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Season 2003-04
Southampton (a) FA Cup Round 3
Saturday 3rd January 2004, 5.35pm
Live on BBC1

Venue:  St. Mary's Stadium

 a bit damp and miserable, but the sun shone on the away end, finally.

Away end: 24, Programme: 2.50


0 - 3 Newcastle United


24 mins Shearer controlled a Hughes throw-in and played it back. Hughes then floated over a cross which was flicked on by Solano to Dyer eight yards from goal. Dyer had to wait for the ball to come down and the slight delay worked in his favour as he half-volleyed past Niemi. 1-0

67 mins A Solano corner found the head of Jenas was scrambled away only as far as Robert, who lashed a left-footed shot goalwards. Niemi got some contact but could only divert the ball into the roof of the net. 2-0

Half time: Southampton 0 Newcastle 2

67 mins Goal of the game as Speed's ball forward was flicked on by Shearer into the path of Dyer. He teased and tormented Svensson and Lundekvam before firing a left-footed shot across the keeper into the far corner and racing to the celebrating away section. 3-0

Full time: Southampton 0 Newcastle 3

We Said

Sir Bobby commented:

"Kieron went to hospital on Monday and had a minor operation. He was in on the morning out in the evening. It was all to do with constipation and a complication to do with his bowels. It was a very unpleasant problem.

"He trained very gingerly on Tuesday, was a bit better on Wednesday, had Thursday off, trained lightly on Friday and then played like that.

"He was quite remarkable and finished the match with a sensational goal. It was an exquisite finish. I always say to him 'Can you finish?' Here he said 'yes'.

"We used him up front, and he made a difference to the side. What I like about Kieron is he harries and hassles people. His work off the ball is just as good as on the ball."

"The players have given a magnificent response in the only way they can - and that's by showing their footballing ability.

"We've lost two games in 14 and kept our calm and were professional about it.

"We're in the fourth round, which is where we very much want to be."

Captain Shearer commented:

"We were well aware that we had not been doing as well as we'd like and we didn't need anyone telling us that."

"We were our own critics - but this was more like the Newcastle side we can be."

"We are emphatically through, but that's all we are.

"I sincerely hope we can win this competition, and we're over the first hurdle.

"But there's a long way to go."

Two-goal hero Dyer said:

"A lot has been said, and the criticism did hurt us," said Dyer.

"But we worked very hard today and deserved the victory.

"I've been on to the gaffer for a few weeks now saying `any chance of a game up front?'

"Tonight I've been given the chance and fortunately I've scored two goals. I hope that has given him a nice headache."

They Said

Gordon Strachan said:

"I don't know where to start. They were better, quicker and sharper and gave us problems. I know why it's come about but don't think it should be public knowledge.

"It's been a difficult 10 days, because we haven't looked like winning in these three games at any time.

"I don't think you could have put two games together beforehand in the two-and-a-half years I've been here and said that - but it's three now.

"I'd like to think we'll sort it out with the players we've got now because the opportunity should be given to the players to rectify it."


That Soton (a) winless run in full

2003/04: Won 3-0 Dyer 2, Robert
Drew 1-1 Bellamy
2001/02: Lost 3-1 Shearer
2000/01: Lost 0-2 
1999/00: Lost 2-4 Shearer, Speed
1998/99: Lost 1-2 Hamann
1997/98: Lost 1-2 Lee
1996/97: Drew 2-2 Ferdinand, Clark
1995/96: Lost 0-1 
1994/95: Lost 1-3 Kitson
1993/94: Lost 1-2 Cole
1988/89: Lost 0-1 
1987/88: Drew 1-1 O'Neill
1986/87: Lost 1-4 A.Thomas
1985/86: Drew 1-1 Beardsley
1984/85: Lost 0-1 
1973/74: Lost 1-3 Macdonald
1972/73: Drew 1-1 Barrowclough
1971/72: Won 2-1 Macdonald, Barrowclough

Winning FA Cup debuts in a Newcastle shirt for Woodgate, Ambrose and Viana (the latter two from the bench)

We became the first team to win a cup match of any description at St.Mary's Stadium, achieving what Tranmere, Tottenham, Millwall, Norwich, Wolves, Steaua Bucharest and Portsmouth couldn't manage. We also hold that record for Pride Park, Derby.

It's now four successive games since a Newcastle player was red or yellow-carded. 


2004 dawns and we're obviously in for another year of the same old same old from our heroes, who produced a timely reminder of their sheer glorious unpredictability in front of a disbelieving home support, travelling contingent and armchair audience.

