Seven goals, six games for bar­gain striker Austin

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

LONDON (AP): AS THE goals have dried up for Jamie Vardy at Le­ices­ter City, an­other for­mer non-league striker has em­barked on a hot scor­ing streak for a Premier League club.

Char­lie Austin made it seven goals in six games in all com­pe­ti­tions for Southamp­ton with a dou­ble in yes­ter­day’s 3-1 vic­tory over Burn­ley that took the south-coast club up to eighth in the stand­ings.

In a ca­reer that be­gan out­side Eng­land’s four pro­fes­sional leagues, Burn­ley pro­vided the 27-year-old Austin with one of his step­ping stones to the world’s rich­est soc­cer com­pe­ti­tion.

Austin was a brick­layer work­ing a full day on a build­ing site be­fore play­ing on a part-time ba­sis for Poole Town in the ninth tier un­til 2009. It took third-tier club Swin­don to pluck Austin from ob­scu­rity, for Burn­ley to take him up an­other league, and then QPR to give him a shot at the Premier League.

PENALTY SPOT

Still, doubts per­sisted around Austin’s fit­ness. Southamp­ton were able to snap him up for £4 mil­lion (then US$6 mil­lion) in Jan­uary. What a bar­gain that now seems.

Austin’s first goal yes­ter­day­came in the 52nd minute, Nathan Red­mond’s low vol­ley from the edge of the area dou­bled Southamp­ton’s lead, and Austin was on tar­get from the penalty spot in the 66th minute, fol­low­ing Jo­hann Berg Gud­munds­son’s push on Sam McQueen.

The one blot on the af­ter­noon for the Saints was Burn­ley be­com­ing the first team to score against them in 612 min­utes when Vokes scored a late penalty.

“This team will al­ways cre­ate chances, it’s a dream for any striker,” Austin said. “I am in the right place at the right time.”

Burn­ley is only a point above the rel­e­ga­tion zone, with seven points from its first eight games back in the Premier League. Austin

MID­DLES­BROUGH 0, WAT­FORD 1

The day’s first Premier League game lacked the en­ter­tain­ment pro­vided later by Southamp­ton, with the only mem­o­rable mo­ment com­ing with Jose Hole­bas’s eye-catch­ing goal.

The 32-year-old Greek mid­fielder sent a shot from the edge of the penalty area soar­ing into the top of the net in the 54th minute at the River­side sta­dium in north­east Eng­land.

Wat­ford climbed to 10th place as Mid­dles­brough re­mained win­less at home this sea­son since re­turn­ing to the Premier League and only out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone on goal dif­fer­ence.

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