Ghana's No. 1

Ward-Prowse holds nerve to beat 'best mate' Forster

Published on: 18 March 2023

James Ward-Prowse has nine goals in 35 appearances for Southampton this season

From penalties in the back garden to the pressure of a stoppage-time spot kick in the Premier League, James Ward-Prowse and Fraser Forster have history over 12 yards.

On Saturday, the Southampton skipper smashed a late leveller past the goalkeeper as the Saints gained a crucial point in a 3-3 draw with Tottenham.

"Best mates" off the pitch, it was not the first time the pair have battled it out from the penalty spot.

"Yes there was a lot [of pressure]," said Ward-Prowse.

"I know Fraser very well, he used to be my next-door neighbour so I've taken a few penalties against him in my garden with my little boy, so we have something going on there."

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In second-half stoppage time Ainsley Maitland-Niles was brought down by Pape Sarr to hand the Saints a late spot-kick with the home side trailing 3-2.

And after a VAR check to uphold the decision, Ward-Prowse stepped up to hammer the ball into the top-right corner with Forster beaten despite diving the right way.

"[Forster is] Prowsey's best mate in football as well," said Southampton team-mate Theo Walcott.

"The way he put it aside and thought, 'he's not my mate right now' and just put it in the top corner I just think is fantastic."

Southampton's draw means they are two points off Premier League safety and have lost just one of their past four matches.

Walcott, whose goal to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the 77th minute, said: "That was a really difficult moment for Prowsey, because against Fraser they are obviously really close.

"Obviously, I'm really close to Fraser as well, but not as close as him - I think he's practised penalties in his garden with him, that's how close they were. So really pleased for him."

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