It's all over, Southampton have a fully deserved, if narrow, win while Reading are facing a bleak midwinter on this evidence. Thanks for looking in.
Le Fondre is held by Cork but the home side get the free kick.
Expert dawdling in the corner from the hosts, which Nigel Adkins applauds.
Shaw forces a corner, Southampton will take their time here.
Three minutes of stoppage time to come.
The hosts give it away cheaply but yet again Reading cannot keep hold of the ball when they do get it in attack.
Do Prado shoots from 12 yards out but Federici makes a fine save, down to his left.
Pearce is penalised for climbing all over Lambert and Saints can breathe again.
Poor cross from Shorey, Davuis is able to punch clear but then Puncheon fouls McAnuff to give Reading another chance.
McCleary wins a free kick for Shorey on the right, nearly level with the box.
Do Prado shoots from distance and sees the ball go a touch too high onto the roof of the net.
Puncheon gets it back eventually, and his shot from 30 yards out with his left foot zips a yard wide of the left post.
Southampton taking their time now at a Puncheon free kick.
Saints looking tight at the back, but Davis has some work to do to claim a low cross from the left wing.
Puncheon is back defending to thwart McAnuff on the touchline.
Cummings goes in hard but fair on Shaw as Saints attack again.
One or two boos over that decision by Nigel Adkins. Reading making a bit more of the game now, but McAnuff handles it and the pressure is off.
Rodriguez is off for Saints, Guly Do Prado is on.
Robson-Kanu is off for Reading, McCleary is on.
Clyne runs past Shorey and chips into the middle but Federici claims it.
More good work from Puncheon on the right in combination with Clyne, but Cork cannot capitalise on it. Puncheon has been excellent, my man of the match thus far.
Puncheon lucky not to get booked for hauling down McAnuff on the touchline in front of the linesman.
Fonte barges in at a free kick but Pearce clears for Reading.
Can Saints hang on to a winning position for a change? Let me know at email@example.com.
Robson-Kanu crosses from the right, but Le Fondre cannot hit the target with a header that goes yards wide from six yards out.
Robson-Kanu gets a shot in on the turn, but it is a weak effort and Davis collects easily.
Jay Tabb is off for Noel Hunt.
For all Southampton's pressure, they are still only a goal up - but Reading have showed very little. They have a corner now though...
Shaw gets forward and crosses from the left, but Mariappa heads the chance clear.
Puncheon sportingly puts the ball out so that Le Fondre can have treatment.
Alex Pearce replaces Sean Morrison.
McAnuff has a chance to level, but his curled effort from outside the box drifts wide of Davis' left post.
Looks like Morrison is going off for Reading, the defender is off the field having treatment.
That's lifted the home fans, and their side are looking keen for the second.
Lambert fed Clyne on the right flank, he found Puncheon, who broke into the box and shot across Federici into the far corner. A really excellent finish, and deserved for side and player alike.
Goal to Southampton! Puncheon!
Puncheon aims a deft chip to Ramirez, but the ball is nodded back to Federici
Poor from Reading as Shorey's free kick fails to find a team mate. Yoshida is back on for Saints.
Roberts wins a free kick against Yoshida on the right flank. The Japanese defender is having treatment off the field.
Rodriguez brings a high ball down to shoot, but he snatches at the chance on the edge of the "D" and pulls the ball wide.
Yoshida shields the ball out of play and gets a shove in the back from Le Fondre in return.
Puncheon is having a good game, and his ball in from the right is just a touch too far in front of Rodriguez inside the box.
Powerful header from Cork from the corner - but it goes wide of Federici's left post.
Federici down to his left to save well from Puncheon, who shot from the edge of the box.
A bit more two-way with both sides giving it away - but no threats on goal.
Clyne tries to find Lambert with a deep cross from the right but the striker cannot keep hold of the ball.
Fonte gives the ball away in defence, but in turn Tabb gives it back to Southampton
Hitting the post seems to have boosted Reading, who have started the second half well, but the game is still a bit tepid.
