lambert told Saints Player after the game. 

"It took me a while to celebrate the goal because I panicked thinking he'd saved it.

"I wasn't quite sure what happened, but there were shouts for handball and, luckily enough, he (referee Phil Dowd) gave it. 

"It wasn't one of our best games, but we got a point so we've got to be happy – especially being away from home," continued the frontman, who now has seven goals for the season.

"The weather did affect the game – any balls along the ground just weren't stopping and were skipping out of play – but I'm not using that as an excuse because we still should have played better."

Lambert had praise for the performance of Saints' back-line who restricted Fulham to few chances across the course of the game.

"It's clear to see that teams are finding it hard to score against us," said Rickie. "We're defending well at the minute. 

"We were disappointed to go one-nil down so early but, after that, they didn't really create any chances. 

"I thought there was some excellent defending in the second half – there were some last-ditch clearances from José [Fonte] and Maya [Yoshida], so full credit to them."

Saints' attentions will quickly turn to their next game, with the squad travelling to face high-flying Stoke City on Saturday.

And, despite the Potters' incredible start to the season, Lambert is aiming to cause an upset at the Britannia Stadium.

"We all know how hard that game is going to be, but we're up for it," he said. "We will be looking to get something."

Click here to watch Rickie Lambert's post-match interview on Saints Player

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