Next up we face Southampton away, a trip which has historically always been a difficult ShearerSOTONone for The Magpies; certainly in the days of The Dell. That is where we start in 1964 when Chester-Le-Street born Alan Suddick scored the only goal in a rare win at the old ground.

We endured a real walloping in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in 1970 when The Saints triumphed 3-0 with future Magpie Mick Channon getting on the scoresheet; Channon was on target again 11 days later when the two sides met in the Fairs Cup, this time Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson’s goal was enough to see us through on the away goals rule. A couple of years later in 1972 we won our last ever game at The Dell, some 30 years before Southampton left to move to St. Mary’s with Stewart Barrowclough and a Malcolm Macdonald penalty securing the points in a 2-1 win. In 1985 we earned a respectable point at The Dell on the opening day of the season with Peter Beardsley managing to bag a penalty past his England team mate Peter Shilton in a 1-1 draw; the only other point of note about this match is that it was the first professional start of Paul Gascoigne’s memorable career. Only a year later however we were turned over quite convincingly by The Saints with Andy Thomas’ goal little consolation for the four put past his namesake Martin at the other end, Colin Clarke scored a hat trick that day for Southampton.

In 1993 United were given their first taste of the Matt Le Tissier experience as he scored two magnificent goals with an Andy Cole equaliser sandwiched in between; some of you may remember that match for Lee Clark and Kevin Keegan having a touchline barney after the current Birmingham manager reacted badly to being substituted. Two years later in 1995 United suffered one of their most spectacular collapses in living memory when despite leading through Paul Kitson’s first half goal, Southampton somehow scored 3 in the last 5 minutes to win 3-1; a result which left Keegan furious. Something similar happened again in 1997 under Kenny Dalglish as goals from Les Ferdinand and Clark looked to seal a handy 3 points and break The Dell hoodoo, but goals from Neil Maddison and a stunner from that man Le Tissier in the 88th and 89th minutes scuppered those plans.

We were beaten 4-2 by Southampton despite taking the lead through a Shearer penalty in 1999, on a miserable day which really put the pressure on Ruud Gullit; he was to be sacked a few weeks later. Finally, we achieved our first win away at Southampton at their new stadium in the 3rd round of the FA Cup 2004 when Kieron Dyer playing in a more advanced role scored two excellent goals to help us on our way to a 3-0 victory.