Vital Football

Latest Sheffield Wednesday News

Derby Day At Fortress Hillsborough

Derby Day At Fortress Hillsborough

Vital Sheffield Wednesday contributor Jeff Gold takes a look at the Hillsborough hoodoo - talking about the Owls' crushing defeat to Derby County...

"He always scores against us". The game was yet to begin and already Wednesday fans were finding reasons to be cheerful. A few minutes, and one spurned chance, later someone else agreed with a good deal more emphasis. "Always, always, always, always, always, always, always," he said.

So when the object of their anxiety, Derby County`s Steve Howard, popped up to score deep into injury time, it should not have come as a complete surprise. But it did. Partly this was because with fifteen minutes remaining Derby were a goal down, a man down and seemed to have little idea of the location of the opposition`s half, no matter their net. Mainly it was because Howard`s effort was not merely a consolation, not just an equaliser but was a barely credible winner.

For most of the afternoon there was little indication of the drama to come. The selection choices for Wednesday`s manager Paul Sturrock were, as usual, limited, but there was the welcome sight of three veterans of the treatment table managing to hobble as far as the bench. They were all strikers, good for keeping the current partnership of Marcus Tudgay and Deon Burton on their toes. That, combined with the 'always score against your previous club` rule, surely guaranteed a storming performance from the ex-Derby pair. So much for guarantees; both were subdued.

To be fair Tudgay was performing, if that`s not too strong a word, in a slightly withdrawn role out on the left. Chris Brunt was similarly employed on the right, leaving a solid central-midfield trio of O`Brien, Whelan and Lunt. To a large degree it worked, with Wednesday enjoying the better of the first half until Ryan Smith, Derby`s lively summer signing from Arsenal, decided to give Tommy Spurr some grief.

Spurr dealt with the problem in the old-fashioned way, clattering Smith after being beaten for the umptieth time. The cost to Spurr was a booking. The cost to Derby was greater, Smith limping off early in the second half. That left Wednesday to dominate possession without unduly troubling the keeper. Derby, without Smith, didn`t unduly trouble anyone.

Eventually, Sturrock reached for the rehabilitees, giving Steve MacLean half an hour to see if he could pick up another injury. It was an inspired substitution. Sort of. For, although MacLean wasn`t directly involved, Wednesday immediately notched.

A long throw-in arrived at the feet of Brunt who was eight yards out with his back to goal. Days passed, climates changed and the universe expanded sufficiently to accommodate the huge girth of the surprisingly sprightly South Stand linesman. Meanwhile, Brunt twisted this way and that, attempting to fashion an opening as hordes of hulking defenders descended on him with menace. Then, when all hope seemed lost, he turned, flashing a left-footed shot through the melee and into the bottom corner. Wednesday led 1-0 and a first home victory was in sight, a victory that seemed assured when Derby`s Giles Barnes was sent off for a lunge at Graham Coughlan.

Enter Paul Peschisolido. In what really was an inspired substitution, Derby`s ex-Sheffield United striker was introduced to a chorus of boos. His response was both eloquent and immediate. The Wednesday defence indulged in a spot of pinball, largely between themselves, before a deflected shot ballooned into the air right in front of goal. Everyone rose to meet it. This motley mass of straining humanity included, but was not limited to: all the players, substitutes and coaching staff from both sides; the officials; a passer-by who wandered onto the field of play by mistake and therefore bore an uncanny resemblance to Kenny Lunt; a spectator in a rather fetching pair of red boots (no, hang on, that really was Kenny Lunt) and Barney 'I am completely different to Ozzie, honest` Owl.

Everyone. Everyone, that is, with the notable exception of Peschisolido. And everyone missed, with the notable exception of Peschisolido, who simply waited for the ball to drop to his feet and despatched it into the net with a minimum of fuss.

At this point Wednesday`s performance became a comedy combination of all-out attack and barely concealed panic. Drew Talbot and Barry Corr were thrown into the fray alongside MacLean. Over the previous sixteen months those three had managed twenty-seven appearances between them and it showed. Together they formed a front line rustier than a Bramall Lane turnstile. They fashioned the odd scramble but, as we entered the fourth minute of injury-time, it looked as if Wednesday would have to settle for a draw.

