Writer: Saint Aaron
Date:Saturday September 1 2007
Loftus Road, London
Saints travelled to London to face a grieving QPR team. Tragically the England under 19 in, the R`s wanted to grab 3 points in his memory. Saints had to do a professional, the Saints squad had to get 3 points or QPR would move above us, with a game in hand.
Saints made 2 enforced changes, Darren Powell and Rudi Skacel both injured. Chris Makin and Gregory Vignal stepped in. Bradley Wright-Phillips partnered Grzegorz Rasiak up top.
The game drew a massive crowd, by one of the biggest crowds inside Loftus Road for many years. The most of them wanted to see Rangers take 3 points. They wanted to win in style, in memory of Young Ray Jones.
There was a minutes applause before the game in memory of Ray Jones, both sets of fans gave the family of Ray Jones a great reception and a fitting tribute to a fantastic player.
Saints were very much on top. Passing the ball well, Safri stood out and was a class above the rest in the middle of the field. The midfield of Dyer, Safri, Viafara and Surman were class. Running the show, it paid off. The midfielders broke away from a QPR set piece, winning Saints a corner, it was one from the training ground, it soon found its way to Wayne Thomas who stuck the ball and it was well saved by former Derby Keeper, Lee Camp. The result from the save was another corner. This time it was a different corner. Safri whipped in and RASIAK headed home to give saints a 18 minute lead.
Saints then doubled the lead. QPR had a corner, it was poor and headed away by Jermaine Wright. The ball broke to Jhon Viafara inside his own half. He ran through the middle, tearing the R`s defence into pieces. The Keeper rushed out and brought down the Columbian. The Ref played the advantage and RASIAK tapped home.
The Keeper was booked but had Grzegorz Rasiak not scored the Keeper would have been sent off.
The hosts got lucky on the stroke of half time. Camp looked as though he handled outside the box. Had the ref given it he would be off.
Saints could of extended the lead on many occasions.
Half time Queens Park Rangers 0 Southampton 2.
Saints got a third on 49 minutes, Dyer got between 2 defenders and played a cute ball to Bradley WRIGHT-PHILLIPS who nodded home in front of the Saints fans.
Saints played out the last 40 minutes, plenty of chances falling to the Saints players, a goal line clearance denied Rasiak a hat-trick.
Jason Euell replaced Surman and Stern John also made his debut, he replaced Rasiak. Saganowski came on late in the game for Wright-Phillips.
Stern John almost had a goal on his debut, he beat the keeper but not the defender on the line.
Saints saw it through until the final whistle. Saints mullered a lacklustre QPR side. A team that lacked passion and skill.
Final Score Queens Park Rangers 0 Southampton 3.
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Date:Saturday September 1 2007
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