Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Sunday November 30 2008
Attendance: 20, 831
Saints keeper Kelvin Davis had a spectacular first half between the sticks yesterday at the Valley. A series of efforts were blocked by the Saints number 1 and the home fans must have been wondering what they had to do to beat the ex-Sunderland Keeper.
A dull and wet day in South East London did not dampen the excitement at the Valley. The game was a tale of two halves with the Addicks dominating the first half; while the second saw the Saints spring into life and could have nicked it at the end.
The home side started brightly, trying to get their first win in ten games and to get out of the bottom three. There was one man who stood in their way - Kelvin Davis. The 32 year old made a brilliant save to deny Hameur Bouazza`s effort before the Addicks should have led from the first minute but Mark Hudson could not convert Bouazza`s early free kick.
Keith Gillespie, who made his home debut, joining from Sheffield United, had a glorious effort go inches wide from a tight angle.
Hameur Bouazza continued to pose a threat to the Southampton goal, when his 25 yard volley went just over Davis` bar. The home side dominated the first half with the Saints struggling to find their feet and get into the game.
Bradley Wright-Phillips looked lively for the Saints and his effort just before half time went inches past Nicky Weaver`s post and the first half ended 0-0.
Jan Poortvliet clearly had strong words with his team as the Saints came out for the second half looking more sharp and energetic. The Dutchman made a change, bringing off Jordan Robertson for defender Alex Pearce, allowing David McGoldrick to be the holding striker.
Young starlet, Adam Lallana came into the game after a quiet first half, bursting free with the ball and terrorising the Charlton defence. The Saints should have taken the lead when Andrew Surman`s glancing header went agonisingly close just after the re-start.
With Nicky Weaver having an easy first half, the Charlton goalkeeper had to put in a big shift for the last 45 minutes. The 29 year old made a superb save, denying David McGoldrick a birthday goal from close range.
In the later stages of the game, you could sense the tension of the Charlton side and fans. It was apparent that the London side were in the relegation zone and had not won for nine previous games.
Youngster Matthew Patterson was brought on for Bradley Wright-Phillips with just over ten minutes to go. The academy grown teenager nearly made an instant impact when his shot was blocked by Nicky Weaver.
The best chance of the match fell to McGoldrick who delightfully curled a shot which was heading for the right hand corner, yet a spectacular double save from Weaver, denying Patterson afterwards, made sure the Saints would leave the Valley with only a point.
Southampton jumped up one place to 19th, while the Addicks remain in the relegation zone, and they now have not won in ten games.
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Date:Sunday November 30 2008
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