Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Wednesday March 11 2009
Veteran defender Chris Perry put Saints in front against Nigel Clough's Derby County at St Mary's last night, but his goal proved to be bittersweet as the hosts couldn't hold on to their narrow advantage.
It's not the first time that the 35-year-old has given Southampton the lead, having scored in the first home fixture of the campaign against Birmingham City with a header just before half time. However, the Saints took nothing from that game and Derby's late leveller tonight proved to be equally frustrating for the former Spurs man.
Speaking to saintsfc.co.uk after the game, Perry said, "It was unfortunate to let in a late equaliser but that's the way it goes. We worked hard tonight and probably deserved to win. Derby came here to get a point and will probably go home happy with that but we feel that we had a couple of chances to make it 2-0 which we didn't take and in the end we were made to pay for it."
The way that the visitors set out their stall meant that Mark Wotte's side had to be patient but towards the end Saints were wishing the time away.
"There's not a lot you can do against them other than keep knocking on the door hoping that something falls for you, eventually it did but unfortunately we couldn't hold on to it," Perry sighed.
Perry's 58th minute goal came courtesy of a Simon Gillett corner, as the veteran defender recalls:
"The ball went deep to the far post, Jason Euell headed it down and I didn't fancy hitting it on my left foot first time because that's my weaker side, so I got a touch and swung it with my right foot. It's gone in off the bar or somebody but I'm definitely claiming because I don't get too many! I'll take any goal but it was good to score from a set-piece."
Substitute Steve Davies' equaliser seven minutes from time soured the mood and Perry was equally frustrated to see his former West Bromwich Albion team-mate, Martin Albrechtsen weigh in with an assist.
"It was unfortunate for us as it fell to his feet and he couldn't miss really. It's obviously disappointing but there wasn't much we could do. Martin's shanked the ball across and he does that a lot on his left foot to be fair! But Davies has finished it well though."
Although the Saints could have won all three points had Andrew Surman converted his golden opportunity just minutes after Perry put the hosts in front, the south coast club could also consider themselves slightly fortunate to have taken a point from the game. Davies struck the inside of the far post with a curling shot after cutting inside from the right, but Perry felt it would have been harsh on Saints if the ball had found the back of the net on that occasion.
"It was a fantastic effort but I think there was a bit of justice there particularly after the way their first goal came about."
Despite letting two points slip away, the defender insisted that the equaliser will not affect the confidence or the way that Saints approach Saturday's home game against Queen's Park Rangers.
"In some ways letting in the equaliser maybe the fillip that we need to kick us up the backside for the weekend where we need to kick on again and give another good performance," he said.
"We'll have high spirits going into Saturday's game and we believe that we'll get something from it.
"We know that if we play to our potential that we can beat anyone in this league because we've shown that recently against teams far higher up the league than ourselves.
"You always feel like two points dropped when you've led like we have done tonight but we'll want to put it right against QPR. They're owed one for the game at their place and we want three points to make it four points out of a possible six so that we can put tonight behind us and look forward again."
Date:Wednesday March 11 2009
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