Saints snatch unlikely success
Southampton produced the proverbial smash-and-grab display as they secured an unlikely 1-0 win at Barnsley.
Last Updated: 10/01/09 5:26pm
Southampton produced the proverbial smash-and-grab display as they withstood heavy pressure before winning 1-0 at Barnsley in the Championship.
With The Tykes thinking a draw would be the worst case scenario at Oakwell, David McGoldrick nodded home Lee Holmes' cross 14 minutes from time to secure a priceless win.
The victory for Southampton, who were also indebted to the fine display of goalkeeper Kelvin Davies, moves the South Coast outfit level on points with fourth-from-bottom Norwich City.
Barnsley started brightly and should have taken the lead inside the first five minutes when Mounir El Haimour's blocked shot fell to Jamie Cureton in the penalty area, but he fired his left-footed shot over the bar.
The home side continued their dominance and missed several chances to break the deadlock, with Jon Macken's swivel and shot going just over the bar, Jamal Campbell-Ryce firing over and Maceo Rigters hitting a shot wide from six yards out.
The visitors could not forge any real chances in the first period, with Bradley Wright-Phillips' snap-shot representing their best opportunity.
The second half began in similar fashion with Barnsley in the ascendancy, and skipper Stephen Foster almost opened the scoring with a towering header from a Campbell-Ryce corner, which was brilliantly turned over the bar by Davies.
Simon Davey's men stepped up their search for that elusive goal, with a heavy spell of pressure that saw Macken head straight at Davies, before Dennis Souza's header was cleared off the line by Lloyd James.
The Barnsley onslaught continued and Cureton again found himself in a great position to score, but his far post shot was blocked by the in-form Davies after a searching cross from Campbell-Ryce.
Southampton then dealt a sucker-punch when, in the 76th minute, McGoldrick rose to head in his sixth league goal of the season when he converted Holmes' cross into the bottom corner to give the Saints a barely-deserved lead.
Jan Poortvliet's young side were clearly buoyed by the goal and Holmes went close to doubling their lead when he fired over from a good position in the box soon after.
The goal knocked the wind out of Barnsley's sails, and despite appeals for a penalty when Kayode Odejayi was pulled down in the six-yard box, they failed to muster any opportunities to draw level, meaning Southampton completed a classic smash-and-grab and Barnsley were left wondering how they failed to take anything from the game.