FAC: Southampton 1-4 Portsmouth

Portsmouth were in danger of being put out of business this week

but they are alive in the FA Cup after beating Southampton 4-1 at

St Mary’s.

Despite being matched by Alan Pardew’s men for much of the

fifth-round clash, Portsmouth rattled in four goals in the last 25

minutes to reach the quarter-finals.

Quincy Owusu-Abeyie came off the bench and opened the scoring

for the visitors at St Mary’s.

Rickie Lambert levelled shortly after but Aruna Dindane,

Nadir Belhadj and Jamie O’Hara netted to give the scoreline a

flattering look for the bottom club in the Barclays Premier League.

This clash gave a reminder of the bitterness which exists

between the two south-coast clubs, who had not met each other since

Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League in 2005.

Portsmouth look to be heading that way too and are adrift at

the bottom of the table – but simply staying in business this week

was the aim. They head back to the High Court next month as Her

Majesty’s Revenue and Customs push for a winding-up order.

Southampton know all about the effect financial troubles can

have after dropping down to League One and suffering a points

deduction this season for going into administration.

Pardew’s men, however, are in decent form and will take huge

encouragement from matching their top-flight neighbours – at least

until the goals began to flow.

Morgan Schneiderlin had a long-range effort early on, then

the hosts got even closer when Lambert swung a cross from the left

to the far post.

It was inch-perfect for Papa Waigo N’Diaye and the striker

headed firmly towards the bottom corner – but David James was down

sharply and gathered at the second attempt.

O’Hara was responsible for Pompey’s first efforts on goal,

first with a 35-yard free-kick that went just wide of Kelvin Davis’

post, then with a drive that the Southampton goalkeeper tipped over

the crossbar.

Southampton continued to attack and N’Diaye was close to

getting on the end of a couple of slick moves.

They were presented with another decent chance when James

fumbled Lambert’s corner. The ball raced onto the head of Radhi

Jaidi and his effort went over the crossbar.

James then blocked at point-blank range just before the break

when Wayne Thomas got on the end of another Lambert corner.

After going into the interval the happier of the two sides,

Southampton did not let half-time break their stride.

James was required to pull off another fine save just after

the restart. This time Michail Antonio cross to the back post and

Adam Lallana met it with his head. James looked to be heading in

the wrong direction but adjusted his feet to claw away.

Dindane gave the hosts a warning when he went just wide from

the edge of the area, then John Utaka cut in from the left and

forced a save from Davis.

Pompey boss Avram Grant made his move just before the hour

mark, introducing Quincy for Angelos Basinas and giving his side a

more attacking look heading into the final third of the match.

Quincy got into the action straight away with a run down the

left and was welcomed with a crunching tackle from Dean Hammond,

earning the Saints skipper a booking.

It was pure adrenaline from Hammond as his side were scenting

an upset. If Lallana got more power on a volley when sent through,

James would have been severely tested again.

Quincy struck in the 66th minute after Hassan Yebda crossed

from the right and Utaka worked the ball to the substitute.

The former Arsenal forward took a touch to steady himself and

then coolly curled home from just inside the penalty area.

The lead lasted just four minutes as Lambert headed in at the

far post from a free-kick – but Pompey were ahead again shortly

after the leveller.

Hayden Mullins started the move down the right before Quincy

sent Dindane through to chip Davis for his second goal this week

after netting against Sunderland.

Saints substitute Lee Barnard had a strike chalked off for

offside late on, then Belhadj added a third when he raced through

and sold Davis a dummy before finishing. O’Hara volleyed home the

fourth after a sweeping move.