Today we take a look back at some of the finest Southampton volleys, as our top five countdowns continue...
5. Ramírez lights up St Mary’s
24th September 2013
Gastón Ramírez is a player of undoubted talent, but moments like this were frustratingly sporadic in his time as a Saint. Premier League starts were proving hard to come by the start of his second season, which meant the Capital One Cup represented the Uruguayan’s best chance to impress manager Mauricio Pochettino. Having scored in the second-round demolition at Barnsley, Ramírez was it again when Saints welcomed League One Bristol City to St Mary’s in the third round. It was he who opened the scoring in the 15th minute, as James Ward-Prowse nodded the ball his way on the edge of the penalty area, and Ramírez picked his spot with a spectacular first-time volley that sailed into the top corner.
4. Hughes rolls back the years
15th August 1999
Mark Hughes was into his mid-30s when the 1999/00 campaign kicked off, but still possessed enviable ball-striking technique. This was Saints’ third game of the season, and Hughes scored a goal befitting a fine summer’s day at The Dell en route to a 4-2 win over Newcastle. This was the fourth goal in the space of 20 minutes for Dave Jones’s side, who had trailed at half time to an Alan Shearer penalty. Saints saved the best until last, as Egil Østenstad nodded the ball down to Norwegian compatriot Trond Soltvedt, who in turn flicked it up invitingly for Hughes. Needing no second invitation from 20 yards, the Welshman hit a rocket that flew into the top corner like a missile.
3. Wallace lets fly at Forest
26th March 1983
Saints of the early ‘80s were an exciting, attacking side, and finding themselves a goal down in the first half at Nottingham Forest was no reason to panic, such was the firepower at Lawrie McMenemy’s disposal. Predictably, back came Saints in the second period, turning the game on its head with two goals from corners. The first was turned in from close range by David Armstrong, before Danny Wallace stole the headlines with a stunning winner at the City Ground. When Nick Holmes’s delivery was headed clear only as far as the winger on the edge of the box, Wallace took aim and struck the dropping ball perfectly on the volley, eluding everyone inside a crowded penalty area as it nestled in the bottom corner.
2. Berkovic beats Schmeichel
26th October 1996
It’s easy to forget what a great goal this was, given the extraordinary scoreline and Matt Le Tissier’s glorious chip – both of which seem to have taken the shine off this spectacular strike from Israeli loanee Eyal Berkovic in the 6-3 thrashing of Manchester United at The Dell. What else is easy to forget is that Saints’ lead was a precarious one at the time: 3-2, with as little as seven minutes left, but Berkovic’s moment of magic effectively killed off the 10-man visitors. Similar to Wallace’s goal in that it came about from a half-cleared corner, Berkovic was lurking with intent on the edge of the box and deliberately cut across the dropping ball, sending it rising beyond the reach of the great Peter Schmeichel.
1. Le Tissier leaves it late against Newcastle
24th October 1993
Another truly special strike in its own right that would somehow lose most “Goal of the Match” votes, such was the brilliance of Le Tissier’s iconic solo goal from the same game. Having seen his inspired opener cancelled out by Andy Cole, time was running out for Le Tissier to conjure up something decisive. As usual, he delivered the goods, winning the game for his team just three minutes from time. Positioned 25 yards from goal, left of centre, Le Tissier cushioned a stooping header from Neil Maddison neatly on his thigh, and, all in one motion, turned to dispatch a dipping volley that sailed over helpless goalkeeper Mike Hooper, dropping just in time to nestle in the far corner of his net.