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FC St. Pauli recorded a convincing 5-0 win at SV Sandhausen on Sunday to set a new club record of eight second-division wins in succession. Manolis Saliakas, Lukas Daschner, Oladapo Afolayan and Jackon Irvine were all on target before the break, while Sandhausen's Alexander Esswein was shown a red card on the stroke of half-time. Irvine completed the scoring with his second goal on 88 minutes to complete a deserved victory.

After the 2-1 home defeat of Fürth, head coach Fabian Hürzeler named an unchanged side for the fourth time in succession for the trip to Sandhausen, the final game before the only remaining international break this season. There was a change on the bench, though, Carlo Boukhalfa coming in for Afeez Aremu. For Sandhausen, who were without a win in six, head coach Tomas Oral made two adjustments, Aleksandr Zhirov and Al Ghaddioui getting the nod over Dario Dumić and Matej Pulkrap.

While Sandhausen were aiming to end their barren run and collect three vital points in the battle against relegation, the Boys in Brown had their sights set on an eighth consecutive victory that would see them not only set a new club record in the second division but also break through the 40-point barrier.

The opening chance fell to the hosts within the first 60 seconds, but Eric Smith slid in to deny Ahmed Kutucu. At the other end, Jackson pulled the trigger just inside the box after receiving the ball from Lukas Daschner, but like Smith before him, Christian Kinsombi cleared the danger in the nick of time with a sliding tackle. With eight minutes gone, Immanuel Höhn picked out Kutucu with a long ball forward and his shot was blocked by Jakov Medić, and almost immediately Metcalfe curled a shot wide from the edge of the area.

The start was lively enough, but it was followed by seven whirlwind minutes from the Boys in Brown that began with Manolis Saliakas winning possession in the right-back position in the 19th minute. The play was switched to the left, and then it all went very quickly. Daschner's intended square ball to Irvine in the Sandhausen half found its way to the advancing Saliakas, and he wasted no time in unleashing a shot from distance that took a deflection off Christian Kinsombi and flew into the bottom right corner with goalkeeper Patrick Drewes going the wrong way.

The Hürzeler XI continued to press, and after playing a one-two with Smith in the box, Daschner popped up in front of Drewes and produced a clinical finish to score from ten metres. Not satisfied with that, Metcalfe collected a throw-in deep inside his own half and knocked a superb diagonal ball to Oladapo Afolayan, who burst into the box from the left and shrugged off the challenge of Dennis Diekmeier before netting through the keeper's legs to make it 3-0 with just 26 minutes gone.

Sandhausen took a while to recover from the triple salvo but then registered a dangerous shot on goal on 31 when a Diekmeier cross was half-cleared to Kutucu outside the area and his powerfully struck drive fizzed just over, though Nikola Vasilj had it covered in any case. Just before the break, it could have been four when the Boys in Brown moved the ball well down the right and Daschner teed up Metcalfe, who fired wide right from just inside the box. Moments later, Alexander Esswein clattered into Afolayan and referee Deniz Aytekin immediately produced a red card. And yet there was still time for more. From the resulting free-kick in the third minute of time added on, Leart Paqarada dispatched a pinpoint ball to the advancing Irvine, who found the bottom corner with a left-foot effort from nine metres.

Jackson Irvine rounded off a strong first half with the fourth goal on the stroke of half time.

Jackson Irvine rounded off a strong first half with the fourth goal on the stroke of half time.

The Boys in Brown emerged unchanged for the second half, while Sandhausen made two changes. Backed by nearly 3,000 travelling fans, the Hürzeler XI took advantage of the extra man to fashion two chances in quick succession just after the restart. First, a decent move involving several players saw Hartel have a shot blocked by Aleksandr Zhirov, and moments later Metcalfe forced an excellent save from Drewes. Sandhausen hit back immediately, and with Kutucu bearing down Vasilj, Medić dived in to clear. Back at the other end, Irvine headed just over from a Saliakas corner before Daschner was denied by Drewes from a tight angle.

In the ensuing period, Sandhausen found themselves pegged back in their own half under a flurry of attacks from the Boys in Brown. The only thing missing was a goal. Hürzeler responded with his first substitution just after the hour, Johannes Eggestein coming on for Connor Metcalfe. The home side kept trying to free themselves from the St. Pauli stanglehold but had little joy. Tomas Oral then threw on another defender in Dario Dumić for striker Ahmed Kutucu, underlining his intent to bolster the defence to avoid conceding any more goals. And with the ten remaining Sandhausen players keeping things tight at the back, the gaps began to close for the Boys in Brown.

Hürzeler made two more changes as the game entered the final quarter of an hour, goalscorers Lukas Daschner and Oladapo Afolayan making way for Betim Fazliji and Maurides. Maurides almost scored within two minutes of coming on, but Drewes just managed to turn his header from Paqarada's cross round the left-hand upright. A little later Adam Dźwigała and Lars Ritzka came on for Leart Paqarada and Manolis Saliakas. It remained one-way traffic in the closing stages, but the Boys in Brown couldn't find another goal until just before the end, when Irvine scored his second goal of the afternoon to make the final score 5-0. Drewes could only parry a Ritzka cross into the path of the Australian, who netted from seven metres. That was that and the Boys in Brown had set a new club record of eight consecutive second division victories.

SV Sandhausen

Drewes - Diekmeier, Zhirov, Höhn, Okoroji - D. Kinsombi, Zenga (Mehlem 27'), Esswein, C. Kinsombi (Sicker 46') - Kutucu (Dumić 65'), Al Ghaddioui (Pulkrab 46'/Ajdini 78')

Head coach: Tomas Oral


FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Medić, Smith, Mets - Saliakas (Dźwigała 80'), Irvine, Hartel, Paqarada (Ritzka 80') - Metcalfe (Eggestein 62'), Daschner (Maurides 73'), Afolayan (Fazliji 73')

Head coach: Fabian Hürzeler


Goals: 0-1 Saliakas (19'), 0-2 Daschner (24'), 0-3 Afolayan (26'), 0-4 Irvine (45'+3), 0-5 Irvine (88')

Yellow cards: Kutucu, Höhn

Red card: Esswein (serious foul play 45'+1)

Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach)

Attendance: 7,642


Photos: Witters