Football: Precious point for cautious Saints

Derby County 0

Southampton 0

Attendance: 26,557

PRESUMABLY, IT'S like this to be under-anaesthetised in the dentist's chair: partly numb, subject to indiscriminate bursts of pain, and only staying put on the dubious understanding that the whole thing might be for the greater good.

Southampton's vocal supporters endured what, for them, was the hideous tension of a profoundly ordinary game, but rejoiced in the gleaning of a rare away point which - combined with results elsewhere - might retrospectively turn their visit to Pride Park into a glorious season-saving memory.

Discretion being the better part of valour, Southampton plumped for a cautious interpretation of Matthew Le Tissier's late fitness test and allowed his thigh an extra week's recovery time. He is the luxury life- raft who needs to be absolutely water-tight for the choppy waters that lie ahead.

Marians Pahars, who tossed out last week's lifeline at the Dell, started instead; as did Ken Monkou in place of the suspended Claus Lundekvam. Top-scorer Egil Ostenstad was left on the bench in deference to James Beattie, as the Saints sought to increase their miserly total of only six away goals in the Premiership.

All of which team tinkering may or may not have contributed to a first half, which for the most part, was incoherent and inconsequential.

Southampton's greater need was suitably represented in the marginally heavier workload undertaken by Derby's goalkeeper Mart Poom (filling the gloves of the suspended Russell Hoult). But even he was only seriously inconvenienced once. Beattie, having flummoxed Jacob Laursen fired to the near post where Pahars inexplicably missed his kick with his fellow Latvian hopelessly marooned.

Necessarily, the start of the second half brought a mild improvement, not least from a hitherto passionless Derby for whom Stefan Schnoor became a prominent attacker together with substitute Rory Delap.

Even so, more than an hour had passed when Darryl Powell drew from Southampton goalkeeper Neil Moss his first save of the afternoon. Soon after, Paolo Wanchope steered a typically leggy shot wide of Moss's near post and Dean Sturridge caused the keeper to narrow another dangerous angle.

Meanwhile, Saints had been able to reintroduce John Beresford, who had been out of action since incurring cartilage damage on the season's opening day. His dubious privilege was to try to handle Sturridge whose appetite had obviously been sharpened on the substitute's bench and whose ferocious pace became a significant factor in a frantic finale.

He, Wanchope, Powell and Kevin Harper all threatened the goal which might have been fatal to Southampton's hopes of survival as the desperate visitors finished the game on the back foot.

But it didn't come. So, as Derby canter comfortably towards the end of their season, Southampton can still hope to avert the end of their world.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living