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St. Mary's Stadium (ATT 15,837) 17th January 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Woolmer

So'ton Southampton vs Doncaster Rovers Doncaster

So'ton 1

ft

Rovers seal crucial win

Saints' dismal home run continues

Last Updated: 17/01/09 6:35pm

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O'Driscoll: Crucial win

O'Driscoll: Crucial win

Doncaster breathed fire into their quest for survival with a crucial 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Southampton.

The Saints' torrid home run was made even worse after a shocking performance against their relegation rivals.

Marek Saganowski's injury-time goal offered a minor consolation to the home side who failed to repel a solid Rovers attack.

James Coppinger complemented Martin Woods' opener with minutes remaining, and it proved too high and too late a deficit for the home side to overcome.

Faithful

Southampton had not lost in their last two outings and remained faithful to the side that snatched victory at Barnsley last weekend.

Resurgent Rovers were playing their first league match of 2009 - having earlier fallen victim to the freezing January weather. Lewis Guy came in for Paul Heffernan in the only change.

Andrew Surman forced a fine reaction save from Neil Sullivan with a drilled left-foot drive, only after Sam Hird had tested Kelvin Davis at the other end.

The Saints were looking the more likely side to make a breakthrough and Saganowski must have thought his 16th-minute effort was goalbound, until Sullivan denied him brilliantly with his feet.

The visitors went close 10 minutes before the break when Davis flapped at a Hird cross, and Coppinger's spectacular overhead kick flew just past the post.

And the lively Coppinger was denied again just moments later as Davis tipped his powerful right-foot drive around the post.

Deadlock

The deadlock was broken in controversial circumstances just moments after the restart.

As Rovers broke straight from the kick-off, a deflection led the ball into the path of Coppinger who played in Woods in acres of space as the Saints defence stood still appealing for an offside decision that was never given.

Woods was able to coolly slot past Davis into the bottom left corner to stun St Mary's.

David McGoldrick was guilty of squandering a gilt-edge chance for Saints in the 69th minute when he headed over from six yards, in a rare lapse of concentration among the Rovers back line.

Sullivan was forced into action 15 minutes from time, tipping a rasping long-range drive from Saganowski round his post.

And from the resulting corner the veteran stopper produced an even better save, knocking Ryan Smith's drive over his crossbar to keep his side's lead in tact.

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Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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