The Saints battled hard to get a well-earned draw against a solid West Ham side taking another huge step towards confirming their Premier League status.
Ricky Lambert came close to opening the scoring before Jussi Jaaskelainen somehow clawed it of the line, while Hammers striker Andy Carroll (Who was humorously dubbed “The Horse” by the attending Saints fans) thumped his volley wide from close range.
Lambert again caught the Hammer fans with their hearts in their mouths after good work from Jack Cork on the wing managed to curl an appetising ball into the leading english goal scorer who placed his header inches wide on the stroke of half time.
It was Saints who struck first though, after the ball fell kindly to Gaston Ramirez who took no prisoner’s with a scorching finish from inside the box. Having seen his initial shot blocked by James Collins he found himself through on goal finishing fiercely past a helpless Jaaskelainen
This kicked the Hammers into action, however they needed a deflected free kick to get past a wrong footed Artur Boruc in the Saints goal. After the game Jos Hoovield questioned Mike Deans decision to award the free kick and replays showed the centre back had a point.
This prompted Mauricio Pochettino to bring on the inform Jay Rodriguez who had been demoted to the bench due to a sickness bug doing the rounds in the Saints camp. He immediately made an impact on the game showing off his pace and ability to beat defenders and came tantalizingly close to providing the vital goal the men in red and white so desperately wanted. The young striker hit the ball sweetly after a direct run only to be denied by the outstretched left arm of Jaaskelainen
From the off it was obvious to see the men with “the accents” were going to play a direct and physical game, which the men “from the coast” on the whole dealt with well sticking to their game plan for the full 90 minutes and where arguably the better of two sides, even though the horrendous conditions much favoured the away team
Last season this was a championship fixture, However now due to a run of form from The Saints and it has to be said a strong season all round from The Hammers, this now is classed as a mid-table fixture.
Saints are surely now a couple of wins away from confirming there premier league status for next season while the top 10 is starting to become a real possibility.