A goal in either half saw Southampton book their place in the Fifth Round of The FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Yeovil Town at St Mary’s.
Saints took the spoils in the first ever FA Cup meeting between the two teams with an accomplished and professional performance that secured the hosts’ passage into the Last 16.
Guly got the ball rolling with a 22nd minute penalty which was awarded after Shane Duffy handled in the area. The Saints frontman sent Yeovil goalkeeper Marek Stech the wrong way to notch his first competitive goal for two years, and one which was greeted in jubilant fashion by the team in front of the Northam stand.
Saints had overcome Championship opposition in round three, and repeated their trick in round four thanks to substitute Sam Gallagher’s first senior goal with just over 20 minutes remaining in the game.
The youngster had been on the pitch less than a quarter of an hour before he rolled the ball home from an acute angle to seal the victory.
But for the performance of Stech, the scoreline might have been even greater, but two goals were enough to progress into the fifth round for only the third time in eight seasons.
Yeovil got the match underway in their traditional green and white striped shirts, attacking the Chapel Stand on a clear and mild day inside St Mary’s.
The visitors were backed by a strong and vocal following in the away end, with the Championship side set up to try and cause an upset against their Premier League opponents.
Saints were dominant with possession in the opening exchanges as they looked to find a way past an organised Glovers team who were hoping to catch a break through lively talisman Ishmael Miller – the striker on loan from Nottingham Forest.
Yeovil weren’t sitting back though, as they sent every outfield player forward at each set-piece. Joe Ralls connected to a Joel Grant corner, whilst James Hayter saw his outstretched boot almost wrong-foot Kelvin Davis with a poked effort inside the area.
The hosts searched to launch their attacks on the flanks, with Guly and Ward-Prowse providing the threat on either side in the final third.
The first attempt on target from Saints came when Schneiderlin found Rodriguez on the edge of the area, and the striker’s low shot was saved well by Marek Stech down to his right in the Yeovil goal.
Rodriguez went even closer on 17 minutes when he headed Clyne’s cross from the right onto the bar from eight yards out.
After another wave of pressure, Saints were awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute after Shane Duffy was adjudged to have handled a corner taken by Ward-Prowse.
With regular spot-kick taker Rickie Lambert not available, GULY stepped up to send Stech the wrong way with a cool penalty low to the left for 1-0.
Glovers skipper Jamie McAllister was booked for dissent in the wake of the penalty with the visitors clearly unhappy about the decision to award the spot kick.
The strike knocked Yeovil’s momentum, with Saints pushing on for a second strike. Adam Lallana scuffed a low strike wide after Schneiderlin had played him through, with the red shirts generally looking comfortable on the ball as play reached the half hour mark.
Another dominant spell culminated in Lallana getting a cross/shot from the left which clipped the crossbar on its way out of play, with Stech stranded.
Yeovil showed why it would be dangerous to write them off when James Hayter went close to converting a cross from Joe Ralls. The striker’s outstretched leg saw the ball hit Kelvin Davis who knew little about his save, as the ball bounced off his chest, and gratefully into his arms.
Saints had a good chance to double their lead when Lallana played in Rodriguez for a shot at goal, but the tame effort was easy for Stech to gather.
Inside the final last five minutes of the half, Shaw blazed an ambitious strike from range over the bar, before Guly had a curling shot saved.
The final kick of the half saw Ishmael Miller snatch at an opportunity from Ralls’s cross to fire over, which ensured that it remained 1-0 going into the break.
HALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 YEOVIL TOWN
A change in the weather saw a drizzly start to the second 45, with Saints holding one foot in the next round of the competition.
There were no changes from either side at the interval and the competitive nature of the game resumed instantly.
Three minutes into the new half, Yeovil’s right back Luke Ayling was encouraged to shoot by the crowd and he answered those suggestions with a dangerous looking low strike which Davis had to push past the post and out for a corner.
Saints dealt with further pressure after Shaw headed away as far as John Lundstrom, whose shot back into the area had Davis at full stretch to keep it out
The hosts made their first change when goal scorer Guly do Prado made way for Development Squad frontman Sam Gallagher with 55 minutes on the watch.
Gallagher wasn’t far away from connecting to a corner with his first touch, but the ball broke back out for Ward-Prowse, who smashed a volley over the bar.
Clyne tested Stech with a low shot from the right after Lallana had played the full back into the area, and Stech had to be at his best again moments later to keep out Gallagher’s stinging low drive from the other flank.
Yeovil made a change to their striking ranks when Hayter went off and the veteran frontman was replaced by Kieffer Moore just past the hour mark.
Clyne went into the book for a foul on Duffy and a brief lull in play was ended by Rodriguez’s high rise shot which cleared the bar heading towards the last 20 minutes.
The win appeared to be made safe on 69 minutes. The ball worked its way out to the right flank, where determination from GALLAGHER saw the young substitute cut inside before shooting across Stech into the back of the net for a vital second goal.
On 74 minutes both teams made a change with Steven Davis replacing Lallana, whilst the Glovers introduced Ed Upson for Joel Grant
A chance to make it 3-0 arrived after Shaw was fouled on the left touchline. The whipped delivery from the resulting free-kick saw Hooiveld flick the ball towards goal, and Steven Davis divert it back into the area where Gallagher was denied by Stech’s alert save.
The remainder of the tie was played out in monsoon like conditions as a freak spell of wind and rain combined to make an unpredictable end to the game.
A final substitution apiece was made with seven minutes remaining with James Ward-Prowse making way for Harrison Reed whilst the Glovers introduced Sam Foley for Miller.
Kelvin Davis made a low save from Foley, but Saints were the closest to scoring again when Reed led a breakaway down the right to cross for Steven Davis, whose volley was brilliantly saved by Stech’s outstretched arm.
Stech was at his best once more in the 89th minute when he thwarted Gallagher’s spin and low shot at his feet to ensure it remained at 2-0.
FULL-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 2-0 YEOVIL TOWN
Southampton team: Kelvin Davis (c), Nathaniel Clyne, Maya Yoshida, Jos Hooiveld, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jack Cork, James Ward-Prowse (Harrison Reed 83), Adam Lallana (Steven Davis 74), Guly do Prado (Sam Gallagher 55), Jay Rodriguez
Unused substitutes: Paulo Gazzaniga, Jose Fonte, Calum Chambers, Lloyd Isgrove
Goals: Guly (pen) 22; Gallagher, 69
Yeovil team: Marek Stech, Luke Ayling, Jamie McAllister (c), Joe Edwards, Byron Webster, Shane Duffy, Joe Ralls, John Lundstrom, Joel Grant (Ed Upson 74), James Hayter (Kieffer Moore 61), Ishmael Miller (Sam Foley 83)
Unused substitutes: Chris Dunn, Kevin Dawson, Nan Ofori-Twumasi, Adam Morgan
Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 24,070 (including 3,403 away)