So what that we hadn't won here since Gilbert O' Sullivan was in the charts, there were only three telly channels and Mr and Mrs Shearer worried about their little Alan teething, we have now, finally. 

And the hoteliers, restaurant proprietors and licensees of Southampton banked their weekend takings with a spring in their step not totally due to the presence of high-rollers en route to the new Queen Mary liner lying at anchor near the ground.

For the toon fans, as apologies go, this had far more substance than a bunch of blooms, box of chocolates, hastily-acquired greetings card from a corner shop, or even a "let's do it for the fans" chronicle back page by A.Player.

For once our expensively assembled and amply-rewarded representatives let their feet do the talking and in an opening 45 minute salvo almost knocked Strachan's men into the Solent. They might have dragged us to the far end of the country at a daft time, but for a performance like this you'd have gone to the Galapagos Islands by pogostick.

The goals came from the boots of Dyer and Robert but the twinkle-toed action wasn't confined to those two, with sparkling displays across the park from Woodgate to Solano and Jenas.

Chairman Freddy Shepherd wasn't in attendance to witness the astonishing revival in our fortunes, but should be complimented for managing to deliver a collective kick in the hindquarters of the squad before he packed his bucket and spade and headed off for Dubai. 

Either that or he's pulled of a remarkable transfer coup by acquiring a new set of players with the same names and physical appearance as the under-performing old 'uns.....

So many of the irritating faults that had plagued us recently simply vanished in this game - the return of Woodgate anchored the defence, we moved up and down the pitch as a unit, Hughes appeared to have finished his "teach yourself self confidence" library book, we dominated the midfield with Jenas looking proficient and Speed finding space in which to twist and move. Oh and we had some pace up front for a change....

We've often taken the proverbial out of Dyer and his acolytes in the past, simply because enough hot air to fill several balloons has been spoken, but not matched consistently in deeds on the pitch. In this game it's a pleasure to say that he was a delight to watch, full of dangerous running and endeavour and with a goalscoring eye few credited him with, aside from those who kept telling us that he was "banging them home in training".

However....before we all run off to get his name and number on our shirts, practice our finger-blowing salutes and try to get off with talentless pop harridans, let's just recall the 31 club games over almost 11 months he's featured in since the last time the name "Dyer" appeared on the scoresheet. In so many of those matches he's contributed little of substance to the cause and frankly hardly been worth a place in the side. 

There have been flashes of brilliance, cameos of skill and effort, but not too many entries in the tangible column - a miserable old so-and-so I may be, but to hear Dyer wailing on about his wanting to play up front sticks in the throat a bit - the inference being that because he's been out on the wing or lying deep previously he's not quite been giving it 100%.

If he continues to play like this, he'll be picked for club and country on his merits Bobby can forgot about LuaLua or whoever, while Sven can just quietly omit Vassell or Smith from his Portugal thoughts. Or maybe we should just keep the fanfares and garlands to a minimum for now and bide our time until the c word enters the equation - consistency.

While Dyer was in rare scoring form and so much else had changed for United,  it was reassuring to see that at least LuaLua was being consistent, managing to create chances to grab a hat trick in the eight minutes he was on the field, but screwing them all up.

Minor gripes aside, it's difficult to recall such a change in our team in the space of a week - we've gone from being listless, uninterested and pliable to exuberant, dynamic and rock-solid. 

Well almost rock solid - that memorable third strike was immaculately timed, coming as it did just when the home side began to move in on our goal in numbers. One past Given then via the backside of Beattie or a lucky nick from ratboy and alarm bells would have been jingling, not least in an away end filled with many people who'd seen us be two ahead in this town with less than ten minutes remaining and not win.

But we played, scored, ran, passed, harried, organised, tackled and generally gave a pretty good impression of a side who were bothered about the outcome of the game they were playing in - all things that had been conspicuous by their absence in recent games, regardless of whether we scraped a draw or not, Bobby.

It's not something we get the opportunity to write very often when talking about the black and whites, but on the day/night we just wanted it more than the other lot. Let's just hope that's habit-forming.

We now face a possibly distracted Leeds team in midweek followed by a trip to face Manchester United on Sunday - like Southampton another side we've been unable to beat at their place since February 1972. 

Can miracles happen twice? Who knows? Get there if you can or tune in to find out - we might not have won owt since Jim Hendrix died but it's never dull here is it?



Page last updated 14 July, 2016