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On This Day In History - 4th April
Saturday, 4th Apr 2020 13:00

Another walk back in history for those young and old to remember games from the past, how many of this bunch of fixtures did you go to ?

1971/72 was my first season supporting Saints and it was a relegation battle, the start of April was when we pulled ourselves clear of the bottom two in terms of points if not position.

We had beaten Palace away a few days earlier and on Tuesday 4th April we met title chasing Manchester City at the Dell, a big crowd turned out 27,374, six thousand more than had watched us play Liverpool a few weeks earlier.

On the half hour mark Bob McCarthy's free kick found Ron Davies head and we were a goal up, just after the hour Davis scored again this time with his feet playing a neat one two with Gerry O'Brien before smashing in from 15 yards, to cap what was described in the press as Saints best win of the season.

Ultimately this game cost City dearly, they would miss out on the title by a single point to Derby County, if they had beaten us they would have won it.

1980/81 saw 4th place Saints face fellow UEFA Cup hopefuls Nottingham Forest, two first half goals from Kevin Keegan and Mick Channon gave us the win, we qualified for Europe on goal difference at the end of the season, the club who lost out where Forest, so not a well remembered game but a vital one.

Were you one of a sparse crowd who saw the game against Oxford United at the Manor Ground in 1988, a 0-0 draw in a night game in front of 7,657 at the Division's second bottom club .

1991/92 was Ian Branfoot's first season and as we approached the end of it he had well and truly stamped his way of playing on a team that only a year or two earlier had been one of the most entertaining in the country, perhaps as times changed Branfoot did what he had to do to keep us in the top flight, at times it was not pretty to watch.

By the time QPR arrived we had just won the last 5 league games to take us from bottom spot and this 2-0 win would take us up to 17th, 15, 205 saw Ian Dowie score a first half header and Alan Shearer score a penalty only a minute after Tim Flowers had saved one at the other end.

1993/94 saw fellow strugglers Manchester City arrive at the Dell, we had dropped to 21st in the table after only taking 3 points from the last 6 games and the honeymoon period was well and truly over for manager Alan Ball, we truly needed this one.

Our problem was scoring goals, in those six games we had only managed two goals, this would be another blank day, City came and won 1-0 with a 67th minute goal, we were now in deep deep trouble, the last six games would be exciting as we will see in future installments.

1997/98 was a rareity in the 1990's it was one of the few seasons where we didn't have a relegation struggle, we were rock bottom in September as new manager Dave Jones won only once in his first 9 games in charge to take only 4 points in total, but after that we picked up and after October were firmly in mid table, Sheffield Wednesday away on 4th April themselves drifting to near to relegation for comfort saw a 79th minute goal from the home side win the game.

Saints were 6th in the table when they travelled to Everton in April 2015 the home side lying in 13th, we therefore hoped that this would be the game where we broke our Goodison hoodoo, we would have the bulk of possession and more chances, indeed the Toffees would only have 1 shot on target, but it went in and we went down to yet another Goodison defeat.

Photo: Action Images



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