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Southampton 2008

May 4th 2008: Southampton FC's first team won their last game of the season with a 3-2 victory over Sheffield United to retain their Championship status.

May 14th 2008: Southampton FC provide the stage for a Football Aid Charity match, whereby twenty-six men followed in the footsteps of Youssef Safri and Marek Saganowski, who had ten days before ran out of the tunnel at St. Mary's.

14th May 2008
Southampton Home vs Southampton Away
St Mary's Stadium
KO: 14:00 pm
Match Officials: Anton Beavis, Craig Burton, & Aaron Moody
Legends: Rueben Agboola & Dave Puckett


There was a blue sky over St Mary's Stadium as both teams set to play out their 90 minutes of footballing stardom, however it was the Home Team that carried the early threat. Within the first five minutes, Captain Phil Thorpe surprised a startled Away Team by intercepting a pass and scoring an early goal, shot from the edge of the penalty box.

The Away Team reacted rapidly to the goal, and Barry Tull gave the Away fans something to shout about with his first-class volley over to Chris Bundy. The midfielder however was unable to find the back of the net, and his shot went just wide of the target.

After the threat of an equaliser, great communication between Paul Pinchbeck and Gary Parnell allowed the ball to travel up the right hand side of the park. Pinchbeck caused a lot of problems for the Away defence as he crossed the ball over to Parnell in the sixth minute, and the striker hit the ball past keeper Matt Kingsbury into the back of his net.

Two minutes later, Phil Thorpe was back in action and managed to end up with a one-on-one situation with the Away defence. This unfortunately amounted to nothing, when the keeper reacted quickly to the Captain's shot on goal and managed to keep the ball out.

It was now the turn of former Saints sensation, Dave Puckett to show the teams why he made it as a professional. The legend made a great pass to Captain Jason Southwell, which sent the striker into the firing line. A great header over the defence back to Puckett created the perfect chance for the Away Team to score, and after a one-on-one with Home goalkeeper Ben Sibley, Puckett managed to slide it over the line to make it 2-1.

One minute after the restart, Gary Purnell managed once again to find the ball at his feet. This time, he looked up and instead of trying to bypass Away defenders Ryan and Ian Faulkner, he powerfully aimed the ball at the goal, with his attempt ending up just wide of Kingsbury's net. It wasn't long however for Martyn Barnett from the Home Team to compensate when in the 16th minute, he was through on goal to make it 3-1 to the Home Team.

Richard Becheley was next to create a chance, and what a chance it was. Shot from the edge of the box, the ball zoomed over Kingsbury's head only to hit the crossbar and fly over the net. The keeper however could not keep the ball away from his area, however upon leaving his box to collect the ball, the chance came for Captain Phil Thorpe to strike a magnificent shot from 40 yards away, and straight into the back of the unmarked net.

Thorpe continued to apply pressure to the Away defence, and caught them out with another commanding shot. This time however the ball smashed against the crossbar, and the keeper kicked it back into play.

With eleven minutes to go to the break, and trailing by three goals, the Away Team longed for the breakthrough that they had received with Puckett's goal. This however wasn't the case, and the Home attack proved too strong for the back four. Richard Becheley managed to play yet another defence splitting pass for Parnell across the face of the goal, and the striker took his chance to put his name on the score sheet for the second time.

A mere thirty seconds after Becheley had helped set up the fifth goal, the striker came back hungry for the Home Team's sixth. A one-on-one with the keeper was guaranteed to provide the number 9 with his first goal at St Mary's, however an unexpected rebound denied an excellent attempt on goal. This did not deter Becheley, who seconds later struck the returned ball into the back of the net, leaving the defenders helpless.

The striking partnership of Becheley and Parnell was beginning to resemble that of the famous force of Phillips and Beattie three years earlier. Right on the half time whistle, a great cross from Becheley to his counterpart allowed the seventh goal of the half, with Parnell slotting the ball past Kingsbury for his hat-trick.

Half Time: Southampton Home 7-1 Southampton Away

The Away Team came back out with their minds set on one thing only - to claim back a few of the goals lost in the first 45 minutes. And that is exactly what they nearly did. Legend and goal scorer Dave Puckett made it up the right hand side of the pitch, aiming for that highly anticipated goal. His shot to double their tally looked as though it was heading in, until Paul Pinchbeck appeared in the goal area to clear if off the line.

The Away Team had noticeably started to structure themselves differently, and they were starting to hold the ball for longer than in the first half. However, the teamwork and movement between them, could not get them any further up the park, and neither could it stop their opposition from scoring an incredible eighth goal. Taking off where he had left off in the first half, Parnell was back to cause the defence further problems. Managing to zig-zag his way around the defenders, the striker capitalised on their mistakes by putting the ball into the back of the net.

Just under the hour mark, home captain Phil Thorpe was back on the scoresheet, this time with his hat-trick header. The next five minutes saw the score rise by another two Home Team goals, with half time substitute Ben Leslie and striker Gary Parnell getting their names added to the score sheet to make it 11-1. A retaliating flick by Martin Heasman from the Away Team almost doubled their score line a few minutes later, however the ball went just wide of Home keeper Ben Sibley's post.

It was now the turn of former Southampton player Rueben Agboola to take his turn for the Home Team. The legend went on a good run up the left hand side of the pitch, and crossed the ball over to the box where it found Phil Thorpe, who shot just wide of the goal.

The Away Team managed to get themselves closer to the Home goalkeeper, with Nick Poling eager to get the ball into the back of the net. The right back made a fine run into the area, and was given a rare chance for a shot on goal, only for it to be saved by Sibley.

Moments later it was striker Martin Heasman who had the next attempt on goal for the Away team, however his through ball was perfectly cleared off the line by Simon Becheley.

As if eleven goals wasn't enough to concede, the Away team hoped it couldn't get any worse with only two minutes from time. Unfortunately they were mistaken, as Purnell, eager to get an incredible second hat-trick on the score board, struck a volley from 25 yards out and saw it creep into the goal. It was a suitably dramatic end to the game for the forward, who helped to keep the Home Team victorious for the second year in a row.

Full Time: Southampton Home 12 - 1 Southampton Away

Man of the Match (Home) - Richard Becheley

Man of the Match (Away) - Matt Kingsbury

Moment of the Match - Martin Heasman


Home Team: Sibley, Pinchbeck, Agboola, S. Becheley, Foreman, Thorpe (c), Barnett, Carr, R. Becheley, Lucas, Parnell SUBS Leslie, Jones

Mascot: Beth Thorpe

Away Team: Kingsbury, Reed, Puckett, R. Faulkner, I. Faulkner, Tull, Thorne, Powell, Heasman, Bundy, Southwell (c) SUBS: Brown, Dowgill, Poling, Roberts

Mascot: Alex Thorne

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY AND DVD/FILMING DETAILS

There are a wide selection of fantastic action photos available from Matt Nuttall Photography for this match, please visit his www.mattnuttallphotography.co.uk website for full order details.

In addition there is a superb DVD available, it includes footage of the pre-match build up as well as full match action and can be ordered by contacting Shane Wilkinson on tel - 07976 509335, or by e-mail at - wilkie002@ntlworld.com

A percentage of all these sales will go towards Football Aid’s nominated charities.