In Championship action yesterday, a former Liverpool cult hero and a future star on loan were pitted against each other, as Southampton traveled to Deepdale to take on Preston North End. Ironically, a former Reds academy player who was let go for not being 'good enough', David Nugent, was the key factor as the North Enders prevailed 3-1. Mellor poached one in on a free-kick botched by the Saints' defence to put Preston up 1-0 before the half. Grzegorz Rasiak headed in an equalizer in the 57th minute, but by the time Guthrie stepped on the pitch as a sub in the 79th minute, Nugent had once again put Preston ahead. An own goal by Chris Baird in the 81st minute sealed the deal for Preston as Guthrie had a rather quiet debut.
There's no love lost from either side between Nugent and Liverpool regarding his release from the academy. Though he is rated as a £6m prospect now, there's doubt that he would have gotten the proper attention and playing time at LFC to develop his skills. He is also a die-hard Everton fan, used to wear an Everton jersey under his LFC training kit, and has professed to have hated wearing red.
Former Reds to play for Preston were the legendary Bill Shankly and Peter Thompson, who finished 48th in the Players Who Shook the Kop poll at Liverpoolfc.tv. Former Saints include Kevin Keegan in his 'twilight years', Mark Wright, Bruce Grobbelaar, and Peter Crouch.