Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Sunday January 18 2009
St. Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 15, 837
Southampton fans take their anger out on Chairman Rupert Lowe as they witness their side lose once again at St. Mary's.
Doncaster Rovers started the game behind the Saints in the league table, but thanks to goals from Martin Woods and James Coppinger, Rovers went above Southampton as they made the trip back to Yorkshire with the three points.
Marek Saganowski did pull one back for the home side in the 90th minute, but it was too little too late for the Saints - and times on the south coast have never been so bad.
The Saints set out unchanged from the win at Barnsley and it was the home side who started the better, dominating the opening stages, and on 11 minutes Andrew Surman saw a glorious chance go begging as the England Under-21 international saw his shot from close range be stopped by veteran Neil Sullivan.
Five minutes later Marek Saganowski connected delightfully with a Lloyd James cross, but his left footed volley was superbly stopped by Sullivan's feet.
With the Saints dominating the opening stages, you sensed that with chances not being taken that Rovers would come back into the game and steal the points. Rovers came back into the game with their captain Brian Stock taking advantage of the large gap in the centre of midfield with Schneiderlin and Surman seeming invisible at times.
James Coppinger came close for Rovers in the first half; when Saints keeper Kelvin Davis failed to deal with a cross and the ball landed to Coppinger whose acrobatic attempt just sailed pass the post.
The second half began and Rovers clearly took note of what manager Sean O'Driscoll said at half time as straight from kick off the visitors went 1-0 up. James Coppinger slipped Martin Woods through on goal and Woods calmly slipped the ball passed Davis to score his second goal of the season.
This saw the Saints faithful to turn against Chairman Rupert Lowe with chants of 'Swing Lowe' and 'Lowe Out' ringing round St. Mary's. Then, manager Jan Poortvliet made a puzzling substitute, bringing off Chris Perry and Lee Holmes for Adam Lallana and Ryan Smith. This left just three defenders on and with Rovers controlling the game it felt like a suicidal decision.
Nevertheless, the Saints continued to attack and David McGoldrick wasted a glorious chance in the 69th minute when his six yard header went over Sullivan's bar.
Nine minutes before the end Doncaster sealed the points when their star player James Coppinger walked through the Saints defence and easily tapped in, taking a deflection off Saints defender Saeijs. The crowd became more and more aggravated, resulting in Stewards having to break up scuffles between Saints fans - there was more fight in the stands than there was on the pitch.
The 15,000 Saints fans inside St. Mary's were clearly uneasy and chants were directed to the chairman as the Saints were surely set for another home defeat - having only won once at their home.
Polish international Marek Saganowski scored his first goal since returning from Aalborg on loan, but it was too late and Doncaster Rovers take their league run to three consecutive wins. Oh, what Saints fans would do for three straight wins...
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Date:Sunday January 18 2009
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