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Last Updated:  Sunday, 9 March, 2003, 17:55 GMT
Saints tame Wolves
Wovles' Lee Naylor and Joleon Lescott challenge Southampton's James Beattie
Beattie played a part in Marsden's goal
Southampton 2-0 Wolves

Southampton ensured Premiership parity with Division One clubs in the FA Cup semi-finals as Gordon Strachan's side brushed aside Wolves.

The win ensured Southampton joined First Division Sheffield United and Watford as well the winners of the Premiership tie between Arsenal and Chelsea in the last four.

Former Wolves player Chris Marsden gave Southampton the lead on 56 minutes as the home side upped the tempo after the visitors had created the better openings in the first half.

With nine minutes left, Wolves' hopes were extinguished when the ball richocheted off Paul Butler's legs into the net after Jo Tessem had crossed low and hard.

If I had got any power into it I would have broke my back
Saints scorer Chris Marsden

Having been outpointed in the opening period, Southampton's goals were a reward for a more aggressive and direct approach.

Just before Marsden's goal, the prolific James Beattie should have given Southampton the lead from a short corner, but the England international headed over.

Marsden finally broke the deadlock with the cleverest of finishes.

After the Wolves defence was unable to clear another Southampton corner, Mardsen, with his back to goal, deftly flicked the ball over his head.


Unsighted by Beattie, Wolves goalkeeper Matt Murray allowed the ball to trickle past him.

Ironically Marsden had been brought to Southampton by Wolves manager Dave Jones, who was returning to his old club for the first time in three years after being dismissed.

Southampton never relinquinshed their grip on the game once Marsden had scored and Butler's own goal simply confirmed how dominant Strachan's side had become.

Initially Wolves had showed plenty of purpose, typified by Colin Cameron's quick reaction to a Southampton clearance, but his volley went well over the bar.

We have to learn from our mistakes and not switch off
Wolves boss Dave Jones

Kenny Miller's accuracy was similarly wayward, though there was nothing wrong with his amibition as he attempted a spectacular overhead kick.

As the half wore on the accuracy of Wolves' shooting slowly improved.

Mark Kennedy drew a reaction save from Antti Niemi and Southampton's goalkeeper was also given an anxious moment by Nathan Blake's cross-shot.

Defensively Wolves also looked equally confident, with Murray dealing comfortably with a series of crosses and Butler and Joleon Lescott getting the better of Beattie and Brett Ormerod.

But Southampton's more robust second-half display was to quickly shatter that confidence.

Southampton: Niemi, Dodd, Lundekvam, Michael Svensson, Bridge, Fernandes, Oakley, Anders Svensson, Marsden, Ormerod, Beattie.
Subs: Jones, Williams, Davies, Higginbotham, Tessem.

Wolverhampton: Murray, Irwin, Butler, Lescott, Naylor, Newton, Cameron, Andrews, Kennedy, Miller, Blake.
Subs: Oakes, Sturridge, Proudlock, Rae, Clyde.

Referee: A D'Urso (Essex).

Saints manager Gordon Strachan
"We were magnificent defensively today"

Wolves manager Dave Jones
"We thought we could get something today"



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