Devilish Dexter downs Saints
Blackstock nets brace against 10-man Southampton
By James Dall. Last Updated: 14/09/08 6:10pm
Blackstock: QPR brace
Dexter Blackstock came back to haunt his former club to net a brace against 10-man Southampton as Queens Park Rangers claimed a 4-1 success in Sunday's Championship encounter at Loftus Road.
The three points sees Iain Dowie's QPR rise to fourth in the table, while the Saints have now suffered defeat four times in their opening five fixtures of the new season.
The home side got off to a dream start with Blackstock, who left the South Coast for London in 2006, breaking the deadlock inside the first minute as the Southampton defence made a complete mess of Gavin Mahon's long throw to allow the England Under 21 striker to thump home from close range.
Jan Poortvliet's men steadied themselves after their early setback and, while Blackstock threatened on the break, QPR shot-stopper Radek Cerny had to be on his toes to save low from Adam Lallana's driving effort.
However, the Saints' task was toughened on 30 minutes when Oliver Lancashire, making his first senior appearance, was handed a straight red card by referee Kevin Friend for a wild two-footed lunge on Damien Delaney.
Left-back Delaney recovered from the challenge and continued to impress down the flank, and in the 37th minute he drifted inside to wrap his foot around the ball and draw a fine stop from goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.
Southampton midfielder Andrew Surman then handed Lallana a decent opportunity to restore parity but this effort lacked venom and Cerny was able to gather with ease.
Just prior to the interval keeper Davis was called into action twice in the space of three minutes, first palming away Blackstock's downward header before producing a fine fingertip save to clip the ex-Saints' effort onto the woodwork.
The R's picked up where they left off after the break with Mikele Leigertwood and Gavin Mahon combining well with the latter fizzing a long-range strike straight into the midriff of Davis.
But Southampton stunned the home supporters on 53 minutes as a swift counter-attack saw Lallana play a one-two with Simon Gillett before steadying himself to slot past Cerny.
QPR rallied for a response and, after Hogan Ephraim had been denied by the impressive Davis, Damion Stewart, despite having strayed into an offside position, knocked home from Martin Rowlands' free-kick to restore their advantage.
Substitute Patrick Agyemang demonstrated pace and power after he entered the fray on the hour mark, and it was his run and strike that allowed Blackstock to seal the three points as he netted the rebound on 77 minutes.
Agyemang got his name on the scoresheet and capped off a fine display from the home team in injury-time, powering low into the corner to leave Davis with not a prayer.