Saints of St Mary’s – Lessons for Everton?

Southampton FC, according to Evertonia, was started in connection with St Mary’s Church, and was known as Southampton St Mary’s, playing at a ground known as The Antelope, before moving to the Dell. Alongside Tottenham Hotspur, they were members of the old Southern League. In 1900 Saints reached the FA Cup Final but lost to Bury 0-4 and two years later they lost to Sheffield United 1-2 in a replay.

Everton had to wait a long time before they won a league fixture at Southampton as the two teams had avoided each other for the most part, mainly due to the fact that Southampton had been in the lower divisions and, when the two sides had met in the Second Division, Southampton had won two and drawn one of their encounters with the Blues.

On Tuesday 25 October 1966, Harry Catterick took FA Cup holders Everton to the Dell to play recently promoted Southampton who were enjoying their first ever season in the top-flight. Derek Temple opened the scoring and Alan Ball added another two goals, one from the penalty spot; Ron Davies scored a consolation for the Saints as Everton triumphed 3-1.

Southampton: MacLaren; Webb, Hollywood; Wimshurst, Knapp, Walker; Paine, Chivers; Davies, Melia, Thompson

Everton: West, Wright, Wilson, Gabriel, Labone, Harvey, Scott, Ball, Young, Temple & Morrissey.

The following season (67-68) Southampton gained revenge for that defeat by Everton as they beat the Blues 3-2 as goals from Alan Ball and Joe Royle had not been enough to salvage a point.

In 1968-69, Everton beat Southampton 2-5 at the Dell in the match played on 12 October 1968 in front of almost 22,000 fans, although ex-Everton stalwart Jimmy Gabriel and Kemp had scored for Southampton, Jimmy Husband scored twice and Alan Ball, Joe Royle and Tommy Wright all got on the scoresheet to give Everton an impressive five goals to two victory.

Southampton: Gurr; Jones, Kirkup; Gabriel, McGrath, Fisher; Paine, Kemp, Davies; Channon, Sydenham

Everton: West, Wright, Brown, Kendall, Labone, Harvey, Husband, Ball, Royle, Hurst & Morrissey

Mike Channon scored twice as struggling Southampton beat League leaders Everton in front of 27,156 at The Dell on the 17 January 1970 and a report in a Saints matchday programme some years later recalled:

Saints were still smarting from their midweek Fairs Cup dismissal by Newcastle United on the away goals ruling and had gone twenty games without a win, Ted Bates' side attacked from the start and Everton goalkeeper Gordon West bravely thwarted Mick Channon three times before Joe Royle escaped the close marking of Jimmy Gabriel to head against the bar.

Southampton took control in the second-half as Bobby Stokes snuffed out Howard Kendall's menace and Everton's susceptibility to crosses was exploited. Saints went ahead in the 74th minute after Ron Davies passed to Tommy Jenkins and he centred perfectly for Mick Channon to head into the net.

Everton pushed forward and equalised twelve minutes later as Keith Newton swung the ball into the penalty-area from a harshly awarded free-kick and Johnny Morrissey slid the ball in off Channon's legs.

It seemed as though Saints were again to be denied a victory they deserved but they hit back immediately and Joe Kirkup crossed for Channon to head an 89th-minute winner.

Southampton: Martin; Kirkup, Byrne; Fisher, Gabriel, Walker; Paine, Channon; Davies, Stokes, Jenkins

Everton: West; Wright, Newton; Kendall, Labone, Harvey (Jackson); Husband, Hurst, Royle, Brown, Morrissey

Mike Buckley scored the winning goal for Everton at the Dell in April 1972, which preceded a winless streak for the Blues’ at the venue as their following nine visits to the ground yielded just two points from goalless draws with Southampton. During that fallow period for the Toffees, Southampton appointed Lawrie McMenemy to replace Saints long serving manager Ted Bates, but McMenemy was unable to prevent The Saints becoming the first victims of the new 3-down relegation system in 1974 when they were relegated, along with Manchester United and Norwich City.

Under McMenemy Southampton reached Wembley in 1976, where the second-division side beat hot-favourites Manchester United in the FA Cup Final thanks to a single goal from Bobby Stokes. Southampton regained their place in Division One in 1978 and they reached the League Cup final a year later, but lost to Nottingham Forest (2-5) at Wembley.

