Saints kept a four point gap between themselves and the bottom three with a goalless draw at Charlton.

They had Kelvin Davis to thank for keeping them in it with a string of fine first half saves before they gained the ascendancy in the second period but were unable to find a goal.

It means Jan Poortvliet’s team have picked up five points in three games over the course of the week having gone unbeaten throughout them.

Charlton had a great chance to take the lead inside the opening minute when Hameur Bouazza’s free kick found the outstretched leg of Mark Hudson at the far post but he couldn’t guide his effort on target.

Adam Lallana was the firsts to have a go for Saints, striking it from 20 yards after a corner on seven minutes but he saw the ball go just wide.

Keith Gillespie was the next to try his luck, this time from Jay McEveley’s low cross from the left, but his effort was across goal but wide.

While Saints played their usual passing game, Charlton were hitting long balls from back to front to either try and win in the air or get in behind. In particular they were looking to hit left to right cross field balls to Hameur Bouzza who had a big height advantage on Lloyd James coming in off the left wing.

There was panic in the Saints area on 16 minutes when Kelvin Davis caught a corner but then spilt it.

Saints hacked it out of the box but only as far as Deon Burton whose fierce shot was turned wide by Davis.

Charlton looked like a team short on confidence and like a team who needed to get a lead to keep the fans with them as much as for themselves. That meant Saints knew the longer they kept them out the better the chance they had.

Bouazza threatened to make the breakthrough on 23 minutes when he flicked the ball up and unleashed a volley from just outside the area but it dipped just over the bar.

Andy Gray had half a chance on 28 minutes after a neat backheel from Burton but slipped as he went to shoot and the ball was well off target.

Jordan Robertson became the first man in the book for fouling keeper Nicky Weaver.

Saints were looking dangerous when they maintained possession in the final third but that wasn’t all that often and they were struggling to create clear cut chances even though you felt they would do at some stage.

Bradley Wright-Phillips tried to make something happen on 33 minutes but fired over the bar from 25 yards.

Skacel tried from a similar range seven minutes later but could only pick out Weaver.

Davis made a terrific save on 41 minutes to keep Charlton out. Skacel and Wright-Phillips clashed into each other allowing Gillespie to pick up the ball and run into the Saints area.

He fired a low shot across goal but Davis got down superbly to his right to stop the shot and it was hacked clear.

He did even better two minutes later as Burton laid the ball into the path of Bouazza whose fierce shot required Davis to stand up tall and turn the ball away.

And incredibly there was an even better save than that just before the break as Davis was going to his right but dived back to his left to keep out Burton’s acrobatic close range volley while he was in action to save at his near post from Gillespie moments later.

Davis’ heroics meant Saints had done what they needed to do and got to half time with the game goalless and the points still there for the taking.

Saints made a half time change with Alex Pearce coming on for Robertson. Pearce went to centre half, Jack Cork alongside Morgan Schniedlerin in the holding midfield roles, Andrew Surman into the hole and David McGoldrick up front.

Wright-Phillips had a tough chance from a tricky far post volley six minutes after the restart but missed the ball with an airshot.

Lallana tried to flick a diving near post header from Lloyd James’ cross goalwards but it flashed wide.

Bouazza gave Saints a timely reminder with a shot on the turn that went wide but with a better first touch he would have been in on goal.

But sure enough having ridden out the storm it was Poortvliet’s team who were growing in confidence as Charlton started to look a little edgy.

Weaver had to turn over his own bar after a mishit cross from James threatened to drop in.

Burton should have done better on 65 minutes when Martin Cranie’s right wing cross picked him out but he was slow to react and the ball hit him and went wide.

Saints had a penalty appeal waved away when Lallana went down in the box under the challenge of Jay McEveley.

On 69 minutes Weaver had to make his first meaningful save as McGoldrick fired in a low shot from a tight angle on the left but the Charlton man got down at his near post to block with his feet.

Surman dragged an effort from 20 yards narrowly wide a minute later.

Charlton made their first switch on 72 minutes with Svetoslav Todorov coming on for Gray.

Wright-Phillips fired in a near post effort but Weaver got behind it well.

Saints had a great chance with ten minutes remaining when McGoldrick’s ball put Wright-Philips through on goal. He shot from the edge of the area but it was straight at Weaver.

Charlton made a change a minute later with Lloyd Sam replacing Gillespie.

Saints responded by bringing on Matt Paterson for Wright-Phillips with seven minutes left.

Saints forced Weaver into a double save on 87 minutes, first from McGoldrick and then from Paterson.

Both sides made a final change with Matt Holland on for Semedo for Charlton and Paul Wotton on for Schneiderlin for Saints.

It was a tense finish as Charlton pushed hard for a late winner but the Saints defence held tight and earned their side a decent point.