Skip to main content


16:58 15th August 2009


A brace from Jordan Rhodes and a first for the Club for Antony Kay gave Town a terrific 3-1 win over recently relegated Southampton at the Galpharm Stadium this afternoon.

Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana had the first shot on goal in the fourth minute, but his useful looking volley from 25 yards out drifted over Smithies' bar.

Town responded by crafting their own half-chance a minute later; Tom Clarke picked out Jordan Rhodes with a lovely cross-field pass, but the striker's touch was too heavy and the ball ran into the hands of the Saints 'keeper.

Rhodes had another great chance in the 7th minute after Novak broke free down the right hand side and fed the ball back to Pilkington, who crossed to the back post. Rhodes stretched to connect with the ball at the back stick, but was under heavy pressure from a defender and the ball bounced into the ground before bouncing over the crossbar.

Goalkeeper Kelvin Davis came to the away side's rescue in the 10th minute, pulling off an astonishing save from Novak. The striker was free on the edge of the six yard box and collected a good head across goal from Butler before smashing towards goal, only for the 'keeper to spread himself and turn the ball around for a corner.

From that set piece, Pilkington collected a short pass from Roberts before cutting inside and bending the ball wide of the far post.

The unlikely source of Town's next shot on goal was Peter Clarke in the 14th minute - he sent a deflected effort towards goal that Davis did well to push around the post after a Roberts corner was only half cleared by the away defence.

Kay's looping header from another Roberts delivery caused Davis some nervous moments two minutes later, but referee Haines gave the free-kick as Town players crowded around him.

More excellent link-up play between strikers Rhodes and Novak gave the latter another shooting opportunity inside the area in the 17th minute, but the ex-Gateshead man was given offside.

Saints right winger Lloyd James had a useful looking shot deflected over the crossbar courtesy of an excellent block by Peter Clarke in the 23rd minute, but it was Lee Clark's side that were making all the running in the opening quarter of the game.

An excellent last ditch header from veteran defender Chris Perry denied Novak a free header at goal in the 29th minute after Pilkington's excellent cross from the left wing.

Kay shot wide from range in the 33rd minute with Skarz well positioned to his left-hand side.

Southampton were always looking to play an early ball to tall target-man Rasiak who was clearly dangerous in the air, but throughout the first-half Clarke and Butler dealt admirably with the threat.


Town looked to have opened the scoring in the 47th minute after Roberts picked out Novak in the six yard box, but once again Kelvin Davis pulled off an astonishing save to deny him his first goal for the Club. Roberts had been released down the left flank thanks to a brilliant pass from Pilkington, butdespite the quality of the move both Lee Clark and Dean Hoyle

GOAL - It didn't matter soon after as Jordan Rhodes put the home side ahead with his fourth goal for the Club. The goal came courtesy of a penalty after Chris Perry hauled down Novak from behind in the area and although Davis once again pulled off a great save from Rhodes' initial spot kick, the striker had the sense to follow in and tap home the rebound.

BOOKING - Southampton midfielder Paul Wotton was the first player to enter the referee's book in the 52nd minute after a cynical trip from behind on Gary Roberts.

GOAL - The Saints replied soon afterwards, with new signing Rickie Lambert netting in the 53rd minute. The goal came from a left-sided corner taken by midfielder Adam Lallana - his ball to the penalty spot was met by the onrushing forward and although Alex Smithies tipped the ball onto the bar, the linesman adjudged that the ball had crossed the line.

SUBS - Saints manager Alan Pardew then made a double substitution, with Jake Thomason and Jacob Mellis replacing Lloyd James and Morgan Schneiderlein.

SUB - A Town change followed soon after, with Theo Robinson replacing Lee Novak in the 56th minute.

Lambert put an ambitious overhead kick attempt into his own fans in the 59th minute before a great low cross from Tom Clarke narrowly evaded substitute Robinson at the back post two minutes later.

BOOKING - Saints defender Wayne Thomas received a yellow card in the 63rd minute after his challenge on Jordan Rhodes was deemed to be too robust.

Town started to press the visitors into their own half as the final twenty minutes approached and soon scored a great second goal.

GOAL - A period of attacking play from Clark's side forced right-back Murty to concede a corner on Town's left side, which Pilkington took; a great clearing header from Wayne Thomas fell back to the feet of the winger, whose excellent cross left the 'keeper stranded and gave Rhodes the simple task of nodding home.

BOOKING - Saints winger Adam Lallana then received a deserved booking for a horrible tackle on Anthony Pilkington.

SUB - Lee Clark gave new loan signing Danny Drinkwater his Town debut in the 72nd minute; he replaced Gary Roberts. He switched to the right flank, with Pilkington coming across to the left.

Robinson came very close to connecting with another great Pilkington cross in the 75th minute, but could only glance the ball out to the other wing with his header.

Lee Peltier used his immense pace to catch Saints sub Mellis once he had broken between Town's centre backs in the 77th minute before clearing the ball to safety.

Andy Butler sent a header flashing across the face of goal from a Pilkington corner on the stroke of 80 minutes.

SUB - Alan Pardew made his final change in the same minute, bringing on Oliver Lancashire for Chris Perry.

GOAL - Town looked to have sealed the three points in the 82nd minute when midfielder Antony Kay scored his first goal for the Club. Town won a free-kick down the left flank due to another heavy challenge on Rhodes from Thomas and Pilkington swept in a terrific inswinging delivery that glanced the head of Andy Butler. Davis once again made a good save, but Kay was on hand to loop a free header into the far corner.

SUB - Lionel Ainsworth replaced Jordan Rhodes in the 85th minute, with the two-goal hero getting a tremendous reception from the home fans. He joined fellow sub Robinson in attack.

Town's pace in attack stretched the home side late on, with both Robinson and Ainsworth going close to scoring a fourth. In the five minutes of added time, Robinson outpaced centre-back Lancashire to latch onto a ball over the top in a similar move to his goal on Tuesday night, but this time Davis saved low to his right side.


Town's Team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Joe Skarz, Andy Butler, Peter Clarke (c), Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Danny Drinkwater 72), Tom Clarke, Antony Kay, Anthony Pilkington; Lee Novak (Theo Robinson 56), Jordan Rhodes (Lionel Ainsworth 85)

Unused Substitutes: Matt Glennon, Nathan Clarke, Robbie Williams, James Berrett

Southampton Bookings: Paul Wotton (52), Wayne Thomas (63), Adam Lallana (70)

Attendance: 12,449

Visitors: 823

    Data provided by Press Association


    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.