Saints comeback stuns Preston
Southampton ended their winless streak with a stunning 3-2 victory at Preston North End.
Last Updated: 01/11/08 5:50pm
Southampton ended their winless streak with a stunning 3-2 victory at Preston North End, who threw away a two-goal lead.
Billy Jones and Stephen Elliott scored in the first half to have Preston cruising and leave Southampton staring at a sixth game without a win.
But new loan signing Alex Pearce started the fightback, Andrew Surman equalised on 69 minutes and David McGoldrick struck a last-minute winner for Jan Poortvliet's side.
A scrappy opening came to life in the 10th minute when Jon Parkin connected with Ross Wallace's cross only to see his venomous volley instinctively tipped over the crossbar by Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.
In a half of few clear-cut chances, Elliott went close when presented with a shooting opportunity near the edge of the box, but failed to hit the target while under pressure from defenders.
McGoldrick spurned Southampton's best chance when he mis-hit his 16th-minute effort which cannoned into defender Wayne Brown and was ushered to safety.
Sean St Ledger should have done better with a free header from another Wallace set-piece on the half-hour, but headed wide as North End edged towards a breakthrough.
And it came deservedly in the 36th minute, Jones picking up a loose ball before angling a left-foot drive past Davis and into the bottom right corner.
Elliott grabbed the second four minutes before the break with a similarly impressive strike from the edge of the box, arrowing hard and low into the back of the net.
Preston refused to lie on their cushion as the second half got underway and Parkin unleashed an early volley goalwards only to see it hit Pearce.
Bradley Wright-Phillips offered Southampton a rare sight of goal but his long-distance hit was weak and was easily gathered by Andy Lonergan.
Wright-Phillips went a step closer moments later from similar range, but this time his curling effort flew marginally wide of the post.
Southampton were finally showing signs of a fightback and they got their reward in the 64th minute. Pearce rose highest to meet Surman's corner and nodded past a static Lonergan to give the travelling support hope.
And five minutes later they were level. Oscar Gobern provided an inch-perfect ball from the left edge of the penalty area and Surman took full advantage, heading home from six yards.
McGoldrick completed a memorable comeback in the final minute, capping a silky run through the Preston defence with a composed finish from just inside the area.