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Southampton 1-0 Reading

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Puncheon: On target

Puncheon: On target

Southampton eased their relegation concerns by edging to a deserved 1-0 victory against fellow strugglers Reading.

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Jason Puncheon's strike on the hour mark proved decisive as Saints made it three wins in their last five matches.

Nigel Adkins' side dominated the match and created the better chances although Hal Robson-Kanu did hit the woodwork for the Royals just before the interval.

Reading were particularly sluggish before the interval though and were fortunate not to go behind in the 35th minute when the outstanding Puncheon headed the ball home, only for the referee to rule that Shaun Cummings had been fouled.

For all Southampton's dominance in the first half, they almost fell behind in first-half stoppage time when Robson-Kanu headed against the post from only six yards out when the net should have been bulging.

Southampton continued to have the edge after the break and it came as no surprise when they took the lead in the 60th minute, Puncheon firing a sweet strike past Adam Federici after good play by Nathaniel Clyne.

Royals boss Brian McDermott made three attacking substitutions in the closing stages but Southampton suffered few alarms although one Nicky Shorey free-kick did create a scramble in the home side's penalty area before the ball was eventually cleared.

Saints substitute Guilherme Do Prado wasted a great opportunity to make the game safe in the closing stages when he shot straight at Federici but Adkins' side deserved the victory that lifts them two points clear of the bottom three.

Posted: 08/12/12 16:36

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