Southampton will head into the international break top of the Championship after an emphatic victory over Watford at St Mary's.

Rickie Lambert put the Saints in control with a brace of penalties - the first awarded for handball against John Eustace, the second for a foul on the striker by Adrian Mariappa.

Guly Do Prado's fine finish ensured there was no way back for the Hornets.

And substitute Lee Holmes' long-range strike put the gloss on the victory.

The win maintains Southampton's 100% home record this season and gives them their best start to a season in 52 years.

It is an impressive record, especially for a side making their return to the Championship following a two-year spell in League One.

However, they made a sloppy start to this match and could have fallen behind on a number of occasions.

SOUTHAMPTON'S 2011/12 HOME RECORD

  • 6 Aug: 3-1 v Leeds
  • 9 Aug: 4-1 v Torquay
  • 20 Aug: 1-0 v Millwall
  • 10 Sep: 3-2 v Nott'm Forest
  • 18 Sep: 4-1 v Birmingham
  • 21 Sep: 2-1 v Preston
  • 1 Oct: 4-0 v Watford

Mariappa headed wide early on for Watford, before Jonathan Hogg's shot from the edge of the area was saved by Kelvin Davis, who also superbly tipped over from Joe Garner's lob.

Having weathered the storm, Southampton grew as a force in the game and took the lead midway through the first half when Eustace's handball gave Lambert the chance to convert from the spot, which he did with aplomb.

The big striker hit the post with a header soon after and Adam Lallana crashed a long-range drive against the crossbar as the Saints finished the half strongly.

They added to their lead 10 minutes after the break when Lambert won another penalty after being brought to the ground by Mariappa as he tried to latch on to Frazer Richardson's cross.

Lambert picked himself up and fired the spot kick home.

Guly ensured Nigel Adkins' side the victory with 20 minutes to go when he picked up Lallana's pass before placing the ball into the right corner.

And their attacking approach was further rewarded with two minutes remaining when Holmes' curling effort from 25 yards found the net.

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Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:19 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

89:17

Header on goal by Chris Iwelumo from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

88:54

Lee Holmes concedes a free kick for a foul on Ross Jenkins. Craig Forsyth restarts play with the free kick.

87:38

The assist for the goal came from Frazer Richardson.

87:38 Goal scored

Goal! - Lee Holmes - Southamp'n 4 - 0 Watford Lee Holmes finds the net with a goal from outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Southampton 4-0 Watford.

86:58

The ball is delivered by Lee Holmes, save by Rene Gilmartin.

85:06 Substitution

Substitution (Southampton) makes a substitution, with Lee Holmes coming on for Adam Lallana.

85:06

Unfair challenge on Guly Do Prado by Craig Forsyth results in a free kick. Dean Hammond takes the direct free kick.

84:46

Richard Chaplow takes a shot. Rene Gilmartin makes a save.

83:19

Frazer Richardson takes a shot. Save by Rene Gilmartin.

82:26

Joe Garner fouled by Dean Hammond, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Craig Forsyth, save by Kelvin Davis.

79:08

Inswinging corner taken by Adam Lallana.

78:49

Richard Lambert has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.

77:04

Corner from right by-line taken by Daniel Fox.

75:41

Unfair challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin by John Eustace results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Morgan Schneiderlin.

74:21

Effort from just inside the area by Richard Chaplow strikes the post.

73:31

Ross Jenkins challenges Guly Do Prado unfairly and gives away a free kick. Dean Hammond takes the free kick.

72:07 Substitution

Substitution Jack Cork leaves the field to be replaced by Morgan Schneiderlin.

72:07

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Iwelumo on Jose Fonte. Free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.

71:34

Inswinging corner taken by Craig Forsyth, clearance made by Richard Lambert.

69:45

Adam Lallana provided the assist for the goal.

69:45 Goal scored

Goal! - Guly Do Prado - Southamp'n 3 - 0 Watford Guly Do Prado gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Southampton 3-0 Watford.

68:54

Troy Deeney has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.

68:37

Craig Forsyth takes a shot.

67:34

Jose Fonte challenges Chris Iwelumo unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Eustace restarts play with the free kick.

66:32

Richard Chaplow takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

65:32

The referee blows for offside. Rene Gilmartin restarts play with the free kick.

64:17

Guly Do Prado delivers the ball.

63:16 Substitution

Substitution Richard Chaplow comes on in place of Steve De Ridder.

62:47

Steve De Ridder has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.

61:54

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Troy Deeney.

61:34

Craig Forsyth takes a shot. Save by Kelvin Davis.

60:14 Substitution

Substitution Chris Iwelumo replaces Marvin Sordell.

59:55

Richard Lambert has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.

59:14

Craig Forsyth produces a cross.

56:39

Guly Do Prado challenges John Eustace unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Mirfin takes the indirect free kick.

55:15 Substitution

Substitution Troy Deeney replaces Mark Yeates.

54:41

Frazer Richardson provided the assist for the goal.

54:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Richard Lambert - Southamp'n 2 - 0 Watford Richard Lambert scores a power penalty. Southampton 2-0 Watford.

53:51 Booking

Booking Adrian Mariappa is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

53:37

Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Lambert by Adrian Mariappa.

52:06

The ball is delivered by Daniel Fox, Lloyd Doyley manages to make a clearance.

50:18

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana, Jose Fonte produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

49:52

Inswinging corner taken by Adam Lallana from the left by-line played to the near post, Martin Taylor makes a clearance.

49:44

Frazer Richardson produces a cross, David Mirfin manages to make a clearance.

48:14

Adam Lallana produces a cross, clearance by Martin Taylor.

47:32

Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Fox from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Joe Garner.

46:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Mirfin by Richard Lambert. Free kick taken by John Eustace.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Ross Jenkins on for Jonathan Hogg.

45:00 +1:10 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

44:36

Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Fox, Rene Gilmartin makes a save.

41:07

The ball is sent over by Frazer Richardson.

39:56

The official flags Joe Garner offside. Indirect free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.

35:42

Mark Yeates shoots direct from the free kick.

35:42 Booking

Booking Caution for Jack Cork.

35:31

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marvin Sordell by Jack Cork.

31:44

Adam Lallana takes a shot. Rene Gilmartin makes a save.

29:18

Shot by Steve De Ridder from just outside the area goes over the net.

28:49

Joe Garner gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Cork. Free kick taken by Jose Fonte.

27:53

Adam Lallana takes a shot.

23:01

Steve De Ridder fouled by Lloyd Doyley, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Fox sends in a cross, Headed effort from close range by Richard Lambert bounces off the post.

21:22

Assist on the goal came from Steve De Ridder.

21:22 Goal scored

Goal! - Richard Lambert - Southamp'n 1 - 0 Watford Power penalty scored by Richard Lambert. Southampton 1-0 Watford.

20:09

The referee penalises John Eustace for handball.

17:35

Jose Fonte fouled by Joe Garner, the ref awards a free kick. Kelvin Davis restarts play with the free kick.

16:19

Short corner taken by Mark Yeates from the right by-line.

16:01

Joe Garner takes a shot. Save by Kelvin Davis.

13:37

Craig Forsyth produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.

12:05

Jonathan Hogg takes a shot. Save made by Kelvin Davis.

8:49

Unfair challenge on Jonathan Hogg by Jack Cork results in a free kick. David Mirfin takes the free kick.

7:30

Close range headed effort by Adrian Mariappa misses to the right of the goal.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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