Southampton 1 QPR 2: Blackstock haunts old friends as Davis dips

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The old boys' act came to Southampton's aid at first but it was simply a cruel illusion as it began their undoing on the South Coast. The assistance came from Paul Jones, now in QPR's goal, but who once spent five years in the Saints' colours. However, the equalising goal that lent impetus to the visitors came courtesy of Dexter Blackstock, sold for £500,000 at the end of August after a couple of years on the fringes of the first team. Things then got even worse thanks to a terrible, match-losing mistake by the home goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.

The Saints were going for five consecutive wins for the first time in 25 years but ended up with their first home defeat of the current campaign, derailing their attempts to put more pressure on Cardiff and Birmingham at the top.

This deserved win made it two out of two for QPR's new manager, John Gregory, showing he has settled back into managing after three-and-half years away. Yet, after guiding his team to a 2-0 win against Hull City last week in his first game in charge, this was a different proposition.

Southampton were third from top at the start of the day and within two minutes they took the lead with a simple goal. From the left, a high cross by Rudi Skacel drifted to Jermaine Wright and the midfielder hit his volley from 12 yards beating Paul Jones, who reacted slowly.

But Gregory appears to have instilled his side with some fighting spirit. The London club were level after 34 minutes and six minutes later were ahead. QPR had gone close when Martin Rowlands tested Davis from 15 yards out but when Blackstock met Lee Cook's cross, his header was too well-placed for the goalkeeper. The striker at least showed the affection he retains for the club by not celebrating his strike.

The goal that ultimately gave Gregory's men victory came from a horrible mistake by Davis. He attempted to dribble past Ray Jones but lost the ball and from a tight angle the 18-year-old rolled his shot into the empty net. Something upset Gregory so much he refused to talk later. Meanwhile, a disappointed George Burley said: "Davis has been outstanding. But mistakes for both goals cost us."

Comments