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SAINTS 1 - BAYERN MUNICH 1
2:28pm Tuesday 30th May 2006 in 03-04 Season
AS FAR as Saints legends go, they don't come any bigger than Ted Bates and Francis Benali.
So it was fitting that a final farewell was said to both in a match which featured some of the world's greatest players.
In the end the inaugural Ted Bates Trophy was shared between the two sides.
But there's no doubt a football connoisseur of Ted's standing would have revelled in seeing the likes of Roy Makaay and Michael Ballack taking on his beloved Saints in Southampton.
He would also have been delighted at the huge number of fans that turned up to support the game.
After 66 years of unbroken service with the club Ted, nicknamed Mr Southampton, knew what it was to be red and white through to the core.
There aren't many people employed by football clubs nowadays that are like that.
Ted was one, Benali another.
Last night, with four minutes remaining, the Saints legend was given one final hurrah when he came on to replace Darren Kenton.
He slotted in at left-back - the scene of so many Benali memories over the years.
Whether it was for his commitment, his hardman attitude or even his solitary competitive goal, he's given many special moments to Saints fans.
Like Ted, Benali's contribution to the club and to the city of Southampton which he is so proud to have been born in and now raise his children in will always be remembered.
How fitting that with many children making their first ever visit to St Mary's last night and giving a glimpse of the future, two legends should provide a reminder of where the club has come from.
With a match at Manchester United in a few days time, Gordon Strachan protected some of his first team players.
Several had niggling injuries and were left out, but that gave a chance for others to stake a claim.
Darren Kenton looked good at left-back while Anders Svensson saw a lot of the ball and played well in midfield.
Neil McCann also contributed greatly to the match while 17-year-old Yoann Folly showed just why Strachan is so excited about his potential.
Playing against Michael Ballack and Jens Jeremies in the centre of midfield on his first team debut might have fazed him, you would have thought. But then you'd have been wrong.
The French teenager is able to break up play and look after his defence but can also get forward and rarely gives the ball away. A real talent for the future.
Bayern, warming up for the re-start of the Bundesliga this weekend after a winter break, were also taking the game seriously.
They had virtually the entire first team out - apart from goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and full-back Bizente Lizarazu - trying to regain that last bit of match sharpness with the league campaign starting soon and the small matter of a Champions League last 16 two-legger with Real Madrid just a few weeks away.
Bayern still had another couple of gears left to go but with Saints having a few players out it made for an even game.
One thing that couldn't be missed was the German's ability to put together slick passing moves.
And with Roy Makaay up front there was always danger if Saints let their guard down for a minute.
The Dutch Golden Boot winner almost pounced with a reaction shot in the fifth minute but Antti Niemi was alert and tipped it over.
It was Saints who took the lead on seven minutes courtesy of Brett Ormerod.
McCann crossed from the left to the far post where Jo Tessem mis-hit his side-footed shot. But it went across goal where Ormerod was razor sharp to steal in and finish the chance.
Ormerod had another great opening later on in the first half when he found himself free in the box six yards out. But he wasn't quite tall enough to be able to direct his header from McCann's cross downwards and it whizzed over the bar.
In the second period Bayern applied a bit more pressure and got the equaliser on the hour mark when the excellent Ballack's 25-yard shot caught everybody unawares and went in the bottom corner.
James Beattie almost won the game for Saints with a 30 yard piledriver that Michael Rensing turned onto the bar but the match of legends finished with honours even.