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Capital One Cup

St. Mary's Stadium (ATT 11,331) 26th August 2008 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: G Hegley

Southampton Southampton vs Birmingham City Birmingham

Saints into next round

Holmes and Lallana strike to beat Blues

Last Updated: 26/08/08 9:58pm

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Holmes: On target

Holmes: On target

Goals from Lee Holmes and Adam Lallana gave Southampton a 2-0 victory over Birmingham at St Mary's.

The Saints, who have never lost a cup tie since moving into their current home, scored in either half to progress.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish made five changes to the side which beat Barnsley 2-0 in the Championship on Saturday with Kemy Agustien coming in for his first start for the Blues.

Saints chief Jan Poortvliet also rang the changes with four first-team players rested for the clash. Which meant starts for Bartosz Bialkowski, Wayne Thomas, Jack Cork and Paul Wotton.

After a quiet start by both sides it was Blues midfielder Gary McSheffrey who

had the first effort in earnest but his long-range shot sailed well wide of the

target.

Despite struggling to find a foothold in the match early on it was the hosts

who took the lead.

Holmes, who had faced a late fitness test before kick-off, showed no signs of the hamstring injury which forced him off against Derby last time out as he controlled the ball on the edge of the area before firing into the bottom corner.

Speculative

The visitors responded with a few speculative efforts but it was Southampton who went closest to adding to their lead after they hit the woodwork twice within a matter of seconds.

Lallana it was, who was left with his head in his hands after he first of all struck the bar with a shot and as the rebound fell kindly the midfielder side-footed the ball on to the post.

Clearly unhappy at his team's first-half performance McLeish made two changes at half-time with veteran striker Kevin Phillips and Jordon Mutch coming on for Garry O'Connor and McSheffrey.

The change, however, did not seem to inspire any change in the Blues as their lack of support to the strikers was clearly evident.

As the game wore on the visitors started to show the form which has seen them win their opening four games this season and went close to an equaliser through Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.

The former Arsenal man picked up the ball on the right and sent a fizzing shot towards goal which Bialkowski did brilliantly to hold onto with the deadly Phillips ready to pounce on any spillage.

But it visitors' night went from bad to worse five minutes from time when Lallana completed a comfortable victory for Southampton as he twisted and turned past Liam Ridgewell before firing into the bottom corner.

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