Shane Long's late goal sees Southampton through to FA Cup fourth round

18 January 2017 09:53

Shane Long spared Southampton's blushes by bundling the Premier League side past Norwich in a last-gasp 1-0 win in Wednesday's FA Cup third round replay.

Norwich goalkeeper Michael McGovern parried the Republic of Ireland striker's last-ditch close-range header, only for Long to force the rebound home.

The underwhelming Saints struggled for rhythm all night, but finally squeezed past Championship outfit Norwich inside normal time, after the 2-2 draw at Carrow Road on January 7.

Southampton will now host Arsenal in the fourth round at St Mary's on Saturday, January 28.

Former Norwich forward Nathan Redmond spurned three fine second-half chances as this tie looked to be heading for extra-time, only for Long to produce his rescue act.

A dire first-half served up just one morsel for the paltry and wholly-underwhelmed crowd.

Sam McQueen's shot was tipped onto the post by McGovern, before bouncing to safety.

The distinct lack of movement from statuesque forward pairing Jay Rodriguez and Long undermined every Saints attack.

Cuco Martina and Josh Sims grafted manfully enough down the right, but to entirely no avail.

The hosts upped the tempo after the break, but that was hardly any challenge.

Sims' low cross forced Ivo Pinto to turn the ball round the post, before Rodriguez flicked the ball across the face of goal.

Just when Saints sniffed the faintest scent of blood, Norwich broke with two quick passes.

Kyle Lafferty just failed to connect with Josh Murphy's teasing cross though, letting the home side comfortably off the hook.

James Ward-Prowse curled a smart free-kick just wide, with the rippling netting tricking the home faithful into thinking the midfielder had made the breakthrough.

Replacement and ex-Norwich man Redmond then fluffed three fine openings for victory, all in the final stages.

First he failed to dig the ball properly from under his feet with a shot, then he fired too close to McGovern. And most wasteful of all, he scuffed wide from the penalty spot.

Long failed to gain any purchase attempting a header on Redmond's cross, as Saints finally found fluency at the death.

And just when the clash looked odds-on for extra time, McQueen's cross let Long grind the ball finally over the line for the winner.

Source: PA


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