Southampton 2 Sheff Wed 0: Rodriguez at the double for second-string Saints
20:37 GMT, 25 September 2012
22:49 GMT, 25 September 2012
Jay Rodriguez's first goals for Southampton ensured their safe passage to the Capital One Cup fourth round at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday.
The 6million summer acquisition from Burnley impressed in front of the 9,890 spectators at St Mary's as the hosts reach the last 16 for the second successive season.
After earlier being denied in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Stephen Bywater, Rodriguez broke the deadlock in the 30th minute by turning brilliantly in the box before rifling home.
On target: Jay Rodriguez fires past Wednesday keeper Stephen Bywater from inside the area
Southampton: Gazzaniga, Richardson, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Seaborne, Chaplow, Ward-Prowse, Cork (Robinson 81), Do Prado (Reeves 71), De Ridder, Rodriguez (Hoskins 85).
Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Butterfield, Gape, Sinclair.
Goals: Rodriguez 30, 78 (pen).
Sheff Wed: Bywater, Lee (Mattock 46), Llera, Beevers, Jones, Pecnik, Semedo, Corry (Jermaine Johnson 66), Antonio, Madine, Maguire (O'Grady 66).
Subs not used: Jameson, Mayor, Rodri, Lavery.
Ref: Mark Halsey.
Guly do Prado hit the post as Nigel
Adkins' side pushed for a second that came 12 minutes from time after
referee Mark Halsey adjudged substitute Joe Mattock to have fouled Steve
de Ridder in the box.
Bywater got to Rodriguez's penalty
but it trickled home as Southampton comfortably made it two wins in four
days, while Dave Jones saw his former club condemn Wednesday to a fifth
straight defeat in all competitions.
Coming into the match both sides made
it abundantly clear where their priorities lay, with the Owls making
seven changes to their starting line-up and the hosts nine.
Only Paulo Gazzaniga and Maya Yoshida
remained from the side that secured Saints' first Barclays Premier
League win of the campaign against Aston Villa on Saturday, while Adkins
was able to name Jack Cork in midfield for the first time since a
pre-season ankle injury.
The hosts started brightly and De Ridder saw a through-ball to Rodriguez snuffed out by Bywater inside the opening minute.
Job done: Southampton's Jos Hooiveld and Maya Yoshida (right) celebrate the award of Jay Rodriguez's penalty
Do Prado fired a half-volley wide shortly afterwards, before the south Yorkshire outfit began to threaten.
Former Southampton loanee Michail
Antonio was looking particularly dangerous for the Owls, who saw Mark
Beevers nod wide in the 10th minute.
Rodriguez was denied one-on-one by
Bywater as play began to swing from end to end, with defensive confusion
almost seeing Antonio net at the other end shortly afterwards.
The winger again came close as he
beat Gazzaniga to a ball only to chip onto the roof of the net, although
the hosts were beginning to find their feet.
Key moment: Referee Mark Halsey awards Southampton a penalty
After hooking a Richard Chaplow cross
wide, Do Prado forced Bywater into a fine save before Frazer
Richardson's cross-cum-shot threatened to dip in.
Southampton's continued pressure
translated into the opening goal on the half-hour mark when Rodriguez
collected a ball from Chaplow, before turning his markers and lashing
A dominant spell for the hosts
followed and eight minutes later only the post prevented Do Prado from
doubling their lead with a header.
Miguel Llera almost turned into his
own net when the ball was played back into the box but Wednesday held
firm to ensure the deficit was only one goal at the break.
Mattock replaced Kieran Lee as the
visitors began the second period well, with Nejc Pecnik coming close
with an audacious effort six minutes in.
Double trouble: Guly do Prado and team-mates hail two-goal hero Rodriguez
Wednesday were enjoying a good spell
of pressure as Pecnik again attempted to equalise but, despite working
space in the Saints box, could not find a way past Gazzaniga.
Have a word with him: Ref Halsey talks to Rodriguez
Llera received the first booking of
the evening for a challenge on Do Prado as Saints returned to the
attack, with captain Jos Hooiveld – returning tonight from a calf injury
– directing a header straight at Bywater from the resulting free-kick.
Wednesday soon brought on Jermaine
Johnson and Chris O'Grady in a bid to change the course of the match,
before Saints made a move of their own by replacing Do Prado with Ben
The substitute was in the heart of
the action immediately and saw a shot blocked, before blazing over
unbalanced from the edge of the box.
Reeves' introduction brought a new
urgency to Southampton, who were awarded a 78th-minute penalty by
referee Halsey after De Ridder was brought down by Mattock.
Despite the Owls' insistence that the
foul was made outside the area, Rodriguez stepped up and, although
Bywater got to it, the ball squirmed in.
It capped a successful evening for Southampton in which the only negative was a knock to Cork nine minutes from time.
Andy Robinson replaced him for his
debut and Sam Hoskins followed him on shortly afterwards, before Johnson
was twice denied a consolation goal by Gazzaniga.
Watching brief: Southampton's new signing Artur Boruc (right) observes proceedings next to Gaston Ramirez, Emmanuel Mayuka and Rickie Lambert
Mark Halsey, in charge of his first game since suffering abuse from fans after Liverpool’s clash with
Manchester United, awarded a penalty after Steve de Ridder was brought down by Joe Mattock.
Rodriguez stepped up and saw his effort squirm under the unlucky Bywater to seal the victory.
Southampton assistant manager Andy Crosby suggested that Rodriguez's start was part of rotation policy rather than a chance to dislodge the in-form Rickie Lambert for the weekend’s visit to Everton.
‘This competition gives us an opportunity to blood some young players,’ Crosby said. ‘Jay has been waiting for an opportunity and he grabbed it. He has come in for a big fee and is paid to score goals. He took his first one really well, his first touch was sublime.’