Pilgrims punish Saints
Fourth straight defeat for struggling Southampton
Last Updated: 26/12/08 10:23pm
Fallon: Opening goal
Southampton suffered their fourth straight defeat after going down 2-0 to Plymouth at Home Park.
Goals from Rory Fallon and Luke Summerfield were enough to give Paul Sturrock victory over his old club.
The defeat leaves Southampton just one point and one place above the drop zone and increases the pressure on Saints boss Jan Poortvliet.
Victory also eased Plymouth's fears of getting sucked into the battle to beat the drop following a run of six games without a win.
The Pilgrims were only denied an early lead by a superb double save from Saints goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.
The former Sunderland man kept out Chris Clark's initial effort and then somehow recovered to claw Fallon's follow-up header from underneath the crossbar.
Moments later it was Saints who almost took the lead, but Romain Larrieu pulled off a fine save to deny young striker David McGoldrick.
OpenerBut Plymouth went ahead in the 38th minute when Craig Noone latched onto a poor defensive clearance and swung the ball into the six-yard box from where an unmarked Fallon planted a firm header past Davis and into the net.
It was Fallon's fifth goal of the season, marking the striker's return to the side following a suspension in style.
And four minutes after the break Argyle's lead was doubled, courtesy of Summerfield's second goal of the season.
PenaltySaints defender Olly Lancashire was adjudged to have handled Fallon's shot, and after the visitors' protests had died down Summerfield stepped up to send Davis the wrong way from the spot.
Eight minutes later Noone, enjoying a lively full home debut, thumped a shot against the post
Summerfield's superb pass then sent substitute Jamie Mackie scampering through on goal, but Davis did well to kept out the midfielder's first-time shot.
For Saints, Ryan Smith drilled an ambitious long-range effort over the crossbar and Lancashire headed wide from Andrew Surman's corner, but Plymouth were not unduly troubled to leave Poortvliet with plenty to ponder ahead of Sunday's tough trip to Reading.
Sky Bet Championship
Fri 26th Dec
Watford2 - 4Bristol C
C Palace3 - 1Norwich
Charlton2 - 2QPR
N Forest2 - 4Doncaster
Plymouth2 - 0Southampton
Reading1 - 1Cardiff
Swansea0 - 0Coventry
Sheff Wed1 - 1Blackpool
Burnley1 - 2Barnsley
Wolves1 - 1Sheff Utd
Preston2 - 0Derby
Ipswich0 - 1Birmingham
Sky Bet Championship
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