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Leicester City 1 Saints 2
SAINTS have given themselves a window of opportunity which they must not spurn if they are to achieve a top six finish.
Inconsistency has marred their season so far, but the same can be said of most teams in the Championship.
It is proving to be a quite ridiculous league and that old cliche of anyone can beat anyone' is proving to be true.
A quick look at the results again at the weekend showed they were all over the place.
Predicting any result is a risky business in the division this season and it would take a brave person to put their money where their mouth is on a game-by-game basis.
Those inconsistencies do pave the way for any side that can string a few wins together to turn their season around, though.
Any win away from home is a good win and, despite a dodgy looking penalty decision, Saints deserved the three points at Leicester. With back-to-back home games coming up, it is imperative Saints take advantage of this result and press ahead.Adam Leitch
You can quite easily go from being in the bottom half to the top six in a week, such is the incredible nature of the table and the frequency of the fixtures.
Saints have found themselves in the bottom half but victory at Leicester has given them a chance to forge ahead.
They now face a home double header against Sheffield Wednesday and Hull over the next few days.
Neither game is easy because of the way this league is.
Wednesday beat Saints 5-0 only a few weeks ago while Hull are above Saints and are making a decent fist of a promotion challenge themselves.
However, at St Mary's, both games are very winnable.
If Saints could put that little run of form together now, if they could follow up an away win with six points at home this week suddenly the season will look very different.
It is imperative that Saints are in and around the top six come Christmas.
The table is likely to become a lot more defined around that period and you can't leave yourself too much to do.
So a little run now would be just what the doctor ordered.
In many ways, Saints have done the hard work by getting an away win.
Now it's time to capitalise and make those three points look really important.
Though Leicester were not the toughest of opponents, this result was never a foregone conclusion.
The Foxes had recently appointed a new manager and it had the feel of that honeymoon period type game, the time you never want to play a team.
But in truth, Saints were good value for their win.
The football they played was never at their fluent best - they didn't create a host of opportunities - but they were always the better side.
They were composed on the ball and worked it nicely.
At the back they were solid and, as the game wore on, they seemed to understand the 4-5-1 formation, or 4-3-3 if you prefer, they are employing ever more frequently away.
Stern John did a good job as the lone striker holding the ball up while Nathan Dyer and Bradley Wright-Phillips actually got close enough to him to support.
The three central midfielders joined in occasionally and, encouragingly, more frequently as the game wore on.
That was a change from recent weeks where there had been a tendency for all three to be too deep when the ball goes into John.
At the back Andrew Davies looked sharper, Jermaine Wright did a holding job at left back while Alan Bennett deserves great credit for an excellent game at centre half.
He has shown great character to recover from his nightmare start at the club.
Saints almost fell behind in the opening minutes when Iain Hume got in behind but Kelvin Davis saved at his feet before Shaun Newton side footed the follow-up effort over.
John had a goal disallowed for a tight-looking offside decision before Saints took the lead on 32 minutes.
It was simple football but very effective as Youssef Safri whipped in a deep ball from the right, Dyer headed back at the far post and John's first time volley flew in.
In first half stoppage time the hard work was undone.
Saints didn't defend a ball on the edge of their area very well and it was worked back to Andy King,who had time and space to curl a beautiful shot into the top corner from 30 yards.
Saints took advantage of a piece of fortune on 56 minutes to score what proved to be the winner.
A spinning ball struck Stephen Clemence on the arm just inside the area and referee Richard Beeby awarded a very harsh penalty.
Andrew Surman stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way.
Saints managed to see out the remainder of the game with few scares.
And having rediscovered winning form, defensive solidity and goalscoring prowess again, they need to capitalise this week while they still can.