In the 78th-minute of a frantic local derby, Lee Barnard thumped home a shot which should have made him toast of the town. Not Southampton, but Bournemouth.
The out-of-favor Saints striker marked his first game on loan at the Cherries with a vital strike in a hotly-anticipated game against South Coast neighbors Portsmouth, the first league meeting between the sides in 22 years. The fact that he scored against both Bournemouth and Southampton's auld enemy on their home turf, roared on by massed ranks of traveling fans, will have given him extra satisfaction, no doubt.
But amid the elation in the away end at Fratton Park lies a bigger picture of cruel irony. Barnard may well score 20 goals this season at Dean Court if his signing is extended beyond January 1st, but he need have done far less to genuinely help the club he now plays for.
Barnard, lest we forget, made his name at Southend United, from whom Southampton would eventually sign him. In February 2008, Bournemouth were looking nigh-certain to secure a draw at Roots Hall until substitute Barnard popped up to fire home a late-winner. Three months later, the Cherries would go down on goal difference. Had Barnard simply miskicked his shot, Bournemouth would have stayed up, and the striker would have been the unwitting savior of the club.
Fast forward three years to March 2011 with Bournemouth threatening to pip Southampton to promotion in League One. It essentially went down to a crunch game at Dean Court with Bournemouth in largely fine form save an unusually poor midweek defeat to Exeter. The Cherries stormed out of the blocks and opened the scoring within five minutes.
Had Barnard simply miskicked 10 minutes later, who knows for how long the Cherries could have maintained their momentum and their lead. In fact, he scored, and sent Cherries on their way to a defeat followed by a disastrous run which destroyed their morale ahead of the playoffs.
And now, in the irony of all ironies, the man who has inflicted so much pain on Bournemouth by playing for their arch rivals, now finds himself praised by Bournemouth fans for scoring against a mutual enemy. What next? Robin Van Persie joining Manchester United? Oops!