Date: 3rd February 2008 at 11:30am
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Over 2,000 Southampton supporters packed into the Arthur Wait Stand wondering whether we had a team left, after the departures of Grzegorz Rasiak and Rudi Skacel on deadline day.

Andrew Davies had been taking painkillers so he could play and Darren Powell managed to face his old side, despite fears he may miss out. Jermaine Wright moved to left back and Wayne Thomas started on the right side of defence. Wright-Phillips and Stern John were the 2 pronged Southampton strikeforce.

The first 5 minutes of the game belonged to Crystal Palace, after just 35 seconds Damien Scannell dragged his shot wide.

The travelling Southampton supporters where up on their feet and making all noise, and realy got behind the side, despite the poor run of form.

The first real chance came to Stern John after 5 minutes, Adam Hammill’s teasing ball, John couldn’t quite make contact first, Keeper Julian Speroni caught the ball.

Saints began to take control, Wright-Phillips kept on spooning all chances which came his way, ditto Stern John.

Wayne Thomas playing at Right-Back was dangerous, his cross was deflected wide for a corner.

Palace’s only answer was a long and hopefull ‘hoof’ former Eagle Darren Powell and Andrew Davies were dealing with well. Neil Warnock’s style of football had lifted Palace from the relegation zone to play-off hopefuls.

Saints created a golden chance just before half-time, The ball broke to Bradley Wright-Phillips and his sidefoot went wide, much to the dissapointment to the vocal travelling supporters.

Half time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Southampton

Safri took his first decent corner of the game on 50 minutes, it was aimed intowards Darren Powell who could only glance the ball off the top of his head, the ball then went for a throw despite the efforts of Wayne Thomas to keep it in. His efforts were applauded by the supporters.

Soon after Thomas squared to John who again spooned over the bar.

After 60 minutes Morrison shot just wide, soon after Hammills shot from 25 yards was tame and was collected by the dopey-looking Julian Speroni.

Saints fans had been singing the Saganowski song from the end of the frist half and finally! Saints got to see him back in action on 71 minutes. He was roared on to the pitch, after a month out injured, he was just the player to turn the game around!

But just a couple of minutes later Saints went behind, Danns got a lucky break and it fell to the impressive SCOWCROFT who left Davis with no chance.

Safri was replaced by Inigo Idiakez, and soon after Palace could have scored again, a freak free-kick was missed by everyone and Jason Euell, who was being booed by both sets of fans, cleared the ball.

Then a superb play of football, Watson had a superb shot which was top-corner bound until Davis made a superb diving save.

But saints got what they deserved after 84 minutes, Saganowski’s hard work and weaving run was paid off when the ball broke to Andrew Surman, he put a good ball across the 6 yard box, and STERN JOHN slid in to secure saints a goal. The southampton faithful were sent crazy with a late goal.

Saganowski ran his socks off up-top and won a few headers and really changed the game, the hooked wide from inside the box, when really he had to right to get a shot away.

Saints finished the game on top, and to be fair the saints created more chances and should have won the game. But nevertheless the point sent the saints fans home happy, and the fans gave the players a standing obation, and the players showed their repect for the fans by clapping back and signing autographs.

Full Time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Southampton

Player Ratings

Kelvin Davis 8
Made some good saves, including one which stopped saints from going 2 down.

Wayne Thomas 8
Played at right-back and did well.

Andrew Davies 8
Gobbled up all that Palace had to offer.

Darren Powell 8
The former Eagle was impressive on his return to Selhurst Park.

Jermaine Wright 8
Played at left-back despite being a central midfielder by trade, he delt with Scannell well.

Adam Hammill 8
Looked good, could have scored, might need to work on his shooting though.

Youssef Safri 6
Looked tired on his return from the African Cup Of Nations.

Jason Euell 5
Made one good clearence and made 2 5 yard passes, other than that he was awful, again!

Andrew Surman 8
Set-up the goal and played generally well on the left hand side.

Bradley Wright-Phillips 4
Poor, can’t shoot, but is putting in the effort.

Stern John 7
Except from the goal he was poor. But he did apply that all important touch which had evaded Saints for 84 minutes.

Marek Saganowski 9
Replaced Bradley Wright-Phillips on 71 minutes.

Changed the game for Saints, worked hard for the goal and won more headers in 20 minutes than Stern John and Wright-Phillips mustered in the whole game. A great return to action for the Polish international.

Inigo Idiakez 7
Replaced Youssef Safri on 73 minutes.

A good 20 minutes in the middle of the park for Inigo.
Didn’t make much of an impact for the 11 minutes he was on the pitch.


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