Morgan's goal beats Saints at the very last

Luton 3 - Southampton 2
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The Independent Football

For Southampton, their master plan, which includes Sir Clive Woodward these days of course, to regain their lost Premiership status is already looking a touch shaky. Losing here at Kenilworth Road against Mike Newells's recently promoted sidewould not have been envisaged.

Worse still for Harry Redknapp's men, they lost the lead twice and were out-hustled and outplayed for much of the game. When Kevin Nicholls curled in a free-kick after 52 minutes that Ahmet Brkovic headed in, it was nothing short of a defensive embarrassment.

The best was saved for the last minute when Dean Morgan moved inside from the right and curled a shot from 25 yards that beat Antti Niemi with ease.

Saints' first league game against Wolves had featured Niemi, who most people expected to move in the summer after the Saints' relegation. He might have helped the club avoid the drop if he had stayed fit throughout the last campaign. He was to the fore once more here.

After Southampton had taken the lead through Matthew Oakley, he twice pulled off saves that showed he will be a vital player if the south coast club are to return to the Premiership immediately.

Yet, with four minutes to go before the break, he was helpless to stop Kevin Nicholls' header. Warren Feeney found a couple of spare yards out on the right and picked out his captain for the Hatters first home goal of the season.

Niemi's counterpart, Dean Brill, had his own moments to be proud of and lived up to his name with a fine one-handed stop from Rory Delap's volley but it was his defenders who were to blame when Oakley scored after 18 minutes.

Danny Higginbotham was allowed to reach the byline and from his cross the midfielder did the rest. Yet a Brill mistake handed Saints the advantage at half-time when he came out to collect a cross which he should never have gone for and Kenwyne Jones beat him in the air, his header rolling into the unguarded net.

Luton Town (4-4-2): Brill; Foley, Davies, Heikkinen, Underwood; Brkovic, Nicholls, Robinson, Morgan; Feeney (Showumni, 88), Howard. Subtitutes not used: Seremet (gk), Perrett, Vine, Holmes.

Southampton (4-4-2): Niemi; Delap, Hajto, Powell, Higginbotham; Oakley, Wise, Quashie, Prutton (Walcott, 62); Fuller, Jones (Blackstock, 67). Subtitutes not used: Smith (gk), Cranie, Belmadi.

Referee: S Bennett (Kent).

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