Even though Everton had beaten Southampton in a memorable semi-final at Highbury, in April 1984, the Saints still held sway at the Dell as three days following Everton’s victory, Southampton once again triumphed on home turf as the matchday magazine article reported:

Southampton avenged their FA Cup semi-final defeat three days earlier with this convincing win at home to Everton.

Saints started brightly and were awarded a penalty in the eighth minute after Gary Stevens, pushed David Armstrong, but Steve Moran swept the spot-kick wide. Football took second place to animosity for a spell as five players were booked, then Moran's angled shot whistled just wide of the far post and Adrian Heath had a shot blocked at the other end.

Lawrie McMenemy's side went ahead two minutes into the second-half as Mark Dennis hauled a long throw into the penalty-area Mark Wright touched it on and David Armstrong finished with a typical forceful header.

Everton equalised in the 57th minutes when Kevin Richardson caught Peter Shilton right off his guard with a curling Right foot shot.

Southampton regained the lead in the 79th minute when David Armstrong headed Danny Wallace's corner into the net, then scored their third two minutes later as Steve Moran atoned for his earlier misses by dragging an angled shot past Neville Southall.

Southampton: Shilton, Mills (Curtis), Dennis, Golac, Reuben Agboola, Wright, Holmes, Moran, Worthington, Armstrong, Wallace

Everton: Southall; Stevens, Harper; Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid; Curran, Heath, Gray, Steven, Richardson

Southampton had some consolation for the Semi-Final disappointment as they finished as First Division Runners-up which gained them entry into the following season’s Uefa Cup competition.

When Kevin Richardson scored two vital goals for Everton at the Dell in March 1985 to secure three very useful points in Everton’s quest to become Champions, it started a run of positive results for Everton at the venue as they went on a ten match unbeaten run at the ground. That defeat for Saints was the last occasion that Lawrie McMenemy took charge of Southampton in a match with Everton at the Dell as despite finishing fifth in the table, he left the club at the end of that campaign to be succeeded by Chris Nicholl.

Everton won five consecutive league games at the Dell, between 1985 and 1993, including a match that had celebrated Southampton’s Centenary year; Everton spoiled the celebratory mood by winning the game 2-3. The game was played on 30th November 1985 and the Saints had got off to a flyer in the match against Everton as Glenn Cockerill had struck in the first minute, however, the reigning champions Everton were made of stern stuff and Gary Lineker equalised to send the teams in level at half-time. Steve Moran put Southampton back in front with twenty minutes to play before firstly Adrian Heath and then Trevor Steven scored late in the game to give Everton maximum points.

Southampton: Shilton; Baker, Holmes; Case, Wright, Whitlock, Bond; Cockerill, Moran, Armstrong, Wallace

Everton: Southall; Harper, Van Den Hauwe; Ratcliffe, Stevens, Heath; Steven, Lineker, Wilkinson, Bracewell, Sheedy

Trevor Steven from the penalty-spot and Paul Wilkinson each scored to give Everton victory at the Dell in October 1986 as the Toffees gained another three useful points on their way to reclaiming the League Title. Twelve months later Graeme Sharp had good cause to remember Everton’s visit to the Dell. Graeme Sharp scored all four goals which helped to beat Southampton (0-4). Graeme Sharp scored his first goal after just three minutes and had completed his hat-trick after just twenty minutes of the game when he scored in the 16th and 20thminute. Everton led three goals to nil at the break and Graeme Sharp completed the scoring when he got his and Everton’s fourth goal just after the hour mark.

Southampton: Flowers; Forrest, Statham; Case, Moore, Bond, Townsend; Cockerill, Clarke, Baker (Le Tissier) Baker, Wallace

Everton: Southall, Stevens, Van Den Hauwe, Ratcliffe, Watson, Reid, Steven, Clarke (Harper), Sharp, Snodin, Wilson (Heath)

A truly remarkable day for the Scotsman as he became the first Everton player to score four league goals for the Toffees away from home since Bob Latchford who had scored four of the five goals in Everton’s victory against QPR (1-5) at Loftus Road in October 1977.

That exhibition of goalscoring by Graeme Sharp signalled the end of Everton’s winning sequence at the Dell, but they did return with a point from their next two visits to the venue when Kevin Sheedy cancelled out Kevin Moore’s opener for the Saints as the teams drew one-one in February 1989 and in January 1990 Norman Whiteside for Everton and Russell Osman for Southampton each struck twice as the teams shared four goals.

