January 22nd 1994

IT’s 25 years to the day since Matt Le Tissier scored one of his many wonder goals to win Saints’ first match under the late, great Alan Ball.

Following the sacking of Ian Branfoot at the start of the year, Saints had responded with a 1-0 win against Coventry City only to suffer an FA Cup third-round upset at the hands of Port Vale a week earlier.

But they responded with this marvellous win that set the tone for Bally’s memorable 18 months in charge.

On the day of his appointment, Ball had said: “I am really looking forward to the challenge of bringing the good times and enjoyment back to the Dell and I am sure the people are looking forward to us trying, too.”

He was as good as his word, with this start providing the sort of shot in the arm today’s Saints have enjoyed under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Daily Echo:

Alan Ball before his first game as Saints manager 25 years ago today

Darlington-born Neil Maddison set Saints on their way, charging through a crowd of players to head home the fifth-minute opener from a Le Tissier corner.

Andy Cole equalised in typically clinical fashion from John Robinson’s right-flank cross in the 38th minute.

After evading Ken Monkou in the penalty area with a cute first touch, Cole turned the ball into the corner of Dave Beasant’s goal, right-footed from ten yards.

It was a record-breaking goal for Cole, taking him to 30 goals for Newcastle quicker than any other player, during a season which he finished with 41 goals in all competitions.

An away point would have been a decent result away to a Newcastle side that would achieve third place and in their first season after promotion under ex-Saint Kevin Keegan.

But Matt Le Tissier responded with a stunning free kick to secure a memorable 2-1 win at St James’ Park.

Ball brought out the best in Le Tissier and he reminded the squad of the great man’s potential and his importance to Saints’ cause in the build-up to his first game in charge.

“I told them he was the best player in the club; I told them he was the best player in England; I told them he’s maybe the best player in Europe.”

Le Tissier lived up to that billing with a vintage dead-ball strike from 22 yards out.

Newcastle knew first-hand the threat posed by Saints’ great number seven, having conceded two wonderful goals to him in their 2-1 defeat at The Dell three months earlier.

Le Tissier stung the Magpies again with a mazy run, which took him past Barry Venison and Paul Bracewell before Robinson and Lee Clark combined to bring him down on the edge of the left-side of the penalty area.

Moments later, Newcastle goalkeeper Mike Hooper stood motionless as the ball was whipped over the wall and past him at his near post.

Ball was effusive in his praise of his side afterwards.

“All I asked was that they played with pride and passion for the shirt, and by heavens they did that,” he said.

Le Tissier would score six goals in Ball’s first four games in charge, including a hat-trick in a 4-2 win against Liverpool at The Dell three weeks later.

Saints were 18th out of the 22 Premier League clubs when Ball took over, but 22 points from 17 games, including three wins from his first four, ensured they stayed up by a point.

Saints: Beasant, Kenna, Charlton, Moore, Wood, Monkou, Le Tissier, Banger, Dowie, Maddison, Allen.


January 22nd, 2017

James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez gave Saints a 2-0 half-time lead before Dusan Tadic netted a late penalty, three days before the EFL Cup semi-final win at Liverpool.
Ward-Prowse hit a first-time sidefooted shot from Cedric Soares’ pass, from just inside the area into the far corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.
Rodriguez slammed the second past the Dane when Maya Yoshida headed down a Ward-Prowse free-kick.

January 22nd, 2005

David Prutton slotted a fifth-minute opener and a Peter Crouch header midway through the first half secured Saints their first league win under Harry Redknapp and their second in 22 matches.
But Saints were relegated at the end of the season.

January 22nd, 2000

Jo Tessem’s low 22-yard drive found the corner in the 47th minute and Matt Oakley shrugged off three challenges before burying a 20-yarder.
Glenn Hoddle replaced Dave Jones as manager the following week, when David Hirst announced his retirement.

January 22nd, 1977

A Nick Holmes brace bookended goals from David Peach, Mick Channon, Peter Osgood and Ted MacDougall as the FA Cup holders recorded Saints’ biggest-ever away win.
It is one they have since equalled three times – at Wolves (2007), Oldham (2011) and MK Dons (2015) – but never surpassed.

January 22nd , 1955

A John Flood lob and an Eric Day penalty gave Saints a 2-0 lead before the vistiors scored a late consolation in division three (south).