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Bristol City 1 - Wednesday 1

Ashton Gate, Bristol

31/10/09 - 3pm

Attendance: 15,005

Bristol City 1-1 Wednesday

Wednesday managed to avoid a Halloween horror show as they put in a much improved performance to bag a share of the spoils at Bristol City.

Nicky Maynard's strike looked to be sending the Owls to yet another defeat before Luke Varney rescued a deserved point for Brian Laws men, who put in a battling performance against a Bristol side flying high in the league.

Owls boss Laws said he was going to make changes and he totally revamped the back four, bringing Frank Simek in at right-back, Richard Hinds in at centre-back, and moving Lewis Buxton to centre-back, with Darren Purse and Mark Beevers making way.

Tommy Miller also returned to the midfield alongside James O'Connor and Darren Potter, while Luke Varney headed an attack which also included Jermaine Johnson and Marcus Tudgay.

It was a bold move by Laws and one which he was to come out of well.

Tommy Spurr was also handed the captain's armband in the absence of Purse, something which may become more of a regular occurrence.

Wednesday were keen to make a good start to the clash following recent poor performances, and they did just that.

Miller forced City stopper Dean Gerken into a comfortable save before some good play resulted in Varney hitting the woodwork, an effort which would have been chalked off thanks to the linesman's offside flag regardless.

As good as Wednesday were going forward, it was their defensive qualities that we going to come under scrutiny, and it almost did 13 minutes in.

Marvin Elliott was free to direct a powerful header which looked to be giving the Robins the lead before Lee Grant did superbly well to tip the effort over the bar.

City were coming more into exchanges as the game wore on, but Wednesday were dealing with all they had to throw at them in the first half.

And, as well as deserving a share of the spoils at half-time, Wednesday could well have been leading had Varney done better with a golden opportunity which he fired straight at the City goalkeeper.

Marcus Tudgay also came close as the first-half drew to a close, and Wednesday could be pleased with their first 45 minutes.

Half-Time: City 0-0 Wednesday

Too many times this season Wednesday have let good work go to waste with poor finishing and even poorer defending, Preston being a prime example of that.

It could have been the same against Gary Johnson's Bristol side, a side who're ranked among the best at home in the Championship.

Johnson had to shuffle his side at the interval, wary that Wednesday were more than matching his troops, and it seemed to have a positive effect on the Robins, matching their visitors' 4-3-3 formation with two half-time substitutions.

There was little in the way of chances on the resumption, but it was more of the hosts calling the tune and they found the breakthrough in pretty much their first real attack of the second half.

Richard Hinds was well positioned to clear an effort off the line as City poured forward, but Maynard pounced to scuff the rebound into the back of the net for the opening goal on the hour mark.

The Wednesday side of the last few weeks could well have crumbled after seeing their hard work go to waste.

But this side was different, and the Owls showed a battling spirit which has been lacking in previous weeks as they stayed in the game and continued to cause City problems.

Laws brought Leon Clarke into the mix for Miller, and he almost had an immediate impact when he saw his goalbound effort brilliantly saved by Gerken.

Wednesday didn't have to wait long for their just rewards though and it was Varney, struggling to find the back of the net recently, who found it with 15 minutes to go.

O'Connor and Tudgay linked well and the latter fed Varney, who drilled a low shot by Gerken to get the Owls back on level terms.

Both sides had good chances to win the game, Varney again coming close for the Owls, but both goalkeepers were at the top of their game to ensure no further goals were scored.

Full-Time: City 1-1 Wednesday

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday October 31 2009

Time: 6:26PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Much better, unlucky at the end.
Report Abuse
31/10/2009 18:40:00

good point happy with that roll on qpr and lets see if we can move on U.T.O
Report Abuse
31/10/2009 18:55:00

That's entirely the point Bradford. Purse is dropped (hurrah) and our performance has improved. Now let's improve further from this starting point. Well done Frankie, Hinds and BUXTON. Great improvement but it's only one match. Now show Mr Laws he was wrong not to pick you for so long, keep getting better. We don't want the return of captain not so fantastic.
Report Abuse
31/10/2009 21:22:00

Great performance from the lads. fair play, they've come out fighting today. I'd have taken a point before the start of play but after the match, I feel disappoined we haven't won. If Bristol City are the benchmark for top six, a couple of consistent performances and we'll be there or there abouts because we were defo the better side today.
the owler
Report Abuse
31/10/2009 22:15:00

Yes Robc Purse is dropped but do you think Laws will have the gonads to leave the team as it was today, personally I dont think he has.
Skeggy Owl
Report Abuse
31/10/2009 22:55:00

I'm quite worried that you're right Skeggy. If BL doesn't accept the evidence of his own eyes and leave Purse on the bench at best (he could be a useful sub to have, moreso in attack as the further he away from our defence he stays, the happier I'll be) then the consequences will be on his own head. Purse's acquisition (and constant selection) has lost BL almost all of the credit he had earned from Wednesdayites in the previous couple of seasons. BL should realise that he can no longer count on the good will of the fans (have you seen the things they're saying on the facebook page). From here on it's all about results. Playing Purse again would be a foolish gamble. Perhaps now BL (for whatever reason) has listened to us he ould now address our lack of firepower (how many of us called for a goalscorer in the summer). It's our poor performance up front that cost us against Preston and again at Bristol. Big Leon is putting in the performances but not hitting the net. How can he improve his finishing? That's where BL should put his efforts. Varney and Tudgay are all action (usually) but lack physical presence and more importantly goals. It's not all about selection and money. Perhaps BL should look at how we coach finishing and aid the confidence of those up front?
Report Abuse
01/11/2009 11:33:00

I personally thought Clarke was again idle yesterday not chasing loose balls etc and i wasnt the only fan moaning about this,was a much improved perfomance than wot we witnessed friday @ vicarage road and a joy to hear they got thumped 5-0 lol.Think we had a defo penalty claim turned down in the 2nd half tudder again superb as always.Now hopefully onwards n upwards barmy army barmy army
Report Abuse
01/11/2009 12:33:00

Thought we were great yesterday, better side and looked solid, if clarkes chip had dropped in at the end it would of been well deserved. good point something to build on, now lets go on a good run. WTID
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01/11/2009 17:09:00


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