Date:Monday November 27 2006
St Mary's Stadium
25 November 2006 3 pm
Grzegorz Rasiak scored his 11th goal of the season with a disputed penalty, as Southampton won 2-1 leaving Luton having lost seven in a row. Russ Perrett reduced the half time 2-0 deficit but the Hatters could not get an equaliser.
Chris Baird's first ever goal put the Saints ahead, and it was nothing more than they deserved after dominating the opening half hour.
Luton's debutant keeper, Dean Kiely, must have wondered what he had agreed to when he was immediately under fire when Rasiak unleashed a left-footed drive from the edge of the area. Kiely made the save but looked strangely nervous for such an experienced keeper.
Rasiak looked dangerous but Luton's central pair did well to keep him in check.
In the 12th minute Warren Feeney struck the post from six yards after a trademark long throw from Edwards.
Southampton responded with the opening goal when defender Baird's header was better placed than it was powerful from Gareth Bale's cross, and Kiely managed to get a hand to it but the slippery ball just crossed the line.
The rain was falling in torrents making the surface awkward and the ball very difficult to control.
The 17-year-old Bale peppered the Town defence with crosses and in the conditions Kiely looked unsecure, and his handling unsure.
10 minutes from the interval, Leon Barnett was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area which was flagged by the Assistant referee and the penalty kick was converted by Rasiak although Kiely guessed correctly and almost got to the ball. The referee must have been somewhat unconvinced by the Assistant's decision, because a red card should have followed the award with Barnett the last man at the time, but the referee did not show a card of any description. It was harsh whichever way you look at it because Barnet was fouled by the opponent prior to the alleged handball incident.
Mike Newell later claimed that it was the Southampton player who was challenging Barnett whose hand had struck the ball, but TV replays were inconclusive.
In the second half, with Morgan on for Boyd, Luton looked a little more potent and Morgan might have scored twice early on. However, he dwelt too long on the first and, ironically, shot too early for the second.
Makin fouled Brkovic and Lewis Emanuel pumped a hopeful cross into the box, which saw the home keeper flap and the poor clearance fell to Perrett who looped a header past the stranded keeper.
Soton manager Burley acted swiftly to try to resume control, by bringing on Kenwyne Jones for Viafara, and he might have got an early reward when he broke free but did not trouble Kiely with his shot.
Skacel drew an excellent save from Kiely from way outside the box, but Luton were not out of it by any means.
Brkovic had a chance with a header and Morgan went close near the end, but Southampton had effectively shut up shop for the points.
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Date:Monday November 27 2006
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