On This Day In History - 28th April A Day For Vital Games
Tuesday, 28th Apr 2020 10:35
The upside as we get into late April/early May in our look back at Saints is that we seem to spent most years either at the top or at the bottom, so there will be a corkers at both ends of the table coming up in the next couple of weeks.
28th April is not a day short of a few great matches and older fans will be surprised to see that the 8-2 spanking of Coventry in 1984 is not in today's list, that is because I will be covering that game next week in the first of a one part series entitled 10 goal thrillers with the Sky Blues and it will cover our 1982 meeting as well.
So we start not too far back, 2007/08 to be exact with a Monday night game on television in the Championship, West Bromwich Albion V Saints was truly a top versus bottom game, with two games to go the Baggies were in second place a point behind leaders Stoke and 2 ahead of Hull, this was a game they needed something out of, even a draw would see them up as their goal difference was 12 better than Hull's.
We though sat third from bottom, Scunthorpe and Colchester were already dwn and we were looking to make sure we never filled the third and final spot, we sat on 50 points, Leicester on 51 and Sheffield United 52. This game in hand was vital as we had far worse goal difference than both.
My problems for this game started the day before, I had been in America for the week before and I was due to fly back on the Sunday and arrive at Heathrow from Washington DC on Monday morning, giving me plenty of time to get the mini bus to the Hawthorns early afternoon
But like Bruce Willis/John McClain my problems started when I arrived at Dulles airport, the flight had been cancelled and I was now on the next one six hours later.
That meant I arrived in London at around noon hammered it back to Southampton and the mini bus waited in the pub till I was ready and we were underway by 2.30pm
The Saints team that day was
Richard Wright, Jermaine Wright, Perry, Lucketti, Surman, Viafara, Idiakez, Safri (Dyer 62), Euell, Saganowski (Lallana 74), John (Wright-Phillips 74).
As you can see not a team that slips easily off the tongue when recalling ex Saints players.
Saints had a full allocation up there and this was as tense a game as any, as it went into the 15 minutes or so it was still 0-0 and we made a substitution, on came Adam Lallana, now a household name but back then a 19 year old who had spent the first half of the season on loan at Bournemouth and his Saints career so far consisted of one start the previous season when he came off at half time and 3 appearances off the bench since his return only one of them since the turn of the year, he had yet to score for the club or indeed anyone in a competitive game so hopes were not high for what was seen as an untried youngster.
But within 3 minutes he had given Saints the lead and ran through to slot the ball home to send the Saints fans wild, but this only caused to make the Baggies angry and we were soon under intense pressure, something had to give and six minutes to go the home side were level and pushing for a winner.
I have to admit I was so nervous I couldn't watch injury time and stood on the concourse under the stand for what seemed like an hour till the final whistle went and we at least had a chance of staying up on the final day, but we were still reliant on one of the two clubs above us failing and we had to beat a Sheffield United side who themselves had an outside chance of the play offs.
Photo: Action Images
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