Date: Tuesday 18th August 2009
Competition: League One
Venue: The County Ground
Sean Morrison's headed goal gave Swindon Town all three points as the Robins outplayed Southampton, writes Adrian Smith.
The Hampshire side simply could not cope with a superb all round team performance from Danny Wilson's side and in truth, the Robins should have been well ahead before a late period of attacking near the final whistle.
Town boss Danny Wilson made one change to the line-up with new loan signing Tope Obadeyi handed a space in the line-up in place of Lloyd Macklin.
Swindon were rewarded for a bright attacking start when Sean Morrison put them ahead with a bullet header from a JP McGovern corner in the 9th minute. McGovern and Anthony McNamee had combined to earn the corner with some neat interplay down the right wing.
The massed ranks of visiting supporters on the Stratton Bank were stunned into silence as the home fans celebrated the first League goal of the season at a sunny County Ground.
David Lucas did well to charge off his line to deny ex-Bristol Rovers player Lambert on the edge of his area as the Town keeper did enough to put the big striker off.
McNamee earned another corner in the 17th minute but Town were penalised for pushing by Paynter but the Robins were clearly on top having taken the lead.
Kevin Amankwaah played a superb one-two with McNamee who threaded a neat ball into the penalty area for Amankwaah to chase and he sidestepped a defender but was just denied a shooting chance when the ball was clipped out for a corner. Unfortunately Swindon were unable to threaten from the cross when the ball was cleared downfield.
There was a scare in the 25th minute when goalscoring hero Morrison lost control of the ball in front of goal which was picked up by Lambert but his attempted lob over Lucas saw the Town keeper take the ball with the palm of his hand.
Kevin Amankwaah was enjoying a fine game for the Robins getting some important tackles in to deny Saints attackers.
Southampton had their second corner of the match in the 36th minute which saw Wayne Thomas head over from close range after the ball had been headed on by Lambert.
Swindon nearly doubled their lead in the 39th minute when McNamee crossed from the left wing for Paynter to head goalwards but he was denied by the boot of Saints keeper Davis at the expense of a corner.
Shortly afterwards Gordon Greer was cautioned for a foul on Lloyd James near the halfway line and the Saints earned a corner when the ball was played forward as it deflected off Douglas. The visitors threatened from the corner as the ball pinged about before it finally reached Mellis who fired wide.
Southampton earned a corner as the 4th official indicated that one minute of added time would be played and there was just enough time for McNamee to humiliate a defender with his electric pace before sending a useful cross into the penalty area which was cleared.
Shortly afterwards the referee ended the half and the Swindon players left to great applause after dominating against newly relegated Southampton.
Half-Time: Swindon Town 1 Southampton 0
Swindon again started brightly with McNamee setting up a good chance for Obadeyi on the right hand side of the area . However the on-loan striker's shot was deflected for a corner and when it was cleared out to Obadeyi, he sent a curling shot just wide of the upright.
Matt Paterson was having a bad night for the Saints, firstly wasting a good chance by skewing a shot wide of goal and he was then cautioned for a late challenge on Lecsinel Jean-Francois in the 53rd minute.
There was a great atmosphere as darkness fell around The County Ground with the Robins faithful responding to a superb performance by Danny Wison's men.
JP McGovern was denied a goal by the keeper's outstretched glove and Billy Paynter only just missed the loose ball as it pinged about in the penalty area and that only helped to increase the volume around The County Ground.
Ex-Plymouth player Paul Wotton finally managed a shot for the visitors in the 64th minute which drew a diving save from David Lucas.
Swindon had the Saints on the rack with a great cross by Jean-Francois just evading his Town colleagues with the visitors defence all at sea.
Billy Paynter went close yet again with a header from close range which was parried by Davis and the Town forward must have been ruing his luck after being denied yet again.
Cries of 'Danny Wilson's Red and White army' rang out during a break in play while Morrison received treatment for a head injury and he reappeared wearing a Terry Butcher- style bandage.
David Lucas did well to palm away a free kick from 30 yards and the ball was hoofed downfield where it eventually led to a corner when a backpass evaded the Saints keeper and when it was taken, Morgan Schneiderlin was cautioned for disputing a throw in awarded to the Robins.
Swindon were going all out for the second goal and earned their seventh corner when a goalbound shot struck a defender and went out of play.
Southampton's keeper made a hash of a defensive clearance gifting a throw-in to the Robins which saw Morrison launch a trademark long throw goalwards but the keeper made amends by punching the ball clear.
Alan Pardew looked dejected on the touchlines with his team struggling and he finally brought on two substitutes, replacing Paul Wotton with Oscar Gobern and Matt Paterson with Marek Saganowski in the 81st minute.
The visitors were awarded a free-kick around 25 yards from goal and up stepped Rickie Lambert to fire over the bar much to the amusement of The County Ground faithful.
Jonathan Douglas was announced as Swindon's Man of the Match shortly before Anthony McNamee left the field to good applause when he was replaced by Lloyd Macklin in the 85th minute.
There was danger for Town in the 89th minute when the referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area but David Lucas made an outstanding save from Lambert's powerful kick with the Town keeper pushing the ball away to safety.
Lecsinel Jean-Francois was cautioned for time wasting at a throw-in as the match entered added time. Callum Kennedy replaced Obadeyi as Danny Wilson looked to preserve Town's narrow but deserved lead.
Saints last throw of the dice saw Gregor Rasiak replace Ollie Lancashire shortly afterwards.
Lloyd Macklin made an immediate impact harrassing the Saints defence with Alan Pardew waving his arms in obvious disgust as his defender conceded a throw-in deep in the Saints half.
Southampton made a late effort to try and snatch something from the game including a late corner but even though the referee played over seven minutes of added time, Swindon emerged victorious after a truely memorable display against Southampton who leave empty handed after being outplayed throughout.
The boisterous Robins fans in the crowd of 11,007 celebrated loud and long into the night as Swindon recorded their first League win of the season.
Full-Time: Swindon Town 1 Southampton 0
Swindon Town: David Lucas; Kevin Amankwaah, Gordon Greer (Captain), Sean Morrison, Lecsinel Jean-Francois; Jon-Paul McGovern, Jonathan Douglas, Michael Timlin; Tope Obadeyi, Billy Paynter, Anthony McNamee
Substitutes: Phil Smith (GK), Lloyd Macklin, Craig Easton, Nathan Thompson, Scott Cuthbert, Callum Kennedy, Alan O'Brien
Town Bookings: Lecsinel Jean-Francois, Gordon Greer
Swindon Town vs Southampton
Referee: S D Cook
Assistants: M D Rowley / M E Weaver
Fourth Official: S P Beck