Reading try another short corner, but Saints are alive to it, although Yoshida concedes a throw in.
No changes as we resume at St Mary's.
So, as the old saying goes, what do you think of it so far? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two minutes of stoppage time come to an end. Not the most rip-roaring game of the season - Southampton can count themseloves unlucky not to be ahead, the decision to disallow Puncheon's header looks harsh. We're hearing it was because Yoshida made a push. At the other end, Robson-Kanu headed against the post with Reading's best chance in stoppage time.
That was against the run of play, to say the least.
Robson-Kanu heads the ball against the post with Davis beaten! From eight yards out, a clever short corner move that nearly paid off.
Reading have their first corner of the match.
Ramirez is back in defence to stop Robson-Kanu from crossing from the right.
Davis has no problems claiming a looping cross from the right. The Saints keeper has had a very quiet day so far.
Yoshida's header is headed away from just in front of the line in a crowded area - good defending from Reading.
Southampton weathered the storm when down to 10 well. Puncheon has forced another corner.
Gaston Ramirez replaces Lallana to a big ovation from the home fans.
Reading press while Saints are still at 10 men, but cannot make their advantage tell.
Lallana is limping around the pitch towards the tunnel.
Treatment continues off the field as the game restarts.
Nigel Adkins looks rightly concerned.
Lallana is down clutching his left knee after falling over Jay Tabb. Looked innocuous but Lallana is having treatment.
Cummings blocks Lallana on the edge of the box after the Saints skipper controls a high ball over superbly.
Puncheon nods the ball in at the far post - but the referee blows up for a foul. Not clear - possibly on the keeper, but not sure by who.
Lallana takes it, and Leigertwood has to concede another from Fonte's ball back in.
Lallana wins a corner off Cummings
Roberts using his experieince to try to win some rare possession for Reading, who have not been keeping hold of it so far.
Puncheon gets to the line but cannot pull the ball back, his cross goes behind for a goal kick.
Tabb's last goal came on this ground for Coventry four years ago.
Reading win the ball back at the free kick, then Tabb rampages downfield to shoot straight at Davis.
Shorey loses the ball, then drags Lambert down but is lucky to get away without a booking.
Better spell for Reading with a bit of decent possession, but it ends when Roberts' cross with the outside of his right foot is easily claimed by Davis.
Robson-Kanu touches the ball out but Reading get the throw to Southampton's consternation. But they cannot make anything of the attacking position.
Mariappa takes a tumble under pressure from Lambert, but the free kick against Lambert looks harsh.
Lallana has a go from the edge of the box, but he can't get any curl on it and instead lifts the ball a long way over.
Saints certainly the better side so far.
Fine save from Federici, diving to his left to deny Lambert's curled effort from the left-hand edge of the box.
Tabb has not scored for four years, but he was not too far away there.
Chance for Reading - Roberts crosses from the right, Jay Tabb makes a good connection from inside the box but the ball flies wide.
Mariappa clatters Lambert from behind with all the subtlety of a flying brick.
Lambert knocks down a long ball to Lallana, who shoots with a decent half-volley from 20 yards, but straight at the keeper.
Good work from McAnuff on the left to cross the ball back in just before it rolls behind, but Roberts cannot control it.
Both managers are looking agitated after a fairly insipid opening.
Shaw ignores Robson-Kanu's fancy footwork and blocks him to concede a goal-kick. Fellow left back Stuart Pearce would approve of that and may call him up for the U21s again.
Puncheon is penalised for controlling the ball with his arm as it loops over the top down towards him on the edge of Reading's area.
Morrison clears Puncheon's inswinger with his head, Reading break but McAnuff is caught offside.
Saints force another corner on the right.
Puncheon cross from the right side of the box, but Schneiderlin cannot get over the ball and touches it wide of the post. All Saints so far.
Lambert has a go from outside the area, shooting from the left but Federici watches the ball go behind.
Cummings does well to use his body to shield the ball away from Rodriguez on the left of the box, shepherding the ball out for a goal kick.
