Five points from nine have seen an unbeaten Saints to a relatively high-flying position for them this season, four points clear of the relegation zone. The side secured their fourth away win of the season in emphatic style last Saturday, dealing Reading their first home defeat this term. As ever with Saints, such world-beating form was unlikely to be sustained, though the game was followed by solid points at home to Plymouth and away to fellow-strugglers Charlton.
Reading 1 - Saints 2
Saints 0 - Plymouth 0
Charlton 0 - Saints 0
Though Saints have performed better away from home this season, few were expecting anything from a tough match away to promotion-favorites Reading. Those who made the short trip to the Madjeski, however, were treated to a barnstorming first half Saints performance that left Reading chasing shadows. A single Bradley Wright-Philips goal was all Saints had to show for what many saw as their best half of the season and there was relief all round when the winger doubled the advantage soon after half time. Amazingly (or not, depending on your opinion of the player), they were BWP's first goals since January- he was obviously inspired by the Saints chant of "Bradley, Bradley... he steals from the Skates." Reading were able to pull one back during a tense finish for Saints' defence, but the side held on to secure one of the upsets of the season and the best moment thus far of Jan Poortlviet's reign. Even Mark Dennis, the bruising ex-Saints defender and co-commentator on Saints TV was reduced to tears at the end (the last time that happened was after his nose was broken by a flying John Fashanu elbow).
Sadly, however, the magic of the Dutch Revolution seems not to have reached St Marys yet. The side could not build on the weekend win, held to a disappointing, though by no means discreditable, goalless draw by Plymouth. That was followed by Saturday's trip to South London, where hopes were high against a manager-less Charlton Athletic. Saints fans were in fine voice and made the game feel like a home game for the visitors. The side sustained heavy pressure in the first half but dominated the second. However, not for the first time this season the side could not convert their flowing passing and possession into goals and the game finished without one. Saints fans continued in fine voice to the station and were treated to a farewell flurry of two fingers from the home contingent after delivering their (slightly harsh) verdict on the home side's location. Unbeaten in three, it has proved a good week for Saints and hopefully they can put fears of relegation to one side and maintain this form into the new year.
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