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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 20:43 GMT 21:43 UK
Pahars punishes Everton
Saints boss Gordon Strachan is sent off by referee Steve Bennett
Gordon Strachan was sent to the stands for dissent
Southampton 1-0 Everton

Substitute Marian Pahars plundered Southampton's first win of the season with a debatable penalty in a match which saw Gordon Strachan banished to the touchline.

Pahars, who has been consigned to the bench in recent weeks, came on in a double substitution with new signing Andrei Kanchelskis.

The Latvian won the decisive penalty after he went down after David Weir's challenge.

Referee Steve Bennett.was right up with play and made his decision immediately before Pahars shot home expertly from the spot.

I'm writing to the Referees' Association and I want an apology because I was sent off for knowing the rules better than the fourth official
Saints boss Gordon Strachan

That left Everton with a sense of injustice although they had to put much of the blame on themselves.

Tomasz Radzinski swept past Wayne Bridge and then committed keeper Paul Jones with a clever feint, only to inexplicably fire over the bar from eight yards.

From an Everton corner Jason Dodd also had to head off the line from Thomas Gravesen's in-swinger.

Jones was soon scrambling to save a long-range shot from Gravesen and the Welsh keeper was also relieved to see Kevin Campbell put a good chance wastefully wide.

By then an increasingly-agitated Strachan had sent on Pahars, last season's top scorer, and Kanchelskis.

Southampton's Andrei Kanchelskis
Andrei Kanchelskis makes his debut

And it did the trick - with more than a little generous help from referee Bennett.

Pahars, scurrying after a long through-ball in the 71st minute, bounced off the much bigger Weir's hefty challenge and Bennett pointed to the spot.

Weir went in search of Pahars to tell him exactly what he thought of his actions.

It only earned him a booking - before the substitute fired unerringly home from the spot.

It's difficult to accept defeat when you play well like that and don't get anything for it
Everton boss David Moyes

Everton missed more chances, Campbell nudging tamely into Jones' arms and Mark Pembridge bringing another brave smother from the keeper when he latched onto Radzinski's pass

The Strachan incident involved the fourth official Steve Dunn and a police officer.

It was Strachan who appeared to call on the policeman to intervene after a furious row with Dunn.

Referee Steve Bennett briefly stopped play and also joined in, and Strachan finished by giving Dunn a real old-fashioned finger-wagging before taking his seat again on the touchline.

Southampton: Jones, Dodd (Telfer 65), Lundekvam, Williams, Bridge, Fernandes, Anders Svensson (Pahars 56), Marsden, Delap, Beattie, Ormerod (Kanchelskis 56).
Subs Not Used: Niemi, Michael Svensson.

Booked: Marsden, Beattie, Pahars.

Everton: Gerrard, Hibbert, Weir, Weifeng Li, Unsworth (Rodrigo 83), Alexandersson (Rooney 80), Gravesen, Tie Li, Pembridge, Radzinski, Campbell.
Subs Not Used: Watson, Gemmill, Linderoth.

Booked: Gravesen, Weir, Weifeng Li.

Attendance: 29,190.

Referee: S Bennett (Kent).

BBC Five Live's Ron Jones
"Southampton won with a controversial penalty"
Southampton boss Gordon Strachan
"I'll be asking for an apology"
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