Phillips exploits weakness

Wolves 1 Southampton 4
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The Independent Online

Master marksman Kevin Phillips' late brace plus goals from James Beattie and Claus Lundekvam – the Norwegian's first for Southampton – were enough to secure the visitors all three points at Wolves.

Master marksman Kevin Phillips' late brace plus goals from James Beattie and Claus Lundekvam – the Norwegian's first for Southampton – were enough to secure the visitors all three points at Wolves.

Beattie had netted with surgical precision to register his 14th goal of the season before half–time while Lundekvam was credited with doubling the Saints' advantage in the second half.

Wolves' Henri Camara had netted in the 72nd–minute to set Saints' nerves jangling though before Phillips put the result beyond doubt.

It was the visitors who had started brightest with Phillips the first to make a move as he burst free along the right channel before supplying a dangerous cross aimed low at James Beattie but cut out by keeper Paul Jones' outstretched arm.

It was not to be long before Jones was called into action again though, this time Phillips expertly controlling Paul Telfer's long ball in the eighth minute and firing a venomous drive from an acute angle which was parried at the near post.

Wolves failed to to threaten until 12 minutes had elapsed but when it came the shot was worth waiting for as Camara launched a raking 20–yard drive only a whisker wide of the woodwork although the deadlock was to be broken soon afterwards.

Saints' Fabrice Fernandez had been responsible for the hopeful rather than promising pass into the inside right channel but after Delap has hustled the ball into the danger area, Beattie took charge and slammed a 25th–minute opener low to the left of an exposed Jones.

And within seconds of the restart Wolves could have slipped further behind had Phillips not blazed an effort high and wide after racing clear along the left.

The second half which was less than four minutes old when Camara was booked for a scything challenge which left Jason Dodd and eventually stretchered out of the game.

Early indications from Southampton's medical staff suggested a knee injury.

Before the hour was up Southampton had edged further in front, this time Delap and Lundekvam between them forcing the ball home from a left–wing free–kick taken by Fernandes.

After initial confusion over the goalscorer's identity, Lundekvam emerged as favourite for having applied the last touch which would qualify the Norwegian for his first goal in Saints' colours since his arrival on the south coast in September 1996.

But Camara gave Wolves a lifeline and set up a barnstorming finish as his pace took him clear of the Southampton rearguard and although Saint's keeper Antti Niemi got hands on the ball, he proved powerless to prevent a chipped effort finding the back of the net.

But Wolves' enthusiasm for an equaliser was to cost them dear as they were caught on the break by Phillips who sped clear to net with an exquisite finish cut back across goal from left to right.

Phillips was far from finished though as he embarked on a 25–yard dribble and then dispatched a left–footed effort which arrowed under Jones with just seconds remaining.

Wolves 1
Camara 72

Southampton 4
Beattie 25, Lundekvam 58, Phillips 89, 90

Half-time: 0-1 Attendance: 29,106

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