Danny Ings got his Saints career off to an almost perfect beginning as he scored on his first start for the club.

The only thing that soured the day for the £16m signing was that he found himself on the end of a 2-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.

Ings, who made an impressive cameo when he was introduced as a half time sub in the season opener against Burnley, was handed a first start as Saints travelled to Merseyside.

He was lively throughout and so nearly opened his account in the first half as he showed great awareness to anticipate Jordan Pickford spilling a long range Cedric Soares shot.

However, his close range effort was saved quite magnificently by Pickford, whose intervention turned the ball onto the underside of the bar.

Ings was not to be denied in the second period though as he found himself with time and space to finish in the six yard box after Mario Lemina had flicked on a James Ward-Prowse corner.

Saints boss Mark Hughes was delighted to see Ings get off to a flyer.

He said: “It is always important when you go to a new club.

“Danny has made a huge impression since he walked through the door.

“He was excellent in his cameo last week, he was good again today.

“He had chances and scored the goal which is always important when you change clubs.

“As a striker it is important to get up and running and that’s what he’s been able to do.

“For him it’s been an ok day.”

Hughes had to change plans for the Everton game after Jannik Vestergaard came down with a virus late on, and that certainly disrupted things for Saints, “Ideally we would have preferred Yannik out there,” admitted Hughes.

“Certainly towards the end of the game when they were hitting long balls Jannik would have stood firm and we would have had that platform we needed to build momentum “It was a blow. If he had gone down with a virus 24 hours earlier then certainly he would have played.

“He put his hand up and was prepared to play but it was too much of a risk to him on a personal level as he is new to the club, new to the team and for him to go into the team at Everton in a Premier League game was too much of a risk for him and the team.”