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Saints win thrilling tie

4 - 3
MK Dons

St Mary's


Attendance: 15908


Saints and the Dons played out a thrilling game on FA Cup third round day.

It was a match packed with entertainment for MK Dons largest ever following for an away match, they brought over 1800 fans.

Their record coincided with Saints setting a record for our lowest ever home attendance in the new stadium. Many fans had stayed away as a protest against Rupert Lowe.

The empty seats didn't discourage the players though as Saints won their second successive game, with 4 players getting on the score sheet.

The defence was again clearly an area for concern, and is suffering the most from our injury crisis.

Antti Niemi was absent from the starting line up, as he's in transfer talks with Fulham, so Paul Smith started with new signing Bartosz Bialkowski on the bench.

Both teams had chances at the start of the match, and Lundekvam, returning from injury, was struggling to keep with the pace of the Dons forwards, especially danger man Izale McLeod.

Saints were also creating good chances and David Prutton opened the scoring after 40 minutes to give us a half time lead.

In the second half Saints allowed the Dons back into the match and they subsequently equalised when Claus Lundekvam turned into his own net on 57 minutes.

Within three minutes of the equaliser Quashie had put Saints back in front and six minutes later the game looked over when Theo Walcott scored Saints third, only six minutes after coming on.

After that Saints relaxed and the home fans were reminded of other recent debacles, as MK Dons scored twice in quick succession to level the tie.

This time there wasn't to be a heartbreaking end as Darren Kenton scored his first goal for Saints via a deflection with only three minutes remaining.

So amazingly it ended 4-3 and means back to back wins for George Burley's team in 2006.

So Saints are in the fourth round draw and confidence is definately growing in the team now.

Hopefully things can only get better when the defensive injury worries ease too. The big plus for the new year could be that some of the young players who've come in to the team have definately bedded in to first team football now and looked the part.

Star Player

Theo Walcott - Was involved in three goals, scoring one, after he came on with only half an hour remaining.

His pace and skill make him a nightmare for tired defenders to handle when he's got fresh legs.

Writer:Stef C
Date:Saturday January 7 2006
Time: 6:44PM

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