CUP fever is unquestionably still alive and well in Southampton.

Following from the Millennium Stadium back in May and then the memorable UEFA Cup tie in Bucharest earlier this month, more than 3,000 Saints fans made the trip to Bristol City last night.

Proudly decked out in the yellow and blue from the FA Cup final, the buzz has certainly not gone away.

And there is clearly a feeling that last night's 3-0 Carling Cup third round win could be the start of another unforgettable adventure.

You simply sensed that the fans have now got a taste of success and see this competition as perhaps the best avenue to repeat the excitement of last season.

It's a mouth-watering thought but, in true football talk, let's just take one game at a time.

Last night it was Bristol City and Second Division opposition, with the job completed in a thoroughly professional manner.

A sense of dj vu was in the air somewhat prior to the clash.

In their opening fixture of the League Cup last season, Saints also went into the match somewhat short of goals and with the Premiership visit of Manchester City looming the following weekend.

They hit Tranmere for six as Brett Ormerod fired home a hat-trick and then a brace to send Kevin Keegan's men packing.

Last night also saw a very similar line-up to the Tranmere clash with just two changes in the shape of Rory Delap for Matthew Oakley and Graeme Le Saux for Wayne Bridge.

Another six goals was always highly improbable against a team as good at home as Bristol, but a chance to gain some much-needed confidence in front of goal it most certainly was.

Typically the one man least in need of a goal boast opened the scoring, but others eventually got in on the act after James Beattie's all-important opener - his eighth of the season.

As ever, Saints looked to out-work and pressure the opposition off the ball, before trying to get it out wide to the likes of Chris Marsden, Graeme Le Saux, Jason Dodd and Fabrice Fernandes to supply the crosses.

At times they rode their luck, but from 1-0 ahead the result was never in doubt and, although it wasn't quite 6-1, a first goal of the season from Ormerod and the first for Saints from Graeme Le Saux made for a more than satisfactory victory.

Yes, it's early days, but last night proved that Saints (and most certainly their fans) still seem to have a heavy dose of Cup magic swirling about the system.