Saints go top with Watford win

Rickie Lambert scored a hat-trick as the Championship's leading marksman sent Southampton to the top of the table with a 3-0 win at Watford.

Last Updated: 25/02/12 at 17:48

Lambert: Bagged a treble for Saints

Lambert: Bagged a treble for Saints

Lambert struck twice in the first half before sealing his treble with a second-half penalty, taking his tally to 19 league goals, as Saints extended their unbeaten run to six games.

West Ham started the day as leaders but their stalemate with Crystal Palace provided Nigel Adkins' side with the opportunity to leapfrog them and they took full advantage.

Watford handed a debut to Manchester United loanee Tomasz Kuszczak in goal but he was culpable for the opening goal, finding himself stranded as Lambert nodded in.

The keeper could do nothing with the second goal shortly afterwards as Lambert fired home from the edge of the box.

Carl Dickinson gave the striker a chance to wrap up his hat-trick when he fouled Tadanari Lee in the box and Lambert duly obliged by blasting in the penalty.

The first chance of the game very nearly fell to Troy Deeney when Kelvin Davis' rushed clearance came straight to him but the striker was unable to control the ball.

It was an error from Davis' opposite number which led to the game's opening goal in the 13th minute.

Debutant Kuszczak had ample time to get to Jose Fonte's cross but he hesitated and was caught out of position, allowing Lambert to loop his header over the goalkeeper.

The visitors were buoyed by the opening goal and Lambert managed to double their lead just eight minutes after his opener.

Adrian Mariappa failed to clear the ball and Saints broke quickly through Morgan Schneiderlin and Adam Lallana.

The latter used trickery to create some space and laid the ball back for Lambert, who emphatically drilled the ball into the bottom corner at the first time of asking.

Lallana came off injured at the end of the first half but it did not slow Southampton's attacking juggernaut.

Japanese striker Lee should have put the result beyond doubt early in the second half but he scooped a great chance over the crossbar.

The Hornets had offered little in front of goal but they should have pulled one goal back when Mark Yeates' cross was nodded wide by John Eustace. The Watford skipper was stretching and should have let the delivery reach debutant Marcello Trotta, who was well placed.

Lee raced through 19 minutes from time only to be denied by a fine Kuszczak save, but Dickinson pushed the striker in the aftermath and referee Tony Bates awarded a penalty.

Lambert rifled the spot-kick into the top corner of the net and out of Kuszczak's reach to complete his hat-trick.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Tuesday, 22 April 2014
20:00
Bolton 0-1 Leicester Report
Reading 2-0 Middlesbro' Report
Monday, 21 April 2014
17:15
Leeds 0-2 N Forest Report
15:00
Birmingham 2-4 Blackburn Report
Brighton 1-1 Blackpool Report
Burnley 2-0 Wigan Report
Derby 2-1 Barnsley Report
Ipswich 2-2 Bournemth Report
Millwall 0-0 Doncaster Report
QPR 2-1 Watford Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Leicester 44 37 96
2 Burnley 44 34 89
3 Derby 44 30 81
4 QPR 44 15 76
5 Wigan 43 15 70
6 Reading 44 12 67
7 Brighton 44 12 66
8 N Forest 44 7 65
9 Ipswich 44 6 65
10 Blackburn 44 5 64
11 Bournemth 44 -1 63
12 Watford 43 17 60
13 Middlesbro' 44 7 58
14 Bolton 44 -3 55
15 Sheff Wed 44 1 53
16 Leeds 44 -10 53
17 Huddersfld 44 -8 50
18 Charlton 43 -23 45
19 Doncaster 44 -28 44
20 Millwall 44 -29 44
21 Birmingham 43 -13 43
22 Blackpool 44 -27 43
23 Barnsley 44 -30 39
24 Yeovil 44 -26 37

Updated Wed, 23 Apr 2014

Footer 365

Roberto Martinez backs David Moyes to make 'very successful' return to management

David Moyes will make a successful return to management soon, according to the man who replaced him at Everton.

World Cup: Stewart Downing backs Andy Carroll to make England's squad

Stewart Downing has backed his West Ham United team-mate Andy Carroll to be named in England's World Cup squad.

Premier League: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge eyes Chelsea return

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has confirmed that he is hoping to feature against Chelsea this weekend.

Mail Box

Guardiola Is No Better Than Moyes...

At least he wasn't in Bayern's defeat to Real Madrid, says one chap in the mailbox. Plus, more excitement over Van Gaal at Man United and thoughts on FFP...

Man United Fans Excited By Van Gaal Talk

Man United fans know who they want to replace David Moyes, with Louis van Gaal the favourite to take over at Old Trafford. Plus, thoughts on Real Madrid v Bayern Munich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property