Saints march past West Ham to stay top
Attendance: 32, 150
Southampton extended their lead at the top of the table to five points after a 1-0 victory over West Ham in front of a record crowd at St.Mary's.
The match was first place against second, and a win for the Hammers would have seen them occupy first place.
But the Saints had a 100% record on the south-coast and were going to be hard to beat in front of a 32, 150 record crowd.
The away side started the brighter and went close through former Portsmouth player Matt Taylor, but Kelvin Davis was equal to his effort.
After a positive start by West Ham - the home side came into the game and you could sense the feeling that a goal was coming at the fortress that has been St.Mary's this season.
The Saints went close through Richard Chaplow and David Connolly - but the deadlock was finally broken just seconds before the interval.
Danny Fox delivered a perfect corner and it was met with a powerful header from on-loan from Celtic defender Jos Hooiveld.
Nigel Adkins' side continued to put the Londoners under pressure after the re-start as the game opened up.
Connolly squandered a chance to make it 2-0, while Kevin Nolan went close for the Hammers.
In what was a nervous finish for the Saints - they managed to hold on for the three points to maintain their 100% home record to extend their lead at the top to five points.