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16:58 11th September 2010

Report: Town 1 Southampton 0

Town claimed their first win of the season with a 1-0 win over Southampton at The County Ground, thanks to a 65th minute goal from Charlie Austin.

The visitors started strongly and could have been in front twice within the first 10 minutes, when first Aaron Martin's header cannoned against the crossbar, and then David Connolly latched onto a flick on from Rickie Lambert but shot straight at Phil Smith who was down sharply to parry wide.

Town began to settle into the game after the initial Saints bombardment, and could have gone in front after 18 minutes, when Jonathan Douglas nodded the ball through to Charlie Austin, who chested it down well and shot powerfully towards goal, but Kelvin Davies diverted it excellently wide with his right boot.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead after 25 minutes, when Vincent Pericard brilliantly headed a long Sean Morrison ball into the top corner from a way out, but the linesman's flag curtailed any potential celebrations.

Chances for either side were few and far between from that point onwards, with Town finishing the half marginally on the front foot, but both sides needed to up their game if they were to wrestle the initiative in the second half.

It was a high octane opening to the second half, with both sides looking more threatening than they had done in the first.

Jonathan Douglas and J-P McGovern challenge for the ball

Southampton nearly opened the scoring after 58 minutes, after an almighty scramble in the Town box saw both Scott Cuthbert and Sean Morrison block brilliantly from Lambert and Connolly, before Dan Harding looped a dangerous volley over Smith, only to see it bounce off the top of the bar and out.

Town then rallied well, and consequently took the lead after 65 minutes through a typically opportunist finish from Charlie Austin.

A deep free-kick from McGovern was headed against the crossbar by Morrison at the back post, and the rebound found its way to Austin, who did the rest; hitting a left-footed volley into the net via a deflection.

The predictable Saints resurgence then followed, with the visitors piling forward and nearly equalising through a goal-bound Morgan Schneiderlin header, which Douglas volleyed clear of danger.

The visitors were on top, but ironically, it was an injury to Town scorer Austin which disrupted Saints momentum as the youngster was carried off on a stretcher clutching his shoulder after a collision with the onrushing Kelvin Davies.

The game subsequently became disjointed as it moved into the last 10 minutes, with neither side looking likely to add to the scoreline - which of course suited Town more than it did their visitors.

When Town might have expected a Saints onslaught in the last 10 minutes, they experienced little of the sort, as the visitors looked devoid of ideas, and unlikely to fashion an equaliser.

In fact it was Town who went closest to adding to the score, with David Ball stretching to meet David Prutton's near post cross, but poking just wide of the post.

It didn't matter, as the final whistle blew and Town wrapped up three much needed points.

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    Data provided by Press Association