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On This Day In History - 6th April
Monday, 6th Apr 2020 13:02

A look back at more of the fixtures played on this day in history both important and not so important, how many of these were you at ?

It was not one of the good days though in 1968, when Saints had played Spurs at the Dell back in November they had lost 2-1 with the gates closed on a full house at 2.30pm, the consolation goal was scored by Martin Chivers, but by the time April arrived he was no playing for Spurs and had been since January.

When he had left Saints were fighting relegation, but Ted Bates had reasoned that he could afford to sell Chivers with the emerging Mike Channon now ready to break through to the first team, with the money from Spurs for Chivers he bought John McGrath from Newcastle for £35,000 and received another £10,000 and Joe Kirkup in exchange for David Webb from Chelsea.

This would have almost instant success and Saints had won 4 and drawn 1 of the 6 games that they had played since the pair had made their debuts and the trip to Spurs and in doing so taken themselves from 20th position to 14th.

Saints at first looked OK at White Hart Lane and trailed only 1-0 at the break, but after the restart things went a bit crazy, Alan Mullery, Martin Chivers & Jimmy Greaves made it 4-0 with 64 minutes gone and it was 6-0 ten minutes later with a Dennis Hollywood OG and Greaves again this time from the spot.

It looked like it might get worse, but Saints pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left with Ron Davies heading home a John Sydenham cross.

Chivers although only scoring once had two assists and made his old club pay.

When you read that the next game on this day was in 1973/74 you should know by now that it is not going to be great news, Peter Osgood was going to be facing his old club Chelsea for the first time since leaving only three weeks earlier.

The Blues were in 9th place, Saints still out of the relegation zone by two points, with Osgood yet to score in his first appearance this would be a good day to do it in front of. a packed Dell crowd.

It would not be a good game to watch, Saints clearly had a lot of nerves about them and were low on confidence, there were few chances and those that where were not exactly nailed on, Osgood himself had perhaps the best but even this was a half chance at best.

All in all it was seen as a fair result and a good one if not brilliant, we had kept our two point gap from the bottom three with 6 games left.

But little did both clubs know that they were about to into freefall and for Saints it would be fatal. For both this game would be critical come the end of the season.

Saints went down on 36 with three clubs above them on 37, one of those was Chelsea, if we had of won this game then it would have been Chelsea down and not us, but this was a very strange season we were relegated but only 6 points off of 9th place.

1984/85 saw an evening trip to Watford and a 1-1 draw as we looked to qualify for Europe, Nick Holmes heading an 85th minute equaliser from a George Lawrence cross.

In 90/91 it was another trip to White Hart Lane, I find it amazing how many times we have played at other grounds on the same day quite a few times, more than you would think possible.

Gary Lineker scored twice in 3 minutes just before the break for the games only goals, although his hat trick was denied by Tim Flowers who saved his penalty just before th hour mark.

We were in another relegation battle in 1996 when the then current Premier League Champions Blackburn Rovers arrived at the Dell, Saints had to be solid at the back to still be in the game when Matt Le Tissier put an 80th minute penalty past his old team mate Tim Flowers who could not repeat his save of 5 years earlier.

Saints were now at St Mary's for our next look back on this day, Derby County were the visitors. when we had played them back in November both teams were in the bottom 2 with 7 points from 11 games, Derby won with a bizarre own goal from James Beattie who clearing a near post corner kicked the ball literally straight up in the air about 30 yards when it came down Paul Jones in goal misjudged the ball and it dropped straight into the net.

Now things were different we were now safely in mid table whereas Derby were on their way to relegation, Matt Oakley and Marian Pahars gave us a 2-0 win with a goal in each half.

Our last game was our shortest of that season, a trip to Reading who were now managed by Nigel Adkins, we were not quite safe being still only 4 points above the relegation zone, but there were 5 clubs between us and the 3rd from bottom spot.

Reading were rock bottom and 3,000 Saints fans made the trip up in a capacity crowd of 24,108 gathered for the early kick off for TV.

The home side had current Saint Alex McCarthy on the bench but it was his Adam Federici in the home goal who would present Saints with the opener, bottling out of smothering a through ball and allowing Jay Rodrigues to stab the ball past him, Adam Lallana completed the scoring in the 2nd half for a 2-0 win which was pretty comprehensive with us having 61% possession and the majority of shots on goal.

McCarthy was reinstated in the Reading goal for the game after where they drew 0-0 at home to Liverpool, this would be our last win of the season and we would finish 14th Reading would be relegated 2nd from bottom.

Photo: Action Images

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