Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Saints go marching on with victory over Hull

Saints go marching on with victory over Hull

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 11:33
Saints go marching on with victory over Hull
Kingston upon Hull: Southampton extended their unbeaten run to six matches on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Hull in their English Premier League clash.

A 69th-minute goal by Jose Fonte was enough to give the visitors the points and leave Hull`s Steve Bruce to wait a little longer for his 100th win in the Premier League as a manager.

Victory saw Mauricio Pochettino`s attractive and talented side move above Newcastle -- who host Spurs on Wednesday -- and to within two points of seventh-placed Manchester United, who are away at Arsenal on Wednesday.

Defeat halted Hull`s mini-revival and leaves them four points above the relegation zone.

Southampton dominated the early stages of the game, Rickie Lambert, who has eight goals to his name this season, going close in the third minute as he curled a shot inches wide from Adam Lallana`s cross.

Lambert was in again on goal soon afterwards this time trying to chip the ball over goalkeeper Steve Harper, but the former Newcastle netminder did enough with defender Paul McShane to clear the danger.

However, it came at a cost as McShane -- who had crashed into Harper in trying to clear the ball -- had to be stretchered off and replaced by George Boyd.

Boyd should have put the hosts ahead against the run of play after Republic of Ireland international striker Shane Long`s header came back off the post but he could only miscue the rebound and minutes later sent a header wide.

Having got away twice Saints came back at Hull with Lambert turning creator this time releasing Jay Rodriguez -- their leading scorer in the Premier League with 10 goals -- whose excellent effort from long range was only denied by the bar with Harper well beaten.

The match was riveting no holds barred action as both sides threw caution to the wind.

It was Hull who went close next as Long`s strike partner Croatian international Nikica Jelavic, who had scored his first goal for his new club in the win over Sunderland on Saturday, got free but his shot was tame and no danger to Artur Boruc.

Southampton were the livelier side after the break with Rodriguez always a threat as was Lambert, with both having shots saved by Harper.

The Saints finally broke the deadlock with just over 20 minutes remaining, but it was no thing of beauty.

Hull failed to clear the ball first from Fonte`s header, then Rodriguez seized on the ball but his shot was blocked, Fonte had another go and then when it appeared it had not gone over the line Lambert made sure there was no debate by forcing it over.
AFP --------------

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