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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
20:53 17th April 2010

SAINTS MARCH ON WITH LATE WINNER

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Yeovil Town suffered late heartbreak for the second time in four days when a 93rd minute header from substitute Lee Barnard kept ten man Southampton's faint play-off hopes alive at Huish Park this afternoon.

Barnard's header from a right wing cross gave the Saints maximum points in a tempestuous match that had everything in it including the dismissal of Morgan Schneiderlin in the 70th minute for violent conduct and should have seen another red card for Jose Fonte's 77th minute professional foul.

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Huish Park's biggest crowd for two years, swelled by 2,000 Saints fans, created a buzzing atmosphere in the heat of Huish Park and the game matched the atmosphere.

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Yeovil went into the game with an unchanged team for the third game running, the only changes being on the bench where Aidan Downes, Luke Ayling and Danny Hutchins dropped out to be replaced by Nathan Jones, Stefan Stam and Arron Davies.

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The first twenty minutes saw the home side well and truly under the cosh as the visitors shoot-on-sight policy shone through. Seven times in the first eighteen minutes, the Saints had clear opportunities to score but a combination of wastefulness, good saves and a resolute defence denied Rickie Lambert three times. Adam Lallana, Dan Seaborne and Dean Hammond could also have given their side the lead.

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In between times there was a glimmer of light for the home fans. Dean Bowditch and Gavin Williams were combining well up front and both players created chances for each other.

Bit by bit, the Glovers inched their way back into the game. Bowditch's shot was smothered by Saints keeper Kelvin Davis and the gloveman denied Bowditch again seven minutes later.

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Still the chances for either side went begging. Hammond blazed a chance right out of the ground after being set up by Michail Antonio while at the other end, Craig Alcock headed wide from a Williams cross.

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Twice in the closing moments of the first half, sheer brilliance and vision from Williams created opportunities for Gavin Tomlin in near identical moves. The Welsh wizard sprayed pinpoint passes across to Andy Welsh on the left whose crosses landed at the door of Tomlin who was unlucky on both occasions not to open the scoring.

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At half time, Saints boss Alan Pardew brought 25-goal striker Lee Barnard on for Antonio and the ex-Southend striker looked lively up front for the visitors.

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The second half continued in the same vein as the first half had ended with chance after chance. Barely had one side's attack broken down than they were defending their own goal from an opposition thrust. Jason Puncheon's volley and Lee Barnard's curler came close for Southampton while Jean-Paul Kalala and Bowditch again were similarly near but not near enough.

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One particualr Saint turned sinner with twenty minutes left when Frenchman Schneiderlin lashed out at Williams wide on the right hand side and was shown a straight red card.

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Just seven minutes later, Williams again broke through clear of the last defender who hauled him down cynically. As both sets of spectators waited for the inevitable red card, referee Oli Langford opted to show just a yellow with an overly lenient decison.

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made one last roll of the dice by throwing on two more strikers in Papa Waigo N'Daiye and David Connolly, effectively playing with four strikers in a switch intended to save his season.

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The heartbreak came deep into the third minute of stoppage time when from a right wing cross, Barnard looped in a header past the despairing keeper Alex McCarthy.

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Yet even then, symbolic of the topsy-turvy game, Steven Caulker of all people almost grabbed a late, late equaliser but poked his shot into the side netting.

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For the second time this week, the Glovers have lost points deep into stoppage time so it takes the season on another week now and Terry Skiverton will hope his men can wrap things up at Brentford next weekend.

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    Data provided by Press Association

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