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Match Report


Posted Tue 06 Mar 12 at 19:08 PM


Jason Scotland came off the bench to earn Town a share of the spoils against Southampton at St Mary's.

Rickie Lambert had fired the hosts in front midway through the second-half, before Scotland rescued a point with five minutes remaining.

Paul Jewell named an unchanged team following Town's 3-0 victory over Bristol City last time out, with Carlos Edwards again captaining the side.

The game started with a quick tempo and the home side made a bright start, with the returning Adam Lallana sending a ball across the Town six-yard box after two minutes that Aaron Cresswell did well to turn behind for a corner under pressure from Lambert.

From the resulting corner, Saints defender Jos Hooiveld fired over, after Jose Fonte had cleverly dummied the ball.

Town had to be patient in their attack, although Michael Chopra went close after getting in front of his marker to connect with a Daryl Murphy cross but failed to keep his effort down after eight minutes.

It wasn't until the 20 minute mark before the next chance came, with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas forcing former Blue Kelvin Davis to tip his shot around the post and out for a corner.

Three minutes later and Town were indebted to a great save from Alex McCarthy, who saved from Lallana after he was found in space by a great ball from Lambert inside the area.

The Southampton midfielder was at the heart of all the home side's attacks and a neat one-two with Morgan Schneiderlin saw him break clear before Tommy Smith got back to make a saving block for Town after 26 minutes.

Smith had turned the ball behind for a corner and as Lallana crossed into the box, Guly Do Prado should have opened the scoring but he could only head wide after rising highest in the box.

Just before the half hour mark Town did go close to breaking the deadlock, with Lee Martin whipping in a teasing cross that Chopra just couldn't quite connect with.

The Saints almost punished Town for that miss, as Lallana broke away from Edwards on the left-hand side but his cross was blocked by the covering Smith.

Nigel Adkins' side were again denied by McCarthy in the Town goal in first-half injury time, getting down well to keep out a Lambert volley from 25 yards as the teams went in goalless at the break.

Town did start the second-half well and only a superb reaction save from Davis prevented Chopra from scoring his 14th goal of the season.

Andy Drury crossed into the box where Chopra was unmarked and headed goalwards, but Davis produced a fine save to claw the ball out of the top corner after 52 minutes.

The home side were still looking dangerous on the attack though and Do Prado missed a great chance after linking up well with Lambert, but failed to test McCarthy from eight yards out and fired wide.

But the hosts were to break the deadlock and, inevitably it was leading scorer Lambert who grabbed the goal. Good work on the right by substitute Steve De Ridder saw him cross into the path and Lambert, who slotted the ball past McCarthy and into the net after 74 minutes.

The former Bristol Rovers man then had the chance to double his side's lead shortly after, but this time fired wide after again being picked out in the box by De Ridder.

Paul Jewell made a double change for Town, with Scotland and Ryan Stevenson replacing Andy Drury and Daryl Murphy.

The changes paid dividends as Scotland pulled Town level with five minutes remaining. The striker cut inside a couple of defenders before firing in a shot that deflected over Davis and into the net.

Blues were looking to keep the pressure on and Emmanuel-Thomas came within a whisker of scoring a stunning long-range effort, but his free-kick flew just wide of the goal with Davis well beaten.

Both sides pressed for a winner in injury time but in the end both had to settle for a point in an entertaining game on the south coast.

Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Hooiveld, Fonte, Harding, Do Prado (De Ridder 70), Schneiderlin, Hammond, Lallana (Cork 83), Lee (Sharp 75), Lambert. Subs not used: Martin, Connolly.

Booked: Harding

Town: McCarthy, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Leadbitter (Bowyer 84), Drury (Scotland 77), Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Murphy (Stevenson 77), Chopra. Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Sonko.

Booked: Murphy

Att: 23, 315 (901 Town fans)

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