Another high-scoring game between the two sides took place the following season, on March 16th 1991 five days after the Toffees had exited the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage at Upton Park.

The first half hour of the match had produced no goals, but suddenly there was a flurry of goals as first Dave Watson opened the Blues’ account but six minutes later Neil Ruddock equalised for the home team, however, Mike Milligan restored Everton’s lead six minutes before half-time.

In the second-half Everton retained their lead until Mike Newell equalised for Southampton as he put through his own goal, but he managed to shake off that disappointment by scoring at the right end and restored Everton’s lead.

Tony Cottee put Everton in a commanding position by scoring the Blues’ fourth goal and although Alan Shearer (82’) pulled one back for the Saints it was too little too late as the Evertonians in the 15,410 crowd, celebrated a fine victory in an exciting game.

Southampton: Flowers; Dodd, Benali (Maddison); Cockerill, Ruddock, Moore; Case, Horne (Rideout), Shearer, McLoughlin, Wallace

Everton: Southall, McDonald, Ebbrell, Ratcliffe, Watson, Keown, Nevin (Beagrie), McCall, Newell, Cottee (Atteveld), Milligan.

Ian Branfoot, who had been assistant manager at Crystal Palace, took over from Chris Nicholl at the end of the 90-91 season as Southampton manger and his first encounter with Everton at the Dell, resulted in defeat. Mark Ward opened the scoring after five minutes and Peter Beardsley put the Blues two goals up with around twenty minutes remaining, Micky Adams scored for the hosts one minute from the end, but the Toffees left Hampshire with all the points. That match was the last played between the two sides at the venue in the Football League and the first Premier League encounter at The Dell resulted in a goalless draw.

On 14 August 1993, Everton beat Southampton 0-2 as Peter Beagrie and John Ebbrell each scored. That proved to be Everton’s last victory in Hampshire against the Saints until the sides met at St Mary’s on 20 April 2002 when Steve Watson grabbed the winner in a single goal victory. Alan Ball took over from Ian Branfoot in January 1994 with the Saints struggling to retain their Premier League place the former Toffee guided the South coast team to safety.

In between those victories Everton gained points from the Saints in successive draws. The first of which took place on 3 February 1996, with Dave Merrington now in charge of the Saints following Alan Ball who had taken over at Manchester City, The Sunday Times reported the following:-

After a dire first half, this match exploded into non-stop action, and while the ambitions of both sides were frustrated, justice was served by the result. Everton are aiming for the top six with Southampton just happy to finish anywhere but the bottom three. Neither club was helped by the draw but at least the fans went home sated by the excitement.

Le Tissier's elusive search for his first goal since November 4 almost ended in the second minute as Southampton put the Everton defence under immediate pressure. Latching on to a curling cross from the left by Venison, his deft side-foot lobbed over Southall but rebounded off the crossbar.

Everton's approaches were mainly through route one aimed at the head of Ferguson. At 6ft 4in he is a handful and his duels with defender Monkou were accompanied by flurries of flailing elbows at high altitude, but the Dutchman maintained his cool to keep Ferguson on a tight rein.

It was on the ground, however, that Ferguson created the visitors' first clear opening in the 35th minute. Picked out by Kanchelskis near the penalty spot, with his back to goal, Ferguson turned sharply and Beasant had to dive full stretch to keep out his rasping drive.

In an otherwise drab encounter, it signalled the start of a lively five minutes as Southampton's Magilton had two opportunities in quick succession. The first, a delicate chip passed wide of Southall's right-hand post and then, put through by Le Tissier, he shot weakly and straight at the goalkeeper. As half-time loomed.

Kanchelskis, who had been largely anonymous, let fly a stinging shot from the edge of the area that Beasant turned aside - ironic that he should have been the busier of the two keepers given Southampton's greater possession in the half.

Within 11 seconds of the restart, however, Southampton received their due reward. Walters threaded the ball through to Watson and his low shot hit Southall before trickling over the line. Everton tried to hit back immediately as Kanchelskis tested Beasant at his near post, but then Walters cut in himself and Southall did well to prevent Southampton increasing their lead.

The argument over who is finally credited with Everton's 52nd minute equaliser could run and run. A shot from Kanchelskis was put beyond Beasant's reach by a deflection off defender Charlton and then forced over the line by Stuart. There could be no debate about their second three minutes later as Kanchelskis cut the ball back and Horne swept home his first goal since May 1994 from 10 yards out.

