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Southampton 2-0 Wednesday

2 - 0

St Mary's, Southampton

19/03/11 - 5.20pm



Wednesday fell to their third league defeat on the spin at St Mary's as promotion-chasing Southampton made light work of the struggling Owls in front of the Sky TV cameras on Saturday evening.

The Owls held their hosts out in the first half but second-half strikes from Jose Fonte and Ricky Lambert saw Southampton complete a league 'double' over Wednesday.

The loss leaves Wednesday looking over their shoulders at another end-of-season relegation battle, with results elsewhere leaving them just four points off the bottom four.

Owls boss Gary Megson made a host of changes to the side that lost 4-1 at home against Peterborough United in midweek.

Young stopper Richard O'Donnell was given the nod in goal following an injury to regular number one Nicky Weaver, while centre-backs Rob Jones and Danny Batth, who both signed on loan from Scunthorpe and Wolves respectively earlier in the week, also started in a new-look back four. Paul Heffernan also replaced Jermaine Johnson to join Gary Madine in attack.

Wednesday found themselves just four points above the League One relegation places following the afternoon results and were desperate for a win. Southampton were keen for three points for very different reasons, as they looked to close the gap on the automatic promotion spots by completing a league 'double' against the Owls.

The visitors started relatively well, keeping Southampton out in the early exchanges and looking quite comfortable in the opening exchanges.

The Saints threatened first through Lambert when he superbly turned Batth and won a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box, which he whipped towards goal and forced O'Donnell into an early save.

Wednesday were looking well organised though defensively and were forcing the hosts into long-range efforts, with Adam Lallana being forced inside before unleashing an effort which flew high and wide.

Hitting their hosts on the break seemed to be the Owls' game plan and they broke numerous times early on, only for the final ball to lack the required quality to find either Heffernan or Madine.

The Saints got a huge slice of luck and almost opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Richard Chaplow took advantage of the ball bouncing back into play from the corner flag by passing Mark Reynolds with ease on the by-line and pulling the ball back for Lallana to test O'Donnell.

Lallana was looking the biggest threat for Nigel Adkins' men and he tested O'Donnell again minutes later after bursting through the Owls midfield and launching an effort which deflected into the arms of the Owls stopper.

Wednesday responded and Gary Teale went racing down the right wing to provide a cross which Madine rose above his marker to meet but headed tamely wide.

The visitors were growing with confidence and Isaiah Osbourne came a whisker away from firing the Owls ahead just after the half-hour mark. The midfielder broke with the ball and Madine created space to allow the on-loan Aston Villa man a sight of goal and he shot inches wide to give the Saints their first real scare.

But the hosts finished the first half with a flourish, putting some pressure on the Owls goal late in the half, but the stubborn Wednesday defence didn't allow their hosts through and they were deservedly level at the break.

Half-Time: Saints 0-0 Wednesday

Wednesday forced an early corner in the second half but it was the Saints who had the first chance through skipper Dean Hammond. Hammond unleashed a superb effort which O'Donnell did brilliantly to save and keep the scores level.

Miller saw a free-kick blocked by the Southampton wall before play switched down the other end and Lee Barnard had an effort well blocked by Jones.

But from the resulting corner the Saints took the lead just before the hour mark through Fonte.

Owls boss Megson will have been disappointed at the manner of the goal, Fonte getting in front of Jones to power his header into the back of the net, giving O'Donnell no chance.

Wednesday were then forced into a change when Osbourne limped off injured, Jermaine Johnson coming on to take his place. It was a change the Owls would have made sooner, but the goal triggered a more attacking threat from the visitors.

But it had little change on proceedings as Saints, visibly lifted by the opener, doubled their advantage not long after.

Defensive problems came back to haunt Wednesday as Barnard got free of his marker inside the box and put Lambert in for a clinical finish to make it 2-0 and all-but seal the points for Wednesday.

It could have got worse for the Owls minutes later when Lallana hit the post as the hosts sensed another goal against the confidence-sapped Owls.

With 18 minutes to go Wednesday made their second change with captain Tommy Miller being replaced by Darren Potter, who had a loan spell with the Saints while he was a youngster at Liverpool.

Despite conceding two goals he could do little about, the performance of O'Donnell was one positive Wednesdayites could take from the game, and he produced another top-drawer save to deny Alex Chamberlain in the 77th-minute, palming away a curling effort from the in-deman 17-year-old.

