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SAINTS bounced back from their defeat at Leeds with a 3-1 win over Exeter at St Mary’s.

A bumper Boxing Day crowd of 30,890 packed into St Mary’s to see Saints close to within eight points of the play-off places.

It looked like being a comfortable afternoon as Saints cruised into a 2-0 lead through Lloyd James – his first for the club – and Neal Trotman before Exeter were reduced to ten men before half time.

But Saints didn’t immediately capitalise and after Matthew Taylor pulled one back it needed a goal from Papa Waigo to settle the nerves and seal the three points.

Alan Pardew made three changes to the team that was defeated by Leeds with Wayne Thomas dropping out and Radhi Jaidi rested from defence.

Lloyd James moved to right back and Neal Trotman was drafted into the centre of defence.

Morgan Schniederlin was fit again to take his place in midfield with Michail Antonio also in and Papa Waigo on the bench alongside former Eastleigh defender Aaron Martin for the first time.

Key incidents:

• 90: Full time. Saints 3 Exeter 1.

• 90: Lambert’s shot hits the bar.

• 87: Saints goal. The nerves are settled as Rickie Lambert threads the ball through to Papa Waigo who makes no mistake with his finish. 3-1.

• 83: It’s a nervy finish for Saints to the extent that sub Joseph Mills is taken off himself for Paul Wotton.

• 68: Exeter goal. Exeter are back into it with Matthew Taylor’s headed goal from Ryan Harley’s corner. 2-1.

• 45: Half time. Saints 2 Exeter 0.

• 42: Red card. Troy Archibald-Henville is given a straight red card for a challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin.

• 30: Saints goal. Another Lloyd James set-piece, this time a free kick from the right, picks out the head of Neal Trotman who powers in a header. 2-0.

• 23: David Connolly’s flicked header from Lloyd James’ corner hits the bar.

• 14: Saints goal. Lloyd James gets forward from right back, cuts in and hits a shot that takes a deflection and goes in. 1-0.

• 00: The match kicks off at 3pm.


Bialkowski, James, Trotman, Perry, Harding; Antonio, Hammond, Schneiderlin, Lallana (Mills 61) (Wotton 83); Lambert Connolly (Waigo 76).
Subs: Davis, Thomas, Martin, Gobern.

Exeter City:

Jones, Tully, Duffy (Dunne 81), Taylor, Golbourne, Archibald-Henville, Russell (Cozic 60), Harley, Seabourne, Stewart (Fleetwood 60), Stansfield.
Subs: Marriott, Sercombe, Logan, Edwards.

Referee: Mr. Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire)

Attendance: 30,980

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