Southampton's effort to equalise was frantic as Monkou had a shot cleared off the line and Le Tissier's deflected shot hit Southall. However, they duly equalised 12 minutes from time through Magilton's stunning volley, and might just have snatched a winner in the dying seconds, but Southall saved brilliantly from Shipperley.

Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said: "'We're going through one of those spells when nothing goes quite right.”'But we are still a difficult side to score against and I believe we are going in the right direction.

'Even so, it is disappointing to score two goals away from home and not win. When we were leading 2-1, I decided to make a change by taking Anders Limpar off and be slightly more defensive but it did not work. We played much better after half-time but so did Southampton and I can only think it was something Dave Merrington and I said to our teams.'

Southampton's Dave Merrington said: "We were very positive and I'm very pleased with the attitude of the players. We are only a finger snap away from turning draws into wins.”

Southampton: Beasant, Dodd, Charlton, Magilton, Hall, Monkou, Le Tissier, Venison, Shipperley, Watson, Walters (Oakley 83).
Subs Not Used: Maddison, Grobbelaar.

Everton: Southall, Jackson, Hinchcliffe, Short, Watson, Kanchelskis, Horne, Parkinson, Stuart, Limpar (Rideout 70), Ferguson.
Subs Not Used: Allen, Kearton. Booked: Short, Limpar.

Att: 15,136 Ref: D Elleray (Harrow on the Hill).

Southampton narrowly avoided relegation in 95-96 as they finished in seventeenth place and ironically it was Alan Ball’s Manchester City who dropped down a division. Graeme Souness took over from Ian Branfoot. Graeme Souness’ Southampton team conceded twice to Everton, but Everton squandered their advantage as Mark Redding reported in The Guardian:-

Southampton kept up the pressure on the beleaguered Joe Royle with an amazing second-half comeback at the Dell last night. It left the Everton manager in danger of being sucked into a relegation battle that could bring the club's 42-year tenure in the top flight to an end. Everton have endured a disastrous new year so far. They have lost six of their last nine league games and won only one, and their interest in the FA Cup was ended at home by First Division's Bradford City.

'We've just had a mad spell,' said Royle, shrugging off this draw as a point earned. 'In December we were sixth in the league and then we were hit by injuries. We think we're too good to be where we are, and it's in our hands now.'

At least Everton have abandoned their long-ball game, which was threatening to bring the School of Science into disrepute, and in the first half they promised a repeat of their 7-1 victory over the Saints at Goodison in November.

After an early scare when a Le Tissier special cannoned off the post, the visitors took command in the 11th minute. Barmby swung in a corner and Ferguson came rampaging in from the back of the box to head the ball down into the rain-soaked turf, and it bounced into the net for the Scot's eighth league goal of the season.

In the 27th minute Everton wet two up. Barmby's overhead kick fell for Barrett, who turned the ball inside; Speed charged through at an acute angle and rifled a low shot past Taylor.

At half-time Slater and the £500,000 signing from Plymouth, Mike Evans, came on and Southampton were transformed. In the 58th minute they pulled a goal back when Slater played wall-passes off Le Tissier and Ostenstad before firing in his first goal for the club. In the 61st minute they were level; Short, under no pressure whatsoever, rose to meet an aimless cross from Dodd and headed the ball into his own goal.

Southampton: Taylor; Dodd (Charlton); Van Gobbel, Dryden, Lundekvam, Benali (Slater); Magilton, Nielson, Le Tissier, Berkovic

Everton: Southall; Barrett, Phelan; Unsworth, Watson, Short; Barmby (Branch), Parkinson, Ferguson, Thomsen (Stuart), Speed

Southampton flirted with relegation for the next couple of seasons as the managerial merry-go-round saw David Jones and then Glenn Hoddle take the reins at the Saints. Carl Tiler scored Everton’s final goal at The Dell when his last minute goal proved to be mere consolation as Chris Lightbown, reported for The Sunday Times:

This Match hinged on two incidents featuring penalties. In the first, Southampton's Ken Monkou was sent off for bringing down a player, but Everton failed to score from the spot-kick. In the second, Everton's Slaven Bilic was dismissed for a similar offence, and Matt Le Tissier put his penalty away. The difference between the teams was no more than that.

