NOVEMBER 29 2006: Saints 4 Birmingham City 3

TWELVE years ago, Saints produced one of their best results of the season against a Birmingham City side that led the Championship at the time.

This was Saints’ third successive win, taking them to the fringes of the play-off positions.

Kenwyne Jones scored twice in the opening 17 minutes, rifling the first into the top corner before heading in a Jermaine Wright cross at the near post to give Saints a 2-0 lead.

A 20-yard strike by Rudi Skacel made it 3-0 before 20 minutes had been played.

Birmingham pulled two back through Camerone Jerome and Nicklas Bendtner in the second half.

Jerome controlled a goalbound header by Radhi Jaidi, Saints’ current U23s coach, on the line before firing it into the roof of the net. Four minutes later Medhi Nafti’s shot from 25 yards deflected off Claus Lundekvam and fell to Bendtner, who sidefooted home.

But Bradley Wright-Phillips scored what turned out to be the winner with his first touch in the 78th minute.

Radhi Jaidi, netted a late consolation that set up a thrilling finish,before joining Southampton three years later.

Grzegorz Rasiak flicked the ball on into the area, Wright-Phillips turned inside his man and slid the ball into the bottom corner.

Jaidi,who joined Southampton three years later, set up a thrilling finish. He headed a corner goalwards where Chris Baird could only flick it into his own net.

There followed some pushing and shoving between Baird and his own keeper, Kelvin Davis, who had to be pulled apart by teammates.

Deep into stoppage time Birmingham could, and probably should, have broken Saints hearts. Lundekvam failed to deal with a high ball and DJ Campbell had a free header running in on goal. He lobbed it over the stranded Davis, but it landed on top of the net.

The Daily Echo’s Adam Leitch wrote: “Saints put in their best performance of the season against their best opponents of 2006/07 in what was easily the best game of the campaign so far.

“And they answered a lot of questions. Yes, they can handle the pressure of the big games. Yes, they can score goals.

“Yes, they are genuine promotion contenders – and not only for the play-offs. Automatic as well. Both Saints and Birmingham came into the match unbeaten in November, they were the Championship’s top two summer spenders, they are both clubs with expectations of a return to the Premiership. But it was Saints who delivered on all that in the most dramatic fashion.”

Jones had become a father to twin girls only two weeks earlier.

“That crowned it off, it’s been a beautiful 15 days so far,” he said.

Burley played down the clash between Baird and Davis.

“Emotions everywhere were running high. When you’re 3-0 up and then 4-3 and just conceded a goal it was an emotional game, but they’re best of friends in the dressing room.

“Everybody was getting worked up in the end!”

Birmingham were promoted as runners-up behind Sunderland at the end of the 2006/07 season.

Saints, who won 4-2 at Hull three days later, ended the season with a heartbreaking defeat on penalties at Derby in the play-off semi-finals.

Saints: K Davis, Pele, A Ostlund, C Baird, C Lundekvam, R Skacel (M Licka 89), J Wright, A Surman (J Viafara 82), G Rasiak, K Jones (B Wright-Phillips 77), G Bale

Birmingham City: M Taylor, M Taylor, M Sadler, S Kelly, R Jaidi, S Larsson (D Campbell 78), N Danns (C Jerome 52), F Muamba (Nafti 59), Clemence, McSheffrey, Bendtner



Saints 2 Hull 1

Ad am Lallana scored the winner as Saints bounced back from a defeat at Bristol City to record a fifth win in six games in a season that would end with promotion back to the Premier League.

The night began with a minute’s applause for Gary Speed, who died earlier that week.

Saints trailed at half-time but were in front after 55 minutes. Guly Do Prado scored at the second attempt after Rickie Lambert had headed Lallana’s cross back across goal. Then Lallana met a beautiful Frazer Richardson cross with a glancing header from six yards to secure a win that put Saints top of the Championship.


Saints 2 Spurs 1

Saints won this Littlewoods League Cup fourth-round tie at The Dell thanks to goals from Glenn Cockerill and Kevin Moore.

Cockerill gave Saints a 49th-minute lead with a deflected 25-yard volley and six minutes later Moore outjumped Guy Butters to head in the second.

Saints held on after a Russel Osman own goal gave Spurs hope. But Chris Nicholl’s side lost in the next round to eventual winners Luton Town.


Saints 3 Watford 1

Mark Wright and Colin Clarke put Saints 2-0 up after 11 minutes of this division one clash on a foggy afternoon at The Dell. Watford soon pulled one back but debutant Gordon Hobson swept in the third after Tony Coton saved from Cockerill.


Saints 5 Plymouth 1

A Terry Paine brace and goals from Derek Reeves, Don Roper and John Sydenham set up this Dell win against a Plymouth side that finished the season as division three champions.