Unsettled Beck leaves it late to salvage a point

 

A last-gasp equaliser from Mikkel Beck salvaged an unlikely point for Jim Smith's Derby at The Dell last night. Derby players showed their determination as they fought back from 3-1 down. Beck, a second-half substitute who yesterday revealed he wanted to leave Derby after failing to settle at the club, struck almost five minutes into stoppage time just as Southampton thought they had clung on for their third home league win.

Stuart Ripley's first goal for Southampton looked to have earned Saints the points. The former England winger, plagued by injuries since his move to the south coast, found the net for the first time since his £1.5million move from Blackburn in the summer of 1998 to put his team into a 3-1 lead.

Jacob Laursen pulled a goal back and Southampton, who looked set to cruise home at one stage, lost the scrap in a frenzied finale.

A first-half blockbuster from Marian Pahars, Matthew Oakley's fourth goal of the season and Ripley's effort had left the home team in control after Rory Delap's opener.

Southampton manager Dave Jones's night had started well. He received a standing ovation from the home crowd as he made his first appearance at The Dell since he was charged with a series of offences against children.

Derby's Darryl Powell missed a golden chance to pull his team level after the break but his side-foot shot allowed Hiley to head off the line.

And Derby's late fight back looked to have failed until Beck popped up to head home a right-wing cross from Sturridge from close range.

SOUTHAMPTON: Jones, Hiley, Dodd, Richards, Benali, Ripley, Le Tissier (Beattie 78), Oakley, Hughes, Kachloul (Boa Morte 90), Pahars. Subs Not Used: Soltvedt, Colleter, Moss. Booked: Hughes. Goals: Pahars 22, Oakley 35, Ripley 66.

DERBY: Hoult, Schnoor, Carbonari (Harper 56), Prior, Johnson, Delap, Laursen (Borbokis 82), Powell, Dorigo, Sturridge, Fuertes (Beck 53). Subs Not Used: Oakes, Murray. Booked: Prior, Laursen, Schnoor, Hoult, Powell, Johnson. Goals: Delap 21, Laursen 75, Beck 90.

Referee: G Poll (Tring).