This Premier League match was drifting into deadlock when Mickael Madar received the ball when he appeared to be clearly offside. He ran on towards Paul Jones in the Southampton goal and just as Jones appeared about to win this duel, Monkou pulled Madar down from behind. There was no doubting the penalty or, equally, that Monkou had to go off.

Don Hutchison blasted the penalty high towards Jones's right but the Southampton goalkeeper launched himself and tipped the ball over the bar. Everton might have been 2-0 up by then. In the 18th minute John O'Kane put a cross on to Hutchison's head and he, barely six yards from goal, smacked in a sharp header. Jones tipped that over, too.

Just four minutes before the penalty incident, Nick Barmby volleyed a quick pass to Madar who tried to lob Jones. But Jones was having none of it. He anticipated the shot, stretched and grabbed the ball as it began to arc over him.

But these incidents were the exception. Southampton had little momentum or penetration throughout the first half and Le Tissier, of all people, put the ball straight at Thomas Myrhe after carving out an opening. A header by Egil Ostenstad found Le Tissier in a promising position, but the referee blew for an offence by an Everton player as the ball reached him. And that, effectively, was the end of that.

Southampton went in front after 69 minutes when Bilic blatantly pulled down Ostenstad as he ran through on to a Le Tissier pass. Bilic protested vigorously, but he got the red card and Le Tissier put the resultant penalty softly to Myrhe's right.

As 10 against 10, the contest finally took off, though there were some good openings before that. Three minutes after half-time, Gareth Farrelly went down Southampton's left, turned, cut in and put over a perfect cross. Shortly before that, Jones had to stretch yet again to keep out a Farrelly shot.

The winner was simplicity itself. Carlton Palmer finally found some space on Everton's left, looked up and crossed towards Ostenstad at the far post. His downward header flew past Myrhe. Carl Tiler snatched a goal back for Everton in the final minute, but playing badly and still winning shows how far Southampton have come.

Southampton: Beasant, Dodd, Charlton, Magilton, Hall, Monkou, Le Tissier, Venison, Shipperley, Watson, Walters (Oakley 83).
Subs Not Used: Maddison, Grobbelaar.

Everton: Southall, Jackson, Hinchcliffe, Short, Watson, Kanchelskis, Horne, Parkinson, Stuart, Limpar (Rideout 70), Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Allen, Kearton. Booked: Short, Limpar.

Ref: Paul Durkin Att: 15,134

Glenn Hoddle decided the lure of Tottenham Hotspur to be too great and he left the Saints to join the North London club as Stuart Gray was the man in charge when Southampton moved into their new St. Mary’s stadium. Gordon Strachan was yet another manager to be appointed to try and restore Southampton to their desired place in the upper echelons of the Premier League and in his first couple of seasons he led the Saints to mid-table and then an eighth place finish in the Premier League, he also led his side out at the Millennium Stadium in the FA Cup final but the Saints lost to Arsenal (1-0). Strachan decided to take a break from football and resigned his position at St. Mary’s. Steve Wigley took charge of the Saints when they faced Everton on February 2004 in what was a topsy-turvy encounter as the BBC reported:

In their first match since Gordon Strachan's departure, Southampton seemed lacklustre and jaded. So it was little surprise when Everton doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. Thomas Gravesen whipped in a cross from the right and Ferguson's accurate header left Niemi with little chance.

The second goal at last stirred Southampton and on 37 minutes Everton keeper Nigel Martyn was forced into action for the first time when he pushed Jason Dodd's dipping free-kick over the bar. Everton could have been out of sight by half-time as Rooney set up Ferguson but from eight yards out the big Scot ballooned his shot over the bar.

Southampton caretaker boss Steve Wigley threw on James Beattie and Fabrice Fernandes for the second half and they injected some much-needed passion.

Saints' approach was more direct with Beattie up front and it paid dividends on 58 minutes when they got back into the game. A long ball into the box was touched on by Delap and the ball fell for Kevin Phillips who lashed in his fourth goal in five games.

Southampton were pressing for an equaliser when Rooney scored his second to apparently knock the stuffing out of them. Ferguson flicked on a long ball to Steve Watson who measured his cross for Rooney to drive home on 77 minutes.

But Southampton refused to lie down and with nine minutes left Tobias Linderoth clipped David Prutton in the area to give Beattie a penalty -which he converted for his first goal in 10 games. Caretaker boss Steve Wigley's last throw of the dice came up trumps in injury time when Fernandes worked the ball on to his left foot and lashed home a spectacular equaliser from 25 yards.

