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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

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 23 45
2 Ipswich Town 23 44
3 Derby County 23 42
4 Middlesbrough 23 42
5 Brentford 23 40
6 Watford 23 38
7 Norwich City 23 37
8 Blackburn Rovers 23 34
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 34
10 Nottingham Forest 23 31
11 Cardiff City 23 31
12 Charlton Athletic 23 31
13 Sheffield Wednesday 23 31
14 Bolton Wanderers 23 29
15 Fulham 23 28
16 Birmingham City 23 28
17 Reading 23 26
18 Rotherham United 23 25
19 Huddersfield Town 23 25
20 Leeds United 23 24
21 Millwall 23 23
22 Wigan Athletic 23 20
23 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 20
24 Blackpool 23 13

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