Rickie Lambert scored his first goal since his move from Bristol Rovers to help Southampton see off Northampton and reach the Carling Cup second round.
Lambert nodded home Lloyd James' cross to put Saints ahead before Steve Guinan missed a good chance to equalise.
Adam Lallana had already been denied by a fine Chris Dunn save when he made it 2-0, tapping in from close range after Grzegorz Rasiak headed across goal.
Rasiak and Jake Thomson both went close as Saints finished the game strongly.
Southampton boss Alan Pardew told BBC Radio Solent:
"We managed to get Ricky Lambert just in time and he had an excellent game.
"We are still a long way from being a really good side but we're difficult opposition.
"It was very important for us that we stopped conceding set-play goals and we did well with that tonight."
Northampton Town manager Stuart Gray told BBC Radio Northampton:
"We started nervously. We started to get a foothold in the game, and created probably the better chances first half.
"Disappointed to go in 1-0 down. In the second half, we've given a cheap free-kick away and we've had to chase the game.
"I was pleased with the way Beckwith and McCready handled Lambert, so we looked a bit more solid there, but our use of the ball in the final third needs to be better."
Live text and stats
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
16 Murty (Thomson 77)
07 Lambert (Gobern 86)
17 Paterson (Rasiak 67)
12 Gilligan (Dyer 63)
22 Rose (Akinfenwa 56)
17 Mckay (Curtis 56)
Ref: HooperAtt: 10,921
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:09 The referee signals the end of the game.
90:00+1:16 Foul by John Curtis on Adam Lallana, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Dan Harding, Grzegorz Rasiak concedes a free
kick for a foul on Dean Beckwith. Chris Dunn takes the direct free kick.
87:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wayne Thomas by Adebayo Akinfenwa. Kelvin Davis takes the direct free kick.
87:32 Adam Lallana sends in a cross.
85:27 Substitution Richard Lambert leaves the field to be replaced by Oscar Gobern.
85:08 Andrew Holt produces a left-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.
83:15 Paul Wotton challenges Ben Marshall unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Curtis restarts play with the free kick.
81:21 Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin on Abdul Osman, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Craig Hinton.
79:01 Paul Wotton concedes a free kick for a foul on Adebayo Akinfenwa. Chris Dunn restarts play with the free kick.
78:51 The ball is crossed by John Curtis.
76:34 Substitution Jake Thomson comes on in place of Graeme Murty.
74:42 Corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana from the right by-line, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Grzegorz Rasiak
misses to the right of the target.
73:16 Grzegorz Rasiak takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.
72:33 Grzegorz Rasiak takes a shot. Chris Dunn makes a save.
71:17 Corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana from the left by-line to the near post, Paul Wotton takes a shot from just inside
the penalty box which clears the bar.
69:12 Morgan Schneiderlin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Abdul Osman. Chris McCready takes the direct free kick.
67:11 Assist on the goal came from Grzegorz Rasiak.
67:11 GOAL - Adam Lallana:Southampton 2 - 0 Northampton Adam Lallana gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Southampton
66:26 Centre by Lloyd James,
66:26 Substitution (Southampton) makes a substitution, with Grzegorz Rasiak coming on for Matthew Paterson.
66:26 Adebayo Akinfenwa concedes a free kick for a foul on Graeme Murty.
65:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dean Beckwith on Richard Lambert. Direct free kick taken by Lloyd James.
65:00 Shot on goal by Adebayo Akinfenwa from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
64:00 Effort on goal by Ben Marshall from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
62:55 Unfair challenge on Steve Guinan by Dan Harding results in a free kick. John Curtis takes the direct free kick.
62:11 Substitution Ryan Gilligan leaves the field to be replaced by Alex Dyer.
58:23 Outswinging corner taken by Ben Marshall from the right by-line.
55:13 Substitution (Northampton) makes a substitution, with Adebayo Akinfenwa coming on for Romone Rose.
55:13 Substitution (Northampton) makes a substitution, with John Curtis coming on for Billy Mckay.
55:13 Paul Wotton has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.
52:38 Adam Lallana takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Romone Rose. Outswinging
corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana from the right by-line, Wayne Thomas takes a shot. Chris McCready gets a block in.
50:10 Wayne Thomas concedes a free kick for a foul on Steve Guinan. Craig Hinton takes the free kick.
46:33 Lloyd James sends in a cross, save by Chris Dunn.
45:01 The referee starts the second half.
45:00+1:16 The ref blows to signal half-time.
44:01 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana from the left by-line, Foul by Oliver Lancashire on Chris McCready, free
kick awarded. Chris Dunn takes the free kick.
43:06 Unfair challenge on Steve Guinan by Oliver Lancashire results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Abdul
Osman from right channel, clearance by Wayne Thomas.
40:32 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Adam Lallana.
38:59 Outswinging corner taken by Romone Rose. Corner taken right-footed by Romone Rose from the right by-line, Header from deep
inside the penalty area by Abdul Osman goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
36:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Holt on Lloyd James. Lloyd James crosses the ball, Header by Wayne Thomas from deep
inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
33:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Wayne Thomas on Dean Beckwith. Free kick taken by Chris Dunn.
32:37 Adam Lallana takes a shot. Save made by Chris Dunn. Adam Lallana takes the inswinging corner, Chris Dunn makes a save.
31:40 The official flags Matthew Paterson offside. Dean Beckwith restarts play with the free kick.
30:57 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Chris Dunn.
30:21 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.
28:24 Lloyd James provided the assist for the goal.
28:24 GOAL - Richard Lambert:Southampton 1 - 0 Northampton Richard Lambert scores a headed goal from close in. Southampton 1-0 Northampton.
28:23 Lloyd James sends in a cross,
26:03 The ball is sent over by Romone Rose.
25:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Morgan Schneiderlin on Steve Guinan. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ben Marshall, Wayne
Thomas manages to make a clearance.
24:21 Adam Lallana takes a shot. Save by Chris Dunn.
23:33 The assistant referee signals for offside against Matthew Paterson. Chris Dunn takes the free kick.
21:51 Unfair challenge on Andrew Holt by Morgan Schneiderlin results in a free kick. Dean Beckwith takes the free kick.
19:59 Corner taken by Romone Rose played to the near post, Close range header by Andrew Holt misses to the right of the target.
18:56 A cross is delivered by Craig Hinton, Wayne Thomas makes a clearance.
17:54 Steve Guinan has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.
17:27 Paul Wotton challenges Abdul Osman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Dean Beckwith takes the free kick.
14:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Paterson by Dean Beckwith. Lloyd James delivers the ball, Headed effort
from inside the area by Matthew Paterson misses to the left of the target.
12:42 Graeme Murty challenges Ben Marshall unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike comes in from Ben Marshall from the free
kick, save made by Kelvin Davis.
9:58 Shot on goal by Matthew Paterson from just inside the area goes over the target.
9:29 Steve Guinan has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses left.
8:29 Chris McCready gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adam Lallana. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from
Richard Lambert, save by Chris Dunn.
7:27 Unfair challenge on Steve Guinan by Graeme Murty results in a free kick. Dean Beckwith restarts play with the free kick.
6:10 Steve Guinan concedes a free kick for a foul on Oliver Lancashire. Graeme Murty takes the free kick.
5:20 Handball decision goes against Matthew Paterson. Chris Dunn takes the indirect free kick.
4:08 Lloyd James produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.
3:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin by Billy Mckay. Direct free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.
1:07 Handball by Abdul Osman. Richard Lambert fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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