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Saturday, 20 April, 2002, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Everton ease past Saints
Everton's players celebrate Steve Watson's opener
Southampton 0-1 Everton
  E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

David Moyes saw Everton continue the impressive start to his reign and banish lingering relegation fears with a vital victory at Southampton.

Steve Watson's strike late in the first half made it four wins in seven games for the new Everton boss - and Moyes will have been delighted by a highly efficient performance.

Southampton's strong home form deserted them in a low-key encounter and Everton deserved to claim the points.

We want to finish as high up the league as we can and if we win our next two games we can get that Intertoto place
Everton manager
David Moyes

Everton had Wayne Rooney on the bench who, at 16 years and five months, was hoping to displace Joe Royle as the youngest player to represent the club.

But he was kept in reserve as Everton recorded their first clean sheet under Moyes, with Southampton failing to muster a shot on target.

Moyes has injected a sense of purpose into the struggling Merseysiders since his arrival from Preston, and he saw his new charges dominate the first half.

The only black mark was an ankle injury to youngster Nick Chadwick, who was stretchered off with an ankle injury after 26 minutes following a collision with Saints keeper Paul Jones.


It was a bitter blow to the youngster on his full debut, having made an impact and forced Jones into a fine block before his enforced departure.

Everton deservedly took the lead after 40 minutes, with Watson starting and finishing the move.

Watson first linked with Tomasz Radzinski, on for Chadwick, before running on to the end of Kevin Campbell's astute pass to lift a finish over Jones.

Strachan's touchline antics hinted at his displeasure with Southampton's performance, and he made a change at the interval to breathe fresh life into his team.

I'm past the disappointed and angry stage - and now I have to look at how on earth I, as a manager, can be responsible for that performance
Saints boss
Gordon Strachan

Fabrice Fernandes replaced Jo Tessem as Southampton upped the tempo after the break.

But Everton were the more composed side and almost doubled their lead through Radzinski after 53 minutes.

Radzinski's pace allowed him to reach Campbell's pass ahead of Jason Dodd and Jones was forced into a fine fingertip save.

It was Dodd's final meaningful contribution and he was replaced by striker Brett Ormerod after 66 minutes as Strachan revamped his attacking formation.

Southampton striker Marian Pahars was harshly given a yellow card by referee Mark Halsey after 76 minutes as he tumbled under challenge from Alessandro Pistone.

Halsey was right to refuse penalty claims - but wrong to punish the innocent Pahars.

Watson almost added his second as time ran out, jinking in from the wing and almost beating Jones at his near post.

Everton held out comfortably, and another season in the Premiership was all but assured.

Southampton: Jones, Dodd (Ormerod 67), Bridge, Lundekvam, Williams, Tessem (Fernandes 45), Telfer, Svensson, Delap, Beattie, Pahars.
Subs Not Used: Moss, El Khalej, Bleidelis.
Booked: Delap, Pahars.

Everton: Gerrard, Watson, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Carsley, Gravesen, Gemmill, Unsworth, Campbell, Chadwick (Radzinski 27).
Subs Not Used: Pettinger, Pembridge, Rooney, Linderoth.

Attendance: 31,785

Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City).

BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Southampton's first home defeat since January"
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