Writer: Stef C
Date:Sunday December 11 2005
St Marys Stadium
Saints began life after Redknapp with a long awaited win against Luton today.
Dave Bassett and Dennis Wise were in temporary charge, looking to impress enough to earn the job full time.
The crowd was by far the lowest seen at St Mary's. The fans stayed away partly due to the game being a televised early kick off against unglamorous opposition, but also as a protest against Chairman Rupert Lowe.
The starting line up saw Ormerod replaced with Jones, who partnered Walcott up front. The pair looked more balanced and Theo was very dangerous from the start. On five minutes he headed down for Neil McCann who appeared to be recklessly scythed down in the penalty area by Kevin Nichols. The referee waived play on. His performance throughout the game again left many Saints fans amazed at the difference in standard of refereeing, since we've dropped into the Championship.
During the first half Luton barely threatened and Saints were generally in control without threatening greatly. Until the 23rd minute, when Walcott showed his blistering pace to latch on to Higginbothams hopeful ball down the line. The Luton defence could not catch him as he produced an exquisite chip to beat the stranded Brill from the left touchline.
Luton could not contain his pace and he missed two further excellent one-on-one chances in the second half.
Kenwyne Jones was also playing well and winning a lot of knock downs against a strong Luton defence.
The Saints midfield frustrated by not creating enough quality supply for Walcott on the floor, to utilise his pace and skills. We struggled to get players forward in support and Jones and Walcott became isolated at times and didn't have enough options available.
Again we failed to kill off the game and it was a tense finish to the match. This wasn't helped by Rory Delap getting a needless second yellow in the closing minutes for a rash tackle. Luckily though Luton are in dreadful form away from home and didn't create many clear cut chances. They haven't scored on the road now for 521 minutes.
Saints held on to record their first victory in five games and the Bassett/Wise partnership gets off to a winning start.
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Date:Sunday December 11 2005
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