Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Wednesday February 4 2009
St. Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 13, 257
Southampton fans once again left St. Mary's fearing one thing - relegation. Last night's match was the 15th time that Southampton's loyal fans left without three points.
It was a very late goal from Jamie Ward that broke Saints fans hearts before Southampton did their best to salvage a point when Andrew Surman smashed home a Lloyd James cross.
The first half was an eventful one, with the home side starting the brightest, with early chances falling to in-form man, Marek Saganowski and fellow striker David McGoldrick. But Paddy Kenny did his best to deny the Saints attack.
On 35 minutes, the Blades took the lead against the run of play. Saints keeper Kelvin Davis, miss-judged an in swinging corner and could only flap away, and the returning cross was directed home by Greg Halford.
Five minutes later the Blades were reduced to ten men when Darius Henderson elbowed Saints defender Jan-Paul Saeijs while flicking on Kenny's goal kick.
The second half began with manager Mark Wotte making a tactical change, bringing on Bradley Wright-Phillips for Simon Gillet, allowing starlet Adam Lallana to obtain a more central role with Paul Wotton.
Sheffield United made it very hard for the Saints, despite having ten men. The Saints were playing the better football and creating chances, but the needed goal just seemed it was not coming.
With half an hour to go Saganowski fires at Kenny's goal with his left foot only to see it smash the side netting. Then five minutes later McGoldrick shot from outside the box but it was matched by a fine save by Kenny.
The last ten minutes saw Southampton push the ten men further back, with 6ft 3 defender Saeijs acting as a centre forward. The Saints were finally rewarded for their efforts when Andrew Surman half-volleyed Lloyd James to send the Saints fans into jubilation on 89 minutes.
With four minutes of stoppage time being added, you thought that the home side would grab a deserved winner. However, another late goal stung the Saints when youngster Jamie Ward clinically slotted home with his left foot from a tight angle to give the 500 travelling fans the three points to go home with.
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Date:Wednesday February 4 2009
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