Southampton 2-2 Stoke City: Crouch saves point for Potters

The Potters were thankful to the two Peters as firstly Odemwingie cancelled out Rickie Lambert's opener, before the former Tottenham man swiftly equalised Steven Davis' goal
Southampton twice surrendered the lead in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis put the hosts ahead, but they were pegged back on each occasion through Peter Odemwingie's maiden strike for Stoke and Peter Crouch's close-range effort shortly before half-time.

Lambert delighted the home fans on six minutes when he bent home a peach of a free-kick from an acute angle, only for Odemwingie to level after a superb throughball from Charlie Adam.
By John Stammers

Southampton and Stoke's 2-2 draw at St Mary's was a strange one, with three of the four goals coming within six minutes of each other just before half-time - one of which was a cross. After Rickie Lambert opened the scoring with a beautiful free-kick on just six minutes you would have been forgiven for backing Saints to go on and thrash the Potters, but to their credit Mark Hughes' men battled hard and got themselves back into the game through Peter Odemwingie.

Following goals from both Steven Davis and Peter Crouch just before the break, the visitors emerged from their changing room determined to hold on to a point - and that's exactly what they did for 45 minutes. Saints tried and tried but, in truth, created very little, which should worry Mauricio Pochettino.

In a manic end to the opening half, Southampton retook the lead in bizarre circumstances when a cross from Davis deceived everyone and went into the far corner, but Stoke hit back immediately with Crouch scoring from a corner.

Southampton created the better opportunities in the second half, but Stoke held firm to claim a rare point on their travels.

The result extends Southampton's unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions, while Stoke continue to search for a second away league win this term.

The hosts pressed right from the off and were swiftly rewarded with the opening goal.

Adam was penalised for handball on the left edge of the penalty area, and Lambert made him pay by bending a superb free-kick into the far top corner.

Despite that early setback, Stoke responded in a positive manner, albeit without initially threatening Artur Boruc.

A lack of clear-cut chances for the visitors nearly cost them dear on 28 minutes when Davis led a swift breakaway and played in Nathaniel Clyne, who was denied by a good stop from Asmir Begovic.

That miss was punished as Stoke levelled on 38 minutes.

Odemwingie latched onto Adam's defence-splitting pass and kept his composure to open his account for the club with a first-time shot past Boruc.

Southampton were back in the lead three minutes later, as Davis' cross from the left missed everyone and bounced into the far corner.

Yet there was time for one last twist before the interval as Crouch bundled home Adam's 44th-minute corner.

The hosts started the second half in a typically fluid manner and Jay Rodriguez should have done better with a free header from Davis' corner on 50 minutes.

Southampton continued to push forward, but Ryan Shawcross typified Stoke's resilience by rushing to block a shot from Lambert on the edge of the box.

As the game entered its closing stages, Southampton controlled possession and Morgan Schneiderlin almost found the winner when he side-footed into the side netting at the back post with seven minutes remaining.