Dion Dublin scored his first goal of the season to snatch a last-gasp equaliser for Coventry City in their bottom-of-the-table meeting with Southampton at Highfield Road yesterday.
Dublin had been relegated to the substitutes' bench with his manager, Ron Atkinson, concerned his side had scored only three goals in eight Premiership matches this season. But the former Manchester United forward was introduced in the 67th minute and with the game in injury time Paul Telfer's shot was parried by the Saints goalkeeper, Neil Moss, and Dublin was on hand to convert the rebound.
It was no more than Coventry deserved after being the more threatening side for long periods but again failing to produce the finish in front of goal. Southampton were within seconds of their first away win of the season courtesy of another wonder goal from Matthew Le Tissier.
Eoin Jess, recalled to the Coventry side for the first time since early September, flashed a low shot past the post but there was little to enthuse about before Le Tissier struck. There seemed little threat when Neil Shipperley put the ball into Le Tissier's path. But, as on countless occasions in the past, Le Tissier conjured a goal out of nothing. There was the minimum of backlift as he drew back his trusty right foot and struck a 35-yard drive past Steve Ogrizovic into the top corner.
Steve Burrows then needed to make a last ditch tackle to deny Gordon Watson after he had been put clear by Le Tissier, but Coventry rallied and dominated the remainder of the first half.
Whelan headed a Marcus Hall centre over when unmarked and the Coventry striker then had a fierce effort beaten out by Moss. But the closest they came before the break was when a header from Liam Daish was cleared off the line by Simon Charlton.
Atkinson introduced Peter Ndlovu - out of action since the summer with a knee injury - five minutes into the second half and he quickly made his presence felt. He headed a deep cross from Paul Telfer over the bar and then had the crowd on their feet with a jinking run into the box, only to see his shot blocked.
Most of the danger still came from Coventry and it needed a fine tackle from Paul Williams to deny the Norwegian international Egil Ostenstad, also called off the bench in the second half. But his fellow substitute Dublin was not to be denied as Coventry salvaged a much-needed point.
Goals: Le Tissier (17) 0-1; Dublin (90) 1-1.
Coventry City: Ogrizovic; Borrows (Ndlovu, 50), Hall, Burrows (Williams, 36), Daish, Richardson, Telfer, Jess (Dublin, 67), Whelan, McAllister, Salako. Substitutes not used: O'Neill, Filan (gk).
Southampton: Moss; Dodd, Neilson, Lundekvam, Dryden, Slater, Magilton (Oakley, 70), Le Tissier, Charlton, Shipperley (Ostenstadt, 54), Watson (Berkovic, 59). Substitutes not used: Beasant, Maddison, Beasant (gk).
Referee: P Durkin (Portland).
Bookings: Coventry: Borrows, Williams; Southampton: Dryden, Neilson.
Man of the match: Ndlovu. Attendance: 15,485.Reuse content