It’s been nine years to the day since Southampton scored two late goals at Brighton’s old Withdean Stadium to snatch three vital points in pursuit of promotion from League One. Here’s a countdown of our favourite last-gasp away day winners…
5. Debut delight for Austin at Old Trafford
23rd January 2016
Winning a game at the death is hard to beat, but when it’s at the home of one of the Premier League big boys it’s particularly satisfying. For Ronald Koeman’s Saints, this represented a second such scalp in in the space of 12 month at Old Trafford, where the club had not won in the league for 27 years prior to that. After Dušan Tadić’s heroics in 2015, this time it was down to deadly debutant Charlie Austin to make an instant impression, arriving off the bench with 10 minutes to go and the game still goalless. Seven minutes later, the striker was racing away to celebrate with the pocket of Saints fans tucked away in the corner of the Theatre of Dreams, rising unchallenged to plant a downward header past David De Gea from a typically inviting James Ward-Prowse free-kick.
4. Fonte completes Brighton turnaround
23rd April 2011
Brighton were already crowned League One champions by the time Saints headed to the Withdean Stadium on Easter Saturday, targeting victory in pursuit of the second automatic promotion spot behind the Seagulls. But time was running out as Ashley Barnes profited from an under-hit back-pass from Radhi Jaïdi to give the hosts a half-time lead that they held until the 84th minute. That was when David Connolly’s sharp turn and shot levelled the scores and breathed new life into Nigel Adkins’s side, who sensed an opportunity to snatch maximum points. When Kelvin Davis launched a free-kick deep into the Brighton box, José Fonte rose to meet it with a looping header from a tight angle that dropped into the far corner of the net, sparking scenes of pandemonium behind the goal as the Portuguese defender tore off his shirt and celebrated with the mass ranks of travelling Saints fans.
3. Monkou decides nine-goal thriller
9th April 1994
As far as away days go, this one had it all. Saints’ battle against the drop was beginning to look desperate – without a win in seven games and four points clear of safety with just seven matches left. But it was this stunning victory that sparked a great escape, on a day when Saints trailed 3-1 and 4-3, only to dramatically turn the tables late on. After Matt Le Tissier completed his hat-trick with a far-post header from Jeff Kenna’s cross, Saints’ mercurial number seven turned provider when his team were awarded a last-gasp corner. Crossing from the right, Le Tissier’s delivery was met by a thumping header from Ken Monkou that bounced down into the turf and up into the net, giving Saints’ survival fight the shot in the arm it needed.
2. Moran strikes at Fratton Park
28th January 1984
It’s every Saints fan’s dream, isn’t it? Steve Moran lived that dream by scoring the only goal just in the nick of time at the end of this south coast derby – the first for eight years. Portsmouth had been in the fourth tier only four seasons previously, but two promotions left them fancying their chances as a Second Division side against top-flight Saints in this FA Cup fourth round tie. Underdogs Pompey duly frustrated Lawrie McMenemy’s men up until the very last attack, when Saints launched an iconic counter-attack. Frank Worthington spread the ball wide to David Armstrong, whose inch-perfect cross was dispatched by the onrushing Moran at the far post. “And Southampton have snatched it, right at the very end,” cried animated commentator John Motson, as the thousands of travelling supporters entered a frenzy in front of the celebrating match-winner.
1. Long seals semi-final glory
25th January 2017
One of very few moments on the road comparable to ’84 at Fratton Park, this was Shane Long’s very own Moran moment, at Anfield in the EFL Cup semi-final second leg. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Saints were coming under increasing pressure as Liverpool piled on the pressure in search of the goal that would take the tie into extra time. Just as the fourth official signalled four added minutes, Oriol Romeu and Cédric combined to clear a corner and send Josh Sims on his way. The energetic substitute duly accelerated over the halfway line, worrying Liverpool with his pace and directness. Perhaps the only man capable of keeping up with the youngster was Long, who took a perfect first touch from Sims’s pass, ensuring he did not have to break stride before crashing a right-footed shot into the net in front of another euphoric red and white away end.