MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 21:57:49
Nov 24, 2001 at 3pm UK at ​St Mary's Stadium
Southampton
1-0
CharltonCharlton Athletic
FT

On this day: Southampton finally win at new stadium

Fourteen years ago today, Southampton won for the first time in the Premier League at the St Mary's Stadium.

The Dell - Southampton's home for over 100 years - was a notoriously difficult ground for opposition teams to visit.

It was a tight venue where virtually every one of the 15,200 seats seemed to be close to the pitch and if the truth be told, that was probably one of the major reasons as to why the Saints remained a Premier League club for so long. In short, the famous old ground was worth a number of points to them every campaign.

But, just as many other clubs have done over the last decade or two, Southampton moved to a brand new facility in 2001 - the much more spacious St Mary's Stadium. It boasts a capacity of over 30,000 and is widely regarded as one of the top flight's most impressive stadia. Indeed, it has hosted England senior and Under-21 international matches.

However, it took a little while for the stadium to feel like home for Southampton, who collected just one point from their first five outings there.

At the sixth time of asking, though, the South Coast club finally picked up their first victory in their new surroundings when Charlton Athletic visited 14 years ago today.

It was a contest that was dominated by the home side, although for a long while it seemed that it was going to be another frustrating afternoon.

Centre-forward James Beattie saw three first-half efforts saved by away goalkeeper Dean Kiely, while he was off target with another shot. Midfielder Anders Svensson also had his strike denied by the in-form Kiely.

To Southampton's credit they continued to plug away after the restart and their persistence was finally rewarded in the 59th minute.

Marian Pahars played a pass down towards the left byline for Beattie, who in turn crossed the ball back into the danger area for his strike partner. The Latvian was more alert than the Charlton defence, which allowed him to plant a header into the top of Kiely's net.

As the game drew to a close Charlton threatened through Claus Jensen and Steve Brown, but the former was denied by Southampton goalkeeper Paul Jones, while the latter struck the woodwork.

That was to be the last of the drama as the men in red and white stripes held out for not only their first victory at the St Mary's Stadium, but it was also manager Gordon Strachan's maiden triumph in charge. In addition, it was a result that lifted the team off the bottom of the table.

Speaking after the final whistle, Strachan said: "I expected a scrappy game which I hoped to win, but we played the sort of football I would like to see here."

Meanwhile, Charlton boss Alan Curbishley added: "Southampton deserved the three points and if there had been six points on offer they would have deserved them too."

Southampton: Jones; Dodd, Lundekvam, Williams, Bridge; Marsden, Telfer, Svensson, Oakley; Beattie, Pahars (Davies)

Charlton: Kiely; Young, Brown, Fish, Konchesky (Robinson), Powell; Jensen, Stuart (MacDonald), Kinsella (Parker); Bartlett, Johansson

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Massimo Taibi of Manchester United before the FA Carling Premiership match against Southampton played at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. The game ended in a 3-3 draw.
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15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
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