Then a harmless hoof out of Derby`s defence found its way to Steve Howard in an area of seemingly little danger. Ah, Mr Howard, the cause of such early dread. We`d nearly forgotten he was with us, our fears clearly misplaced. But within a matter of seconds he had ambled past a couple of defenders and nailed a shot into a corner of the net that he had no business in finding. The stadium began to empty. He always scores against Wednesday.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Nick
Date:Friday October 6 2006
Time: 10:27AM

Comments

0
Another great article Jeff, many thanks...even though it does make slightly depressing reading! Maybe next time will be a happier affair! :)
nickswfc
06/10/2006 10:40:00
0
you say it was a crushing defeat but Derby are in a lot better league position and are a handy side .. chin up lads in tijme you will be ok ... I do not think you will go down to be honest , there are worse teams in the league
dazednconfuzed
06/10/2006 10:41:00
0
It was the way we got beat mate - we were 1-0 and they had 10 men. Former Blade nets the equaliser then they get the winner four minutes in to injury time. Pretty gutting eh?
nickswfc
06/10/2006 10:49:00
0
Nice article. Made me laugh at such a sad state of affairs anyway!
welshyowl
06/10/2006 12:12:00
0
well i was on a downer as soon as i saw adamson in goal! think sturrock must have been stoned when he re-signed him!!!
owlettes.com is awes
06/10/2006 12:18:00
0
Derby arent a handy side at all infact i think they are rubbish.
jono_forest
06/10/2006 16:06:00
0
Fortress your having a laugh
Tigerphil
06/10/2006 19:55:00
0
Thanks for all the comments. As nickswfc says, it ws the manner of the defeat that was crushing. It's the kind of thing that should happen once in a blue moon, if ever, but it's less than two years since Brentford came to Hillsborough and did exactly the same thing. And it's not like these teams are significantly better than Wednesday. I think Billy Davies will do well at Derby and, as their performance a few days earlier at Doncaster showed, they clearly don't know when they're beaten, but without Lupoli at Hillsborough, and certainly once Smith went off, they looked to be a side that was distinctly average, verging on poor. The result should never have been in question. Despite all that, I don't think we'll go down either dazednconfuzed. And, yes Tigerphil, I was having a laugh.
jeff
06/10/2006 20:52:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Articles

Reasons Why #swfc Must Not Overlook the Match At Wolves

Dead rubber? No, it's still important for the fans, coaches and the players

Do Wednesday Want Any - Premier League Free Transfers?

As the summer nears and players contracts come to an end, should Wednesday be interested in any of the following free transfers?

Video - Highlights of Wednesday's Win Over Cardiff City

Watch all the highlights within and share your thoughts in the comments section

Wednesday Beat Bluebirds To Seal Playoff Place

#CarlosHadADream rang out as Wednesday players, staff and fans finally secured a spot in the end of season playoffs with an impressive 3-0 win over Cardiff City. Try as Dave Jones, the Welsh media and

Archived Vital Wednesday Articles

Vital Wednesday articles from

Site Journalists

Ed Jepson
Editor email
Profile
Josh Alex Caddick
no email
Profile
Greg Pursehouse
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Should Wednesday rest Forestieri against Wolves?
Suggested By: Vital Wednesday
Yes, keep him fresh!94%
No, let's go for fifth spot!6%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Burnley 45 25 15 5 90 34
2 Middlesbrough 45 26 10 9 88 32
3 Brighton 45 24 16 5 88 30
4 Hull City 45 23 11 11 80 30
5 Derby County 45 21 15 9 78 24
6 Sheff Wed 45 19 17 9 74 22
7 Cardiff 45 17 16 12 67 5
8 Ipswich 45 17 15 13 66 1
9 Birmingham 45 16 14 15 62 4
10 Brentford 45 18 8 19 62 1
11 Preston 45 15 16 14 61 0
12 Leeds Utd 45 14 16 15 58 -8
13 Q.P.R. 45 13 18 14 57 -1
14 Wolves 45 13 16 16 55 -6
15 Blackburn 45 12 16 17 52 -2
16 Reading 45 13 13 19 52 -5
17 Forest 45 12 16 17 52 -5
18 Bristol City 45 13 13 19 52 -16
19 Huddersfield 45 13 12 20 51 -7
20 Rotherham 45 13 10 22 49 -14
21 Fulham 45 11 15 19 48 -14
R Charlton 45 9 13 23 40 -37
R MK Dons 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Bolton 45 5 15 25 30 -39
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Results (view all)

Sheffield Wednesday Fixtures (view all)

May 7 2016 12:30PM : Wolverhampton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.brinsworthowl1
2.dooleys left leg1