Southampton: Niemi, Dodd, Michael Svensson, Lundekvam (Fernandes 45), Higginbotham, Prutton, Delap, Telfer (Pahars 88), Le Saux, Ormerod (Beattie 45), Phillips. Subs Not Used: Smith, Crainey. Booked: Le Saux.

Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Unsworth, Pistone, Watson, Linderoth, Gravesen, Kilbane, Rooney, Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Simonsen, McFadden, Naysmith, Radzinski, Campbell.

Attendance: 31,875 Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

The following season Everton were chasing down a CL qualification place and Harry Redknapp the former boss of Southampton’s fiercest rivals Portsmouth had been controversially appointed by Saints Chairman Rupert Lowe to take over at St. Mary’s and it was Happy Harry whose side faced Everton in February 2005. The BBC reported on the match:

Southampton failed to locate Cahill from a long throw and, although Paul Smith showed great reactions to save his header, Beattie reacted first to volley into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Everton were caught out by Graeme Le Saux's quick throw and it needed a great save from the restored Nigel Martyn to snatch Henri Camara's cross from Peter Crouch.

Camara had a golden chance to level on 13 minutes when Crouch intercepted Alan Stubbs' pass but then appeared to hamper the Senegal international, who fired over from 12 yards. Little had been seen of Everton as an attacking force since their goal, but it needed another fine full-length save from Smith to tip away Beattie's stunning volley.

Saints were certainly applying the pressure but almost gifted Everton a second goal when Claus Lundekvam's under-weight back-pass had Smith sprinting from goal to beat James McFadden to the ball.

Southampton continued to create chances and Rory Delap rose highest to Le Saux's corner but could not get his header on target from six yards. Then Camara failed to hit the target with his shot after Crouch had knocked the ball down. The pressure was bound to tell and Saints levelled on 36 minutes when Crouch rose to power in a near-post header from Delap's throw for his fifth goal in six games.

Everton were really under the cosh and Crouch saw his shot cleared off the line by Alan Stubbs, prompting a swift break that ended with Cahill powering a header inches over the bar from Pistone's cross.

Beattie was on defensive duty at the start of the second half, heading clear a dangerous Prutton cross as Southampton took up where they left off and they were denied a penalty when referee Andy D'Urso failed to spot David Weir's handball.

But Southampton would not be denied and took a deserved lead on 55 minutes through a beautifully-constructed goal by Camara. The Senegal international's neat backheel found Prutton, whose return pass was an invitation for Camara to burst past Stubbs and clip the ball over Martyn for his second goal in as many games.

Everton boss David Moyes immediately threw Duncan Ferguson and Mikel Arteta into the fray but within minutes Arteta was booked for a cynical foul on Camara and from the resulting free-kick Le Saux volleyed inches wide.

Everton had three strikers on but Southampton were denied a third by Martyn's smart save from Camara's shot. But just as Southampton looked like closing to within one point of Crystal Palace, Bent took on Calum Davenport and lashed his shot past Smith at the near post.

Southampton: Smith, Prutton, Lundekvam, Davenport, Bernard, Delap, Redknapp, Quashie, Le Saux, Crouch, Camara. Subs Not Used: Jakobsson, Anders Svensson, Blayney, Telfer, Ormerod.

Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Stubbs (Arteta 59), Weir, Pistone, McFadden, Cahill, Yobo, Carsley (Bent 45), Kilbane (Ferguson 59), Beattie. Subs Not Used: Wright, Naysmith. Booked: Hibbert, Arteta.

Att: 31,509 Referee: A D'Urso (Essex).

Harry Redknapp’s Southampton team were relegated at the end of the 2004/05 season for the first time in twenty-seven years, whilst Everton managed to hold onto fourth place despite some patchy form in the remainder of the campaign. Harry Redknapp parted company with Southampton in December 2005 and a variety of on and off the field issues led to the Saints to be relegated to the third tier of English Football in 2009, back to where the club had started their progress, some fifty years earlier. Two years later after many changes, Nigel Adkins Southampton bounced back to the Championship and completed their return to the Premier League in 2012. Nigel Adkins tenure came to an abrupt end in January 2013and he was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton and David Moyes’ Everton played out a goalless draw, the first that the hosts had been involved in at St. Mary’s for almost two years, Everton manager David Moyes said of the performance: "We got better after we had a word at half-time. The chance for Jelavic was a real big chance, we are a little bit like that at the moment. "This time last year we were stealing the goals but it will come. Kevin Mirallas and Victor Anichebe made an impact for us and a draw here is not a bad result. "We are in a good position and we have as much chance of anyone of getting that fourth spot."

