Saints hold on for a win against West Brom

Last updated : 01 March 2003 By Christian Kelly

Gordon Strachan looked far from pleased with his side's performance against the Baggies. As Saints had every opportunity to do well, who can blame him ?

Yet, once again Southampton struggled to find a cutting edge and kill the game off. While West Brom were reduced to long balls for ninety minutes, Saints had to once again rely on James Beattie to give them three points.

The England international, put a half volley beyond Hoult after Brett Ormerod knocked down a cross form the right wing.

Although he showed some nice touches, Brett Ormerod was once again out muscled by the opposition defence, and his fear of shooting looked very much in place. With a midfield that can't score regularly, Beattie is Saints only attacking outlet. That he manages to still score despite the attentions of the opposition is testament to his quality.

Quality was something that was pretty much absent from this encounter and neither goalkeeper had a lot to do for most of the game. Lundekvam, Svensson and later Higginbotham, were all impressive as they kept out the West Brom attack. Wayne Bridge's return immediately shored up the left hand side. Matt Oakley was also in fine form. In attack, Fabrice Fernandes came close to getting a goal on a couple of occasions but drifted out of the game as Saints fell back to defend the three points.

Having not scored a second goal the last ten minutes proved to be nervous for Saints, and Daniele Dichio almost snatched an equaliser for West Brom. Having lost to late goals against Everton, Strachan must know that his attacking players are going to have to pull their weight if Saints are to progress.