Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Sunday November 16 2008
St. Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 17, 812
Wolverhampton Wanderers remain six points clear at the top of the table with a 2-1 victory over 10 man struggling Southampton.
Early goals from Chris Iwelumo and David Jones ended Wolves` win drought over Southampton, going all the way back to 1980.
The Saints came straight back with another headed goal from Reading loanee Alex Pearce, powering Adam Lallana`s corner past Carl Ikeme.
The Saints comeback was dented when Jason Euell received a red card following a challenge on Wolves defender Richard Stearman.
The home side made a bright start to the match with an early opportunity for top goal-scorer David McGoldrick, but the 20 year old could not finish.
Minutes later the away side proved why they are top of the league, as Chris Iwelumo tidily headed home with their first attack in the eighth minute. On loan from Sunderland, Carlos Edwards provided the inch perfect cross for the Scotland international to comfortably head past Kelvin Davis.
Michael Kightly almost made it 2-0 to the visitors, yet the ex-Grays Athletic man dragged his shot wide. David McGoldrick continued to be a threat for the Saints, forcing a good save from Karl Ikeme in the Wolves goal.
The league leaders did extend their lead in the 18th minute when David Jones calmly finished into the bottom right hand corner passed a helpless Kelvin Davis.
Two minutes later the home side got themselves back into the game, as 19 year old Alex Pearce proved that once again he is lethal from corners as he rose the highest to power home Lallana`s delivery.
The home side troubled the league leaders with testing shots from Andrew Surman, Jack Cork and an audacious attempted chip by David McGoldrick.
Jan Poortvliet`s men faced a serious blow on 41 minutes when referee Lee Mason issued Jason Euell a red card for a challenge on Richard Stearman. Despite both players jumping in to the tackle, the referee deemed the Jamaican`s as being the more vicious, enough to warrant a red card.
Three minutes of added time were given before the referee brought the first half to a close.
Academy boy Oscar Gobern was replaced by Bradley Wright-Phillips who was looking for his first goal of the season in the second half. Play was delayed as defender Oliver Lancashire was in need of some treatment. Lancashire could not shake off his injury and was replaced by the experienced Chris Perry on 50 minutes.
One minute later, 'super sub` Wright Phillips went close as his powerful shot struck the inside of the post. In the 53rd minute the Saints had another golden opportunity to draw level when Adam Lallana managed to lift the ball over an empty Wolves net. Rudi Skacel came close on 61 minutes, when his 25 yard free kick was finely saved by Ikeme.
Mick McCarthy replaced striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake with Andy Keogh on 67 minutes to try and disrupt the home side`s flurry of chances.
With ten minutes to go, referee Lee Mason angered home fans by not awarding a penalty to McGoldrick after he was brought down by England Under-21 international Richard Stearman.
The last big chance fell to substitute Sam Vokes and the ex-Bournemouth player could only hit the side netting. The league leaders were able to hang on and Lee Mason`s full time whistle continued their run of five straight victories. For Southampton, it was their fifth home league defeat, leaving the South coast side in 21st place.
Next for the Saints is a daunting away trip to Reading who have won their last three, and have the best goal difference in the Championship.
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Date:Sunday November 16 2008
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