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Southampton 3 West Ham 0 By Rob King, PA Sport
Egil Ostenstad sparked West Ham fury with the goal that launched bottom club
Southampton's romp at the Dell just two minutes after the Norwegian came into
Ian Pearce was booked in the protests to referee Mike Riley after the home
substitute bundled Kevin Davies' header out of Ludek Miklosko's hands and over
the line for his first goal of the season in the 54th minute.
But little more than 10 minutes later Hammers were dead and buried thanks to
fine goals by Davies and Jason Dodd, giving the hard-pressed Saints only their
second win of the season.
Southampton fans, hardly excited by reports of a £5million bid to bring Paul
Merson south from Middlesbrough, staged a pre-match muted protest urging
chairman Rupert Lowe to spend big to save the club's Premiership status.
But many kept the yellow cards in their pocket, waiting to see what newmanager
Dave Jones could do with his first full-strength squad, boosted by Matthew Le
Tissier and Ken Monkou back, new signing Carlton Palmer making his Dell debut and Simon Charlton's first start of the season.
England coach Glenn Hoddle chose this game above all others to spend his last Saturday afternoon before Rome, suggesting he may recall Le Tissier - unfairly
blamed for the Italy defeat in February - to reinforce his World Cup squad next
weekend if Rob Lee and Co are forced out.
He missed his best moment, an 87th minute half-volley that took a great save
from Miklosko to keep out.
The signs had been encouraging for Saints even in a dismal first half.
Dutchman Monkou should have scored in the 10th minute when Le Tissier picked him
out clear in front of an open goal but he placed his header a foot wide of the
right hand post from eight yards.
Southampton came agonisingly close again after 27 minutes with a brave diving
header by Kevin Davies, which flew up off the turf against the underside of the
crossbar. Kevin Richardson drilled the rebound wide from 18 yards.
West Ham, who had won here just once in nine previous visits, brought back two
old boys, Eyal Berkovic, the little Israeli whose every touch earned taunts of
'Judas' by fans disappointed he did not stay on the south coast, and Iain
It was no surprise that the threat came from the former - nine blank outings
this season had stretched Dowie's run to 25 games without a goal since his
Coca-Cola Cup double against Nottingham Forest last October - and it was 18
months since he scored in the Premiership.
Berkovic put a couple of shots wide, while Hartson's strength ensured agreat
tussle with Monkou but it was Ostenstad's arrival which swung thegame.
Ahead, Saints grew in confidence and Davies almost weaved through. The 21 year
old bargain from Chesterfield then had a header cleared off the line by Miklosko
and Impey from the resulting corner.
But he found the target after 65 minutes when Benali, taking Le Tissier's
pass, threaded the ball in to him and he swivelled on a tanner to open up a gap,
his right foot doing the rest from ten yards for his fifth goal of his first
Less than four minutes later it was all over when Dodd controlled the ball
deep in midfield. He does not score many - just six in 202 previous appearances
- but they have often been spectacular and this was no different as from 35
yards he speared a stupendous shot into the top right hand corner.
Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Charlton (Benali 37), Palmer, Monkou,
Lundekvam, Le Tissier, Oakley (Slater 73), Evans (Ostenstad 52),
Subs Not Used: Williams, Taylor.
Goals: Davies 65, Dodd 68, Ostenstad 54.
West Ham: Miklosko, Breacker, Unsworth, Ferdinand, Pearce, Impey,
Lomas, Berkovic, Bishop, Dowie (Moore 59), Hartson.
Subs Not Used: Potts, Omoyinimi, Rowland, Forrest.
Booked: Pearce, Breacker.
Ref: M A Riley (Leeds).