BRADFORD 1 SOUTHAMPTON 2
By planetfootball staff
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
A typically pulsating clash saw both sides show their intent to remain in the top flight as chances were created at either end. Peter Beagrie, in particular, was in inspired form for the hosts and he carved out an early opening for Dean Windass.
Rookie keeper Neil Moss, in for the injured Paul Jones, showed his class with a fine stop to keep out Windass` volley and he was to emerge as another key performer on the day.
Wayne Bridge did come to Moss` rescue when he hacked away David Wetherall`s header as City attacked furiously. Kevin Davies did force a good save out of Matt Clarke at the other end but Moss was called into action again, moments later, when he kept out an effort from Gunnar Halle.
With Matt Le Tissier trying to spark life into the visitors` attack, a goal did arrive, nine minutes after the break. Chris Marsden`s shot took a wicked deflection off Windass and deceived Clarke to cheer the travelling fans.
Beagrie worked hard to get his side back into the game, and Wetherall was frustrated by Moss after good work from Lee Sharpe.
However, it was not to be for the home side as substitute Marian Pahars made an immediate impact by cutting inside Andy O`Brien and rifling a fine finish beyond Clarke and into the net.
City showed commendable spirit to respond instantly when Robbie Blake`s shot was blocked by Moss but he reacted quickest to lash the rebound high into the net.
Glenn Hoddle watched on nervously as The Saints clung to their slender lead, leaving his side seemingly safe with a swift return to the Nationwide League looking only a matter of time for Bradford.
"This was vitally important," beamed Hoddle afterwards. "We have taken a massive step towards safety."