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15 April 2006

Stoke City 1 Southampton 2

An end of season match with nothing to play for saw Stoke open the gates to the clubs fans of the future by running another another kids for a quid day, which helped boost the attendance to 16,501

It must be said many of those parents who dragged their children along will this morning be thinking it was a pound wasted.

Whilst Stoke players seemed to have their minds on resolving their Villa rentals in Florida or indeed whether they'd be returning to club after the summer break and if so to what or to whom, Southampton opened brightly.

Southampton's first chance fell to Lundekvam after good work from Rasiak , but youngster  Andy Wilkinson given another opportunity at first team level saved the day.

Unfortunately rather than providing the impetus for an entertaining open ended game it signalled the end of major events for the next 15 minutes or so as the game become an untidy mess.

Until on loan Tottenham striker Rasiak caught the Stoke defence napping and was subsequently mauled in the box by Broomes.

Rasiak dispatched the resulting penalty to Simonson's right. 

7 minutes later with 34 minutes on the clock Southampton and Rasiak, who was the pick of the players on the pitch, made it 2-0 when he headed home an accurate free-kick from Wright and the game was effectively over.

Paul Gallagher salvaged some pride late on but the Pole's quick-fire double had already done the damage to sink the Potters for the first time in their last six outings.

Gallagher pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute with a powerful shot from range to earn himself the sponsors 'man of the match award'.... presumably for that shot alone so poor was the rest of the home teams performance.

Fuelled by the goal Stoke finally upped the tempo for the first time in the game as they sought to  salvage a point and a little pride , but in truth the effort was too little and too late and Southampton easily held out.