Wednesday regret not keeping up with Jones unable to keep up with Jones


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The Independent Football

So it says much about Kenwyne Jones' impact at Sheffield Wednesday last season that home fans still applauded him long after his accomplished finish had brought Southampton this deserved first victory since relegation from the Premier League.

Jones impressively took over from Paul Sturrock as the main feature of a game that underlined why two divisions separated the manager's present and past clubs only three months ago.

His decider, driven home left-footed from an angle after Wednesday defender Richard Wood lost his footing on the saturated surface, was the highlight. But he was always a handful before going off to a warm ovation from the entire stadium and cleverly set up Matt Oakley for the closest of several other Southampton near-misses.

The Trinidad and Tobago international's seven goals in seven mid-winter games on loan were the catalyst for Wednesday's promotion triumph last season. Now he has scored twice in two games amid the vacuum caused by the departures from St Mary's of Peter Crouch, Kevin Phillips and Henri Camara.

"I was delighted with the reception," said Jones. "I'm looking forward to scoring more goals if I have my chance but I wish Wednesday all the best."

While Southampton, sparked by the skills of their on-loan Algerian, Djamel Belmadi, and heartened by another late glimpse of Theo Walcott's electrifying pace, eye the task of escaping the Championship first time, Wednesday will be delighted just to stay in it.

Having failed to buy Jones and then run into an injury crisis among their strikers, the home side looked full of heart and short of quality.

David Graham's quiet debut following a £250,000 move from Wigan Athletic ended in his substitution. And Sturrock, 51 weeks on from the end of his turbulent Southampton reign, is due to look at 39-year-old Steve Claridge in his reserves tomorrow.

Wednesday threatened only in a busy opening ten minutes. "We ran out of ideas and were naïve," Sturrock admitted. "I went into a dressing room afterwards with a lot of young heads that were down. We've only scored one in three games and the longer that goes on, the more it seeps into your confidence."

Goal: Jones (22) 0-1.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Lucas; Simek, Wood, Lee, Hills; Eagles (Partridge, 61), Whelan, Rocastle (O'Brien, 74), Brunt; Peacock, Graham (Proudlock, 61). Substitutes not used: Adams, Coughlan.

Southampton (4-4-2): Niemi; Hajto, Lundekvam, Powell, Higginbotham; Prutton, Oakley, Quashie, Belmadi; Jones (Delap, 84), Blackstock (Walcott, 70). Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Cranie, Dyer.

Referee: M Pike (Cumbria).

Man of the match: Jones.

Attendance: 26,688.