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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The View Outside The Premier League: Southampton Dominant At St Mary's And Its Presents For The Cellar-Dwellers In League Two

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Southampton have had a few blips on the road of late but everyone feels warm and comfortable at home over Christmas and the Saints found life at St Mary's as welcoming as ever. Crystal Palace drew the holiday short straw of a trip to the South Coast and went down 2-0 to the Championship leaders.

Palace are the twelfth team to go to St Mary's in the league this season and eleven have come away with nothing. Only Blackpool have come away with a point - in fact the Tangerines were unlucky not to win - and with this sort of home form Nigel Adkin's team remain the promotion favourites.

Their away form is a cause for concern - just three wins contrasts unfavourably with West Ham's seven victories away from Upton Park but with this sort of home record a decent away campaign will be enough to book a placed in the Premier League.


Supporters of the teams propping up League Two had a wonderful Boxing Day. Plymouth Argyle won away at Bristol Rovers and Dagenham & Redbridge fans were offered the luxury of a comfortable home win. The disappointment for Argyle fans was to take three points away and still end up in bottom spot thanks to the Daggers' efforts.

Both clubs made ground on Hereford United though whose fans had a miserable Boxing Day experience. They saw the Bulls take the lead in the second half but two late Port Vale goals wrecked the hopes of the Edgar Street faithful and they ended the day just a point above the bottom two.


Life is tough at Chesterfield and it got tougher when they found out that star man Jack Lester - who they have missed so badly - was banned for three matches after an off the ball incident at Walsall. Lester had rescued a point against the Saddlers and without him the Spireites look toothless.

His absence made the trip to Huddersfield all the more difficult. The Terriers' own goal machine, Jordan Rhodes, followed up his four goal pre-Christmas blast at Sheffield Wednesday with another strike in the first half and that proved to be the decider.

Huddersfield fans enjoyed seeing their side steady the ship after recent mishaps and were even more cheered on the way home when news filtered through that Sheffield Wednesday were beaten at lowly Walsall.


Boxing Day always seems to throw up a freak result but until late in the day it looked like no club would end up wearing the headline 'Christmas Turkeys'. Then Stevenage enjoyed a late goal rush at Colchester who were only 2-1 down with half and hour left.

Four more strikes though, saw the Stevenage fans on cloud nine after their team ran out 6-1 winners- hopefully a lot of the home fans had imbibed enough of the Christmas spirit to make the result bearable. For Stevenage this resounding success took them back into the play-off berth.


One of the joys of Boxing Day was the local derby but the soulless fixture computer has done away with that in the Football League. Happily the Blue Square preserves the tradition if possible, so Grimsby Town fans were able to enjoy a 2-1 win at Lincoln City.

Southport made the short trip up the coast to Fleetwood, who have another big local affair to come soon against Blackpool in the FA Cup. The Sandgrounders put in sterling effort and nearly pinched the points before a late Richard Brodie equaliser kept the Cod Army promotion chase on the go.

Related Articles:

Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield serve up a Christmas cracker

The View From Outside of The Premier League: Southend Fall at Cheltenham and Crawley Take Full Advantage

Southampton lose again as Bristol Rovers stage Goal of the Season competition

FA Cup Second Round: How many non-league sides will reach the Third Round?

Bristol City are on the march as Northampton crumble

Huddersfield make it 43 games unbeaten as Northampton Town are smashed by Shrewsbury

The View From Outside the Premier League: Fleetwood sit on the Chairboys and Swindon show their class in the FA Cup

Arsenal, Coventry and Leicester: Can a new ground be blamed for a lack of success?

Leicester get the blues in front of the TV cameras yet again

When will the Bristol giants finally wake up?

Sven's Leicester are moving onwards and upwards

Derby lead the Midlands challenge

A great week for Notts County

MK Dons title charge is looking good

Boro make a statement on intent

Southampton keep marching onwards and upwards

Yeovil look up for the fight

AFC Wimbledon and Crawley tipped to take League Two by storm




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Hugh Larkin



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