Last Time: as reported on the BBC website:

By Owen Phillips BBC Sport

Everton's hopes of securing Champions League football were dealt a huge blow as two first-half own goals gifted Southampton victory at St Mary's. The Toffees, already a point adrift of Arsenal in the race for fourth place, were behind after 54 seconds when Antolin Alcaraz headed home Rickie Lambert's awkward left-wing cross.

And with Saints on top, Seamus Coleman headed another own goal to make it 2-0. Saints set sights on record Southampton's tally of 52 points means they have equalled their best points haul in a 38-game Premier League season and still have two games to play. Everton, meanwhile, have already set their Premier League best - with 69.

The visitors improved after half-time but could not find a breakthrough. Romelu Lukaku wasted a good headed opportunity and the visitors had two decent shouts for a penalty turned down.

But the Merseyside club, who could be four points off the top four if Arsenal beat Newcastle on Monday, were a poor imitation of the side that so impressed in beating the Gunners and Manchester United in recent weeks.

They lacked their usual intensity and quality and looked vulnerable at the back throughout. Only a win over a mid-table Saints team with little to play for seemed like keeping alive their Champions League hopes, but victory at St Mary's never seemed on the cards with a nervy defensive display that started badly and got worse.

Alcaraz, who was deputising for the injured Sylvain Distin, was slightly unfortunate to gift the hosts the lead inside a minute as he tried to divert Lambert's cross around the post for a corner.

The visitors never recovered from that setback and struggled to get to grips with the movement and quality of England duo Lambert and Adam Lallana, as well as Sam Gallagher, who was making just his second Premier League start.

Steven Davis should have added a second but his well-struck first-time effort went narrowly wide after great work by Lambert.

Coleman did make it 2-0 when Nathaniel Clyne's right-wing cross went over both John Stones and Alcaraz and the full-back neatly cushioned a header down and into the bottom corner.

The Toffees' only noteworthy first-half chance saw Lukaku blaze a shot over but they posed more of a threat in the second half. They felt aggrieved by a tight offside call on their brightest player Gerard Deulofeu and a caution for substitute Leon Osman for diving in the box when he appeared to have been clipped by Lovren.

Lukaku also headed straight at goalkeeper Artur Boruc from close range as the game opened up but Saints created the best chances in the last 15 minutes and Lambert almost wrapped up victory with a fine low free-kick that hit the outside of the post.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez "It's very rare to see two own goals. To concede one so early affected us a little bit and we got a bit frustrated. We were not our normal selves. "In a back five you need consistency and having changes we needed 20-25 minutes to get into a tempo and unfortunately we conceded two goals.

"We got stronger in the second half but we never had that confidence we normally have to get the goal to get back into the game."Everything that could have gone wrong defensively did. But eight wins out of 10 is a phenomenal return. You can't underestimate the run the team has been on. "We always look at the biggest points tally we can get. Today is a setback but we will learn from it and we will be ready for next Saturday."

Southampton: 31 Boruc 02 Clyne 23 Shaw 12 Wanyama 06 Fonte 05 Lovren 08 Davis (Do Prado - 90’) 18 Cork 40 Gallagher (Ward-Prowse - 76’) 07 Lambert 20 Lallana (Reed - 86’) Subs: 16 Ward-Prowse 21 Do Prado 22 Chambers 25 Gazzaniga 26 Hooiveld 33 Targett 38 Reed

Everton: 24 Howard 23 Coleman 03 Baines (Garbutt - 90’) 18 Barry Booked 26 Stones 32 Alcaraz 14 Naismith 16 McCarthy 17 Lukaku 20 Barkley (Osman - 45' Booked) 10 Deulofeu (McGeady - 58’) Subs: 01 Robles 02 Hibbert 07 McGeady 21 Osman 29 Garbutt 36 Browning 46 Ledson

Ref: Michael Oliver Att: 31,313

Southampton versus Everton: Top Flight games only

PL	W	D	L	GF	GA
37	11	10	16	50	57

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