Southampton manager Jan Poortvliet was happy to settle for a point after his lowly side held Ipswich 2-2 at St Mary's last night. Tomas Pekhart rescued the Saints with his first goal in English football to help his team climb from the foot of the Championship.
Czech youngster Pekhart, on loan from Tottenham, was sent on as a second-half substitute in place of the ineffective Stern John. He responded by blasting home a right-foot shot from 12 yards after a mistake in the Ipswich defence.
Southampton's hard-earned point was only their fourth in six matches this season and left Poortvliet satisfied with a small confidence boost. "I have to be happy that we gained a point," he said. "I cannot understand it in many ways because we started so well, but as soon as Ipswich equalised we lost our belief and confidence.
"At one stage I thought the spirit had gone and we needed a lift. That is why I made three substitutions early in the second half. Pekhart worked hard for his goal and I am happy for him. His goal gave us some confidence and we were able to go on and get a draw, which we have needed."
Ipswich manager Jim Magilton was disappointed with the outcome. He said: "We made a sluggish start and allowed Southampton too much freedom but we were much better in the second half and we should have gone on and won but we threw the game away. There was a catalogue of errors for Southampton's second goal and some lackadaisical defending."
Andrew Surman put Southampton ahead in the 12th minute with a low right-foot shot from the edge of the area after cutting in from the left.
But Ipswich equalised in the 20th minute when Owen Garvan snapped up a rebound. Ipswich's second goal came in the 49th minute when Alan Quinn climbed high to head in from two yards, but Southampton ensured a point through Pekhart.
Southampton (4-3-3): Davis; James, Cork, Perry, Surman; Gillett (Schneiderlin, 53), Lallana, Wotton; McGoldrick, John (Pekhart, 53), Dyer (Wright-Phillips, 64). Substitutes not used: Bialkowski, Mills.
Ipswich Town (4-3-3): R Wright; Volz, Naylor, Balkestein, D Wright; Walters, Garvan, Miller (Sumulikoski, 70); Norris, Quinn, Stead. Substitutes not used: Supple, Lisbie, Campo, Counago.
Referee: P Crossley (Kent).