The skill and spirit offered hopefully by Southampton in amends for their opening home defeat by Leeds was more than enough to demolish Liverpool. Right back Joe Kirkup applied the final dash to the evening’s entertainment at The Dell by making both goals. And his adventure and enterprise was typical of a Southampton performance that changes their faltering start into one of promise.
Once Southampton had survived the early and confident rushes of a Liverpool team who conquered champions Manchester City on Saturday, the result was hardly in doubt. The Liverpool defence suffered 37 minutes of uncharacteristic confusion before Southampton’s first goal. Joe Kirkup travelled 70 yards of the right touchline, with the help of Paine, before pitching a cross between Saul and goalkeeper Lawrence. The ball flew back from their collision to find Ron Davies with enough time and space to score the goal he deserved.
In the 54th minute Kirkup and Paine again destroyed Liverpool’s defence between them. Kirkup lost the ball to Hughes, bravely regained it and put a high cross into the middle. Smith’s headed clearance was intercepted at the corner of the six-yard box by Paine, whose header went just inside the near post.
The command in midfield of Melia and especially Fisher was such to deny the attempts by Liverpool to get back into the game and enough to nearly cause Davies and Saul to score further goals.
Copyright - Daily Mail (15-08-1968) - Transcribed by Kjell Hanssen