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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 21:45 GMT
Fernandes sinks Hammers
West Ham's Freddie Kanoute gets away from Anders Svensson of Southampton
Kanoute could not make his mark against Southampton
Southampton 2-0 West Ham
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Southampton continued their rich vein of home form with an important 2-0 win over West Ham at St Mary's.

The Saints took the lead against the run of play, when Kevin Davies latched onto a cross from Fabrice Fernandes.

And the same players combined when Fernandes converted a second-half free-kick won by Davies to compound the Hammers' woe and clinch all three points.

The result had not looked likely midway through the first half.

David James didn't have anything to do apart from pick the ball out of his net from two set-plays
West Ham manager Glenn Roeder

Freddie Kanoute saw a lot of the ball early on and worked a couple of creative openings, while Joe Cole looked bright in the West Ham midfield.

On the half-hour mark, a moment of magic from another flair player, Paolo di Canio, almost led to the opening goal for the visitors.

The Italian forward, whose proposed move to Manchester United looks in jeopardy, jinked into the Saints penalty area and set up Cole - but Paul Jones saved his shot well.

Jones almost undid his good work moments later, when he misjudged a Don Hutchison strike and palmed towards his own net, before scrambling the ball clear.

Kevin Davies holds off a challenge
Davies led Southampton's line well

But he was able to watch the home side take the lead instead, courtesy of a blunder by Hammers keeper David James.

James flapped at a Fernandes free-kick from the left and watched the ball break to Davies, who finished from six yards out.

Southampton's second goal involved the same two players.

This time Davies was brought down on the edge of the West Ham box and Fernandes fired home an excellent free-kick.

  St Mary's action
43: Davies nods home a Fernandes cross
65: Fernandes makes it two from a free-kick

His strike on 65 minutes effectively killed off West Ham.

Although Glenn Roeder urged his team forward in search of goals, the visiting manager was forced to watch three more points slip away.

Southampton have now leapfrogged West Ham to 11th in the Premiership table.

You work and work and work at these things on the training ground and you don't seem to get anything from it - but we did tonight
Southampton manager Gordon Strachan

But top-flight safety is far from assured and both teams will have to keep a careful eye on the relegation battle that is heating up below them.

Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Bridge, Lundekvam, Williams, Telfer, Fernandes (Bleidelis 90), Svensson, Oakley (Tessem 80), Davies (Le Tissier 82), Pahars.

Subs Not Used: Moss, Monk.

West Ham: James, Schemmel, Labant, Repka, Dailly, Lomas, Cole, Hutchison (Defoe 66), Carrick (Moncur 45), Di Canio, Kanoute.

Subs Not Used: Hislop, Winterburn, Garcia.

Booked: Repka, Hutchison, Moncur.

Att: 31,879

Ref: P Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent).

BBC Sport's Russell Fuller
"This match turned on a sloppy goal"
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