Wednesday made their final change with ten minutes to go when James O'Connor came on to replace Teale.

The visitors kept plugging away to try and get back into the game and Potter whipped a cross in which Jones met with his head but the ball was comfortably saved by Kelvin Davies.

Coke also zipped a powerful low effort wide of goal with two minutes to go.

But Wednesday faced the long journey back to South Yorkshire with nothing to show for their efforts and needing points to haul themselves away from a relegation battle.

Full-Time: Southampton 2-0 Wednesday

Date:Saturday March 19 2011
Time: 7:13PM


dire. we will be lucky to win another game this season. we are totally negative and don't attack with any purpose. we don't deserve to take anything out of games at the moment. i'm not impressed with the players at all but megson most certainly is not sending them out to win games. we had both centre halves and the goalkeeper making their debuts in the same game and that wasn't all enforced upon us. we have lost the plot as a club completely. i heard mandaric saying this week that megson would have carte blanche to do as he wishes this summer, well we may be in league 2 by then. i think we have made the wrong appointment as absolutely nothing has changed at all, it might be best to admit asap and start from scratch
Hirsty's Shinpads
19/03/2011 19:28:00
we were rubbish again hardly any shots on goal midfield totally inafective gave the ball away all the time and created nothing.
beverley owl
19/03/2011 20:38:00
I thought first half we ok though when had possession didn't keep it well. No real chances apart from osbourne effort. Madine looks good and holds up but no one got any spark flair. Really concerned. Defence was better I thought and keeper did ok. Gary teale is useless no decent balls into the box can't beat a player. Hope we stay up at min I am very worried. I do like megson but don't look great does it. Lose next week he may be out of a job.
19/03/2011 20:59:00
Y'see I don't think we deserved to lose the game - we need to get real... you can't go away to someone like Southampton and just go attacking them from word go. First half we looked steady and the only problem in the second half was the slice of luck we didn't get. I'm just as pessimistic as the next wednesdayite most of the time, but I really feel that it's coming. Let's get behind the lads and get some wins in on the board!
19/03/2011 21:57:00
Felt sori for Heffers today cos he kept running and looking for the ball and wen received it passed sum decent balls around the field,it just didnt fall rite for him to show wot he can do.Wud like to see the same stikeforce pairing agen.Thought new lads did well and O'donnell did well and cud nothing bout the goals.Wot i dont get is we are losing 2-0 and he replaces 2 midfielders with 2 midfielders,surely it wud av made sense to bring an extra striker on and go 3 at the back and go for it,think he hasnt a clue wot to do and im still goin with wot i sed that he isnt the rite man for the job.Bring on the Daggers
19/03/2011 22:04:00
Agree with you s5owl (but do think we deserved to lose marginally based on the 2nd half display). When the half-time whistle went you wouldn't have known who was top half or bottom half in the table. The midfield (apart from Osbourne) were poor today and Osbourne was brought in to sit in front of the defence which he did but he was also the main player trying to drive forward and support. Didn't realise Miller was playing!!
19/03/2011 22:23:00
end of the season cant come quick enough. 1 or 2 good points in an otherwise dire performance. thought osbourne was very good, keeper did well, the 2 new centre backs looked encouraging. sick of having my weekends ruined, roll on the final whistle on game 46.
19/03/2011 23:47:00
Do u think we need to get a loan keeper in??????????????????
19/03/2011 23:57:00
think we were very poor attacking wise today teale and reynolds are terrible we have no creativity and no attacking threat thought o'donnell did well on his debut and osbourne again was are best player r jones looked very slow but good in the air and batth did'nt look to bad either think we could do with a loan striker
20/03/2011 01:12:00
we are really in the shiznit now aren't we. Thought we did ok but gave the ball away constantly and didn't really test their keeper at all. At halftime I was praying for a similar performance next half and maybe pinching a point... should have been realistic though and remembered we were on feckin Sky!!! we never win on feckin Sky!!! Osbourne was by far our best player but Heffer and Madinio didn't really get anything to work with. O'donnell did ok between the sticks, looked confident and was shouting alot... Personally I think the season is way too long for the poor players and thus should finish about now.... twitchy bum time from now until the end of season. I too am not sure GM is our man(although I do like the guy), hope to god he proves me wrong. I just wish I could stop watchin cause I'm fed up of it ruining my weekend but it would appear I'm clinically insane, UTO WTID.
20/03/2011 04:21:00
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