Saints seal comfortable win
Southampton climbed up the table after beating 10-man Norwich to register their first home league win of the season.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 30/09/08 10:53pm
Southampton climbed up the Championship table after beating 10-man Norwich to register their first home league win of the season.
Jordan Robertson set Saints on their way with a superb debut goal in the 29th minute before Norwich defender Dejan Stefanovic was sent off after conceding a 64th-minute penalty.
David McGoldrick converted his fifth goal of the season from the spot to put the home side in control and they could have won more emphatically as they dominated the last half-hour.
Southampton carved out the game's first goalscoring opportunity after 13 minutes.
Jack Cork and Adam Lallana combined to release McGoldrick down the right, and after the striker saw his initial effort blocked by Mark Fotheringham, he fired in a second shot which flew into the side-netting.
Norwich responded well and hit the post six minutes later when Antoine Sibierski met Lee Croft's left-wing cross with a powerful header.
Ryan Bertrand then saw a long-range effort go wide for the Canaries after 22 minutes, and Darel Russell headed over from another dangerous Croft delivery as the visitors continued to press.
Croft then went close himself with a shot which whistled past goalkeeper Kelvin Davis' near post, but it was Southampton who opened the scoring soon after as new loan signing Robertson marked his debut for the club with a stunning goal.
The 20-year-old forward, who joined the Saints as part of the deal which saw Nathan Dyer move to Sheffield United, found himself in space on the left and lashed a powerful 25-yard shot beyond David Marshall in the Norwich goal.
Stefanovic and Sibierski both saw headers blocked as Norwich tried to get back on level terms, while substitute Bradley Wright-Phillips, who had replaced the injured Tomas Pekhart in attack, rattled the bar for Saints shortly before the break.
Norwich enjoyed a short spell of pressure immediately after the break, although they were unable to carve out any clear-cut chances.
At the other end, the lively Robertson forced Stefanovic into a fine block, while McGoldrick headed wide from Andrew Surman's corner.
Home goalkeeper Davis then had to make two fine stops to deny Canaries forward Omar Koroma, before Saints doubled their lead from the penalty spot in the 64th minute.
Lallana was cynically brought down by Stefanovic, who was shown a straight red card, and McGoldrick stepped up to drill the spot-kick beyond Marshall for his first goal in eight games.
Wright-Phillips and Lallana had opportunities to extend Saints' lead shortly after, with the latter's 20-yard shot forcing a stunning save from Marshall.
McGoldrick and Robertson also went close as a third Southampton goal seemed inevitable, but Jan Poortvliet's men had to be content with a two-goal cushion, which was more than enough to satisfy a delighted St Mary's crowd.