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12:09 21st March 2011

Saints sink Wednesday

Quickfire second half strikes from Jose Fonte and Rickie Lambert downed the Owls at Southampton on Saturday.

The scoreline was harsh on Wednesday, who had matched the high-flying Saints until the first goal went in.

After weathering an early Southampton storm, the Owls hit back and were good value for a point before Saints' clinical edge in front of goal proved the difference.

New recruit Rob Jones showed his mettle inside the first few minutes with a full blooded challenge to deny Lee Barnard a clear sight on goal.

Lambert then warmed the hands of Richard O'Donnell with a pacy free kick that the debutant keeper did well to smother.

O'Donnell showed no signs of nerves and did all that was asked of him well as the first half unfolded.

Southampton bossed things in terms of possession through the early throes but the Owls soaked up the pressure and enjoyed neat pockets of play themselves.

Isaiah Osbourne looked particularly menacing going forward, as was evidenced by a fierce long ranger that whistled narrowly past the post on the half-hour mark.

Michael Morrison headed wide from Gary Teale's free kick and the Owls more than held their own as half time approached.

Indeed, as the teams went down the tunnel after Jones had nodded another Teale cross just wide, it was Wednesday who looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

The second half started in much the same way as the first and this time Southampton really stretched O'Donnell but again the youngster rose to the occasion with a fine diving save from Dean Hammond.

But O'Donnell and the Owls were undone on the hour from a Southampton corner. Alex Chamberlain's feed was accurate and perfect for the onrushing figure of Fonte to power a header into the top corner.

Six minutes later, Saints made it two. A swift move upfield saw the ball fall nicely to top scorer Lambert, who drilled an unstoppable shot past O'Donnell.

Adam Lallana then struck a post as Southampton's advantage began to tell and O'Donnell pulled off another impressive save to keep out an arcing shot from Chamberlain.

Although they failed to add to their tally, the hosts closed the game in the driving seat to strengthen their top six slot, while for Wednesday it was another case of what might have been and a long trek home pointless.

Southampton: Davis, Butterfield, Jaidi, Fonte, Harding, Chamberlain (Prado 77), Chaplow, Hammond, Lallana (Seaborne 90), Barnard (Forte 86), Lambert

Unused substitutes: Bialkowski, Richardson, Martin, N'Guessan

Owls: O'Donnell, Morrison, Jones, Batth, Reynolds, Coke, Miller (Potter 74), Osbourne (Johnson 62), Teale (O'Connor 81), Heffernan, Madine

Unused substitutes: Cuff, Spurr, Buxton, Mellor

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.