As Francis Benali joins the Echo team as a columnist, we look back at one of his finest on-pitch moments.

Benali, who played 389 matches for Saints, netted his only competitive goal - a stunning looping header - at home against Leicester.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time for Southampton.

Daily Echo: Saints V Leicester. Benali celebrates his goal.

It had been a difficult run when, on December 13, 1997, the Saints found themselves in a worrying position. Four league losses in succession had left them perilously close to being in the bottom three.

Although Matt Le Tissier had drawn first blood within three minutes, the best was yet to come.

Saints were awarded a free-kick nine minutes into the second half, 30 yards from goal but right of centre.

The powerful free-kick from Le Tissier was headed goalward with pace by an unmarked Benali, finding the back of the net after glancing the underside of the bar.

With only six minutes remaining, Leicester's chances of grabbing points were slipping away - that was until Robbie Savage stepped up and fired a great shot from distance.

But, it wasn't enough to turn around the game and they left the Dell empty-handed.

Benali’s goal stood as the only difference between the two teams, his beautiful header securing a 2-1 victory over Leicester.

These pictures, along with the video above, will help fans relive the glorious moment almost 26 years ago.