Roberts thought he had won a throw-in, but the flag is for Southampton on the left side of defence.
Saints knocking it about with confidence, very little from Reading so far.
Puncheon aims for Yoshida, but he fails to connect, but Rodriguez fluffs a chance seconds later, hitting the side-netting from an angle inside the box.
Shaw clears from left back to deny Robson-Kanu a chance, then Lambert forces a corner at the other end.
We are under way!
Stuart Pearce is in the stands to watch this one today with his England Under 21s hat on. Not literally.
The teams are in the tunnel and are all set for this basement battle. Keep your comments coming in to me at email@example.com.
Southampton have thrown away more points from winning positions in home games than any other Premier League team this season - nine. But Reading have thrown away more points - 10 - from winning positions on the road than any other side this season.
The players are back in the dressing rooms and the atmosphere is starting to build, with a noisy Reading contingent making their presence felt.
Our friends at Sky Bet inform us that today's clash brings together the first and third favourites for relegation, with both odds-on for the drop. Southampton are 10/11 to boost their survival hopes with a win while Reading are 3/1 with the draw 5/2. Fancy a flutter? Pop over to www.skybet.com for these and more tempting odds.
Average of three goals a game at St Mary's this season, so there could be some entertainment today especially with both sides keen for a win. But then again...
Reading's last away win came in this stadium late last season, so they have some cause for optimism. How are Royals fans feeling about this one? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm pretty sure it'll be warmer with Len McDonnell, who is in a confident mood in the fine city of Perth, Western Australia: "Think Saints will win this one with a double from Rodriguez. Early sending off for Reading will give Saints a comfortable crucial win at St. Mary's!"
Today's referee is Jon Moss, who will have had a long trip down to the south coast from Leeds. Not a bad day in Southampton, and they have KC & the Sunshine Band on the PA, but it's cold in the UK at the moment. I hope it's warmer if you are looking in from abroad. Keep your comments coming in to email@example.com.
Newcastle are said to be sniffing around Adam Lallana for a January transfer swoop, but none other than Matt Le Tissier says Saints must keep hold of him. Lallana continues to skipper the side, even with club captain Davis back in, and this is a big day for the talented youngster.
"It's Sam from Northamptonshire here, nice to see Kelvin Davis back in the squad and Rodriguez and Lambert should be a deadly partnership, I predict 2-0 to Southampton, come on Saints"
Reading's away form is nothing to shout about, they failed to win on the road since returning to the top flight. Their attack looked potent against Man United last week, but their defence had a torrid time in that first-half goal-fest. That said, Reading have yet to lose in three visits to St Mary's.
It's a bit early to resort to using clichés, but this really does have that old classic "six-pointer" written all over it. Both clubs are languishing in the bottom three, but Southampton can point to the fact that they are unbeaten in three at home. Two of those were draws, and Nigel Adkins will be desperate for all three points today.
Gazzaniga has a shoulder injury, so Davis makes his first appearance since September.
Gaston Ramirez spent some of the week in his native Uruguay following a family bereavement. Nigel Adkins did say that the striker had trained while away, but it's quite possible that all the travelling has taken a toll so he starts on the bench.
What do you make of the teams? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll publish the best responses here. Don't forget to let me know where you are tuning in from.
Reading are unchanged from the team that lost to Man United last week. Southampton make two changes from the side that lost at Anfield, Rodriguez replaces Ramirez and Davis in for Gazzaniga in goal.
Southampton: K. Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana (c), Lambert, Rodriguez.
Subs: Boruc (GK), Hooiveld, S. Davis, Ramírez, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Mayuka.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff (c), Robson-Kanu, Roberts, Le Fondre.
Subs: Taylor, Harte, Pearce, McCleary, Guthrie, Hunt, Samuel.
So, how are Saints and Royals fans feeling about this one? Let me know - I'm Tim Oscroft and you can email me on email@example.com. Let me know where in the world you are - the further flung the better!
Welcome to our live coverage of this crucial encounter on the south coast.
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