Saints win “derby” as League 1 promotion race hots up

Fitness First Stadium at Dean Court
Image via Wikipedia

After defeating Yeovil Town in mid-week, Southampton had a tough visit to fellow South coast side Bournemouth and second in the table Bournemouth. I used the inverted commas on the word “derby” as any Saints fan will know, this game isn’t the derby game for Saints. It’s a rivalry that will never be able to surpass that of the hatred between Saints and Portsmouth. Anyway I have gone off topic.

The Saints travelled to Dean Court for a six pointer, a game that could get the Saints to leapfrog the Cherries. Both teams were looking to push their promotion race forward and the Cherries got off to a blinding start when on-loan Fulham striker Lauri Dalla Valle put the hosts in the lead after just six minutes, with a goal that had questions of offside raised.

The visitors struck back within five minutes, when Lee Barnard’s header hit the back of the net. Dean Hammond put the Saints into the lead early on in the second half, with Skipper Dean Hammond latching onto a cross from teenage winger Alex Chamberlain. 2-1 Saints.

Late on in the game, after a foul on Chamberlain, “Southampton’s goal machine” Rickie Lambert struck home a free kick from the edge of the area, directly into the top corner of the net, sealing the away win and the crucial three points. The game ended on a sour note for the Saints, with substitute Oscar Gobern being given a straight red card for a challenge on Adam Smith.

Elsewhere, Peterborough stuffed Carlise 6-0 to keep up their fine goal scoring form and ensure they stay above Southampton, Huddersfield Town moved into second place with their 1-0 away win over struggling Bristol Rovers and top of the league Brighton continued their impressive form with a 2-0 home win over Tranmere Rovers, leaving the top 5 looking as below:

Played          GD          Points

Brighton                    34               +38           71

Huddersfield            36               +18           63

Peterborough          35               +22           62

Southampton          34                +32           61

Bournemouth         36                 +22           61

The Saints will need to take advantage of games in hand to take second place from the tough competition of Huddersfield and Peterborough. As wise pundits say… Points on the board are more valuable than games in hand…

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