MIDFIELDER Steven Davis admitted that Saints received a slice of good fortune for the decisive penalty against Aston Villa.

Referee Mark Halsey – a late replacement for the ill Chris Foy – awarded Nigel Adkins’ side a spot kick after Jay Rodriguez went to ground following an attempted tackle from Enda Stevens, despite the defender failing to make contact with the striker.

Davis, a late sub, said: “I thought at the time that Jay just nipped in front and their lad’s dived in a little bit.

“At the time I thought it was a penalty. But you need a little bit of luck sometimes as well.

“It went in our favour.”

Davis was returning to the club where he started his career and said he hopes both sides can find a way of avoiding relegation.

“I still have a soft spot for the club,” he said.

“I came through here and I’ll be forever grateful to Villa for giving me a chance here in the Premier League.

“I’d like to see both teams staying up, but it’s tight down at the bottom now.

“It’s going to go right to the wire with a number of teams.”