Fletcher goal downs Saints

Sunderland moved further away from the relegation zone after a 1-0 victory over Southampton, a Steven Fletcher goal five minutes before the break proving the difference in a match often lacking in quality due to the wet conditions.

Last Updated: 23/12/12 at 08:15 Post Comment

Steven Fletcher: Scored the only goal of the game before the break

Steven Fletcher: Scored the only goal of the game before the break

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The first half was dominated by Southampton but the home side failed to create any clear-cut chances. They were made to pay five minutes before the break, when Fletcher converted his first opportunity of the match. Stephane Sessegnon's shot was mis-hit and fell to the Scottish striker, who converted in a fashion which has become customary this season.

The second half was just as frustrating, Sunderland nullifying any threat from the home team, who were particularly disappointing with their set-piece and crossing delivery. Time after time the first man was hit.

Southampton did create occasional chances in the last 10 minutes, but could not break down a resolute defence that gave the visitors only their second away league win since February.

The game pitched together the two sides directly above the relegation zone, and was billed pre-match as a relegation six-pointer. Nigel Adkins had Adam Lallana out with a knee injury, whilst his opposite number Martin O'Neill welcomed Danny Rose back after a lay-off.

Sunderland almost took the lead after less than thirty seconds, with a Sessegnon shot fabulously tipped wide by Kelvin Davis, but Southampton were soon into their stride. Lambert had a free-kick deflected just wide and Gaston Ramirez tried on multiple occasions from outside the box, but there were no clear-cut chances.

With the game meandering towards the break, Sunderland scored against the run of play. A ball was played to Sessegnon in the area, and the forward scuffed a shot straight to the feet of Fletcher. Fletcher had been holding his back throughout the first period, but finished beautifully past the helpless Davis from fifteen yards.

Southampton made early changes during the second half, but they struggled to find their rhythm as the crowd began to groan at the lack of quality from both teams. Jose Fonte had a header cleared from near the line, but the Saints struggled to get support for Rickie Lambert up front.

The home side's set-piece delivery was particularly disappointing, and opportunities to threaten were consistently wasted by hitting the first man. The game reached the last fifteen minutes without Simon Mignolet being tested sufficiently.

Southampton did have occasional late chances, but Sunderland defended immensely in order to hold out for a well-earned victory, and the 2,000 travelling supporters were rewarded for their 300-mile journey.

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.

More Match Results

Monday, 04 May 2015
20:00
Hull City 1-3 Arsenal Report
Sunday, 03 May 2015
16:00
Tottenham 0-1 Man City Report
13:30
Chelsea 1-0 C Palace Report
Saturday, 02 May 2015
17:30
Man Utd 0-1 W Brom Report
15:00
A Villa 3-2 Everton Report
Liverpool 2-1 QPR Report
S'land 2-1 So'ton Report
Swansea 2-0 Stoke Report
West Ham 1-0 Burnley Report
12:45
Leicester 3-0 Newcastle Report

Footer 365

Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi double puts Barca in control

Two goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Graham Taylor rejects claims he was asked to cap number of black players in England side

Graham Taylor has denied claims that the Football Association tried to cap the number of black players when he was in charge of the England team.

Spanish football could be shut down from May 16 over TV rights argument

La Liga faces being shut down from May 16 over an argument between Spain's football federation and the Government.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company