Southampton 1 Luton Town 0: Walcott the teenage sensation sinks Luton

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The Independent Football

Bassett, as part of a makeshift management team alongside Dennis Wise, watched Southampton overcome a tough Luton Town team at the St Mary's Stadium courtesy of a goal of exquisite quality from teenager Theo Walcott.

But the former Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest manager admits that he is hoping for an answer. "Rupert said that he would talk to me after the Luton game," said Bassett. "I don't want to put a gun to the chairman's head, but I would like a decision soon."

The Luton manager, Mike Newell, who himself denied any interest in the vacant position last week, must have been pleased by the way his team reacted to the pressure imposed by an alert Southampton in the early exchanges. Luton's first chance of the game came through Paul Underwood on 18 minutes.

The full-back ran, unchallenged, through the Southampton defence, but his left-footed shot flew wide of the post. Five minutes later, Southampton had taken the lead through Walcott. The 16-year-old showed why he is coveted by the likes of Chelsea, outpacing the defender Chris Coyne before lobbing the ball over the goalkeeper Dean Brill from a difficult angle.

On 56 minutes, Walcott again burst through on the Luton goal, using his blistering acceleration. His weak shot, however, was easily saved by Brill: but Southampton were clearly dominating. Rory Delap, the Southampton defender, was sent off in the closing stages, but it was not enough to take the gloss off the performance.

Goal: Walcott (23) 1-0.

Southampton (4-3-3): Niemi; Delap, Kenton, Powell, Higginbotham; McCann, Prutton, Oakley; Walcott (Best, 85), Jones (Cranie, 89), Kosowski (Baird, 73). Substitutes not used: Smith, Ormerod.

Luton Town (4-4-2): Brill; Underwood, Heikkinen, Coyne, Foley; Edwards (Holmes, 69), Nicholls, Robinson, Brkovic; Showunmi (Vine, 60), Howard. Substitutes not used: Beckwith, Barnett, Feeney.

Booked: Luton Heikkinen, Nicholls, Howard. Sent off: Southampton: Delap.

Man of the match: Walcott

Referee: L Probert (Gloucs).

Attendance: 19,056

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