Russell Martin hopes Prime Minister Rishi Sunak enjoyed the show his Southampton side put on as they beat Plymouth 2-1.

Saints fan Sunak celebrated from the stands as Carlos Alcaraz and Che Adams helped the south coast side go a 17th match unbeaten to bolster their automatic promotion credentials.

Martin, who has been a member of the Green Party, said: “I hope he enjoyed himself just like anyone who comes here I hope they enjoy themselves.

“I have no interest because I’m a football manager. I’m not sure we’re aligned on too much politically but I know he’s a fan and I hope he enjoyed watching the team.

“I’m some people would be excited about him being here but we had a job to do and we were here to win a football match and we did.”

After dominating the first half which had seen Taylor Harwood-Bellis strike a post, Alcaraz curled Saints into the lead for his fourth goal of the season.

Striker Adams then capitalised on a stunning through pass from Harwood-Bellis to double the lead and keep the pressure on top two Ipswich and Leicester.

But a crazy finale, in which Ryan Hardie pegged one back after pinching the ball off goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, took the shine off the seventh straight home win.

“The last few minutes were mental,” said Martin. “We took our foot off the gas and it is frustrating.

“They’ll feel really aggrieved by the decision and it was so touch but it wouldn’t have been deserved. It was attack versus defence for so long. We should have scored before we did.

“It is a big learning curve for the lads as they should have had a clean sheet.”

Seconds before Alcaraz’s opener, Plymouth had the ball in the net after Bali Mumba had headed in on for the offside flag to go up.

Replays showed it was the incorrect decision, and Argyle’s caretaker boss Neil Dewsnip was left bereft by the call which left the Pilgrims without an away win this season.

Director of football Dewsnip, who is in the process of finding Steven Schumacher’s replacement, said: “I thought Southampton were excellent and were conscious the last two teams who came here lost by four and five.

“We had a few scary moments in the first half but a few moments where if we had a bit more quality we could have put them to the sword.

“I’m devastated for the players. I’m really disappointed about the decision. We don’t seem to get the rub of the green.

“In a world of VAR where they put the lines across the pitch, there was a line across the pitch called the six-yard box and it indicates our player was quite clearly on side.

“I don’t think (I’ll go and see the officials), I think that would just tease us.

“That’s the really annoying bit. People make mistakes but the next bit is really disappointing. They take a quick free-kick. Three of our players are celebrating a goal, should have allowed them to get goal side.

“They didn’t need to prove to me or the Green Army their resilience. We got a bit of a lucky goal but we kept going.

“We have to ask our official friends to be a bit kinder across the season.”