English Premiership

Austin comes off bench to sink Swans

2016-09-18 21:49
Charlie Austin (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Charlie Austin stepped off the bench to secure a first win of the season for Southampton as they beat Swansea 1-0 at St Mary's on Sunday.

The former QPR forward, who scored a brace against Sparta Prague in midweek, struck his third goal in two games with the winner against Francesco Guidolin's side - just 10 minutes after his introduction in the second half.

The substitute had been denied by the frame of the goal only moments before, but he was bang on target in the 64th minute to give Claude Puel his first victory as Saints manager, while leaving the Swans winless in four matches. 

The visitors have struggled to get going in the new campaign, managing just one win thus far which came on the opening day at Burnley, but they threatened first on the south coast when Kyle Naughton's shot from a narrow angle forced Fraser Forster to make a save at his near post on six minutes.

However, the hosts grew in confidence and went close to breaking the deadlock on the quarter-hour mark, with Shane Long's shot parried by Lukasz Fabianski, who was relieved to see Dusan Tadic and Steven Davis fail to convert on the rebound.

Davis missed the target with a header three minutes later while Tadic saw his free-kick from 25 yards out tipped over the crossbar by Fabianski soon afterwards in a good spell for the Saints.

The Polish keeper was called into action again on 34 minute to keep out a header from Virgil van Dijk, before Nathan Redmond squandered two good chances in the closing stages of the first half.

Naughton came to the Swans' rescue just three minutes into the second half as he cleared Long's ball across the face of goal off the line before Tadic could get there, and they had the offside flag to thank for keeping the scores level moments later when Long tapped in Redmond's square-ball.

Oriol Romeu failed to keep his header down from Tadic's corner on the hour mark before Austin was denied by the crossbar as he met Redmond's low cross into the danger area.

But the forward pounced seconds later as he brought a cross from Tadic under control and fired past Fabianski on 63 minutes for the lead. The Swans keeper had to be alert to prevent Austin from grabbing a second goal five minutes later with a fine save at his near post.

Forster had a big part to play in his team's first victory of 2016/17 as the England keeper pulled off two saves in the closing stages - from Modou Barrow and Gylfi Sigurdsson - to preserve their slender lead.

Read more on:    southampton  |  swansea  |  english premiership  |  soccer
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