RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Huddersfield Town

RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Huddersfield Town

Being that Huddersfield is closer in proximity to me than Sheffield, it’s natural that I know more Town fans than Wednesday fans. Even the future wife is a Terrier…

So, as I’ve said before, this is always a fixture I look forward to. We’ve had some good games against Town in recent seasons at Hillsborough including possibly the best game I’ve ever seen when Rhodes bagged four.

Plus, I’d like to think that as Wednesdayites we have a bit of a soft spot for Town after they kept our porky neighbours in League One.

I managed to convince the Mrs-to-be to come along, promising her a feast of football and also a Town supporting mate who knew better than to expect anything from two teams oozing with ‘meh’.

Still, it’d be interesting to get an alternative viewpoint and I was excited at the opportunity to showcase our state of the art sand pit pitch.

Evans' couldn't capitalise on a poor Owls display

Evans’ team couldn’t capitalise on a poor Owls display

By all accounts, we were very poor against Den Perry of Rov’rum but credit to Gray and the team to keep going right to the end.

The team spirit is one thing you just can’t knock this season, there does seem to be a real sense of togetherness in the squad that will hopefully continue next season.

On the topic of next season, I’ve seen and heard a few people already willing the season to end so we can start again with a new team/pitch/scoreboard.

I don’t share this outlook.

Yes, I’m looking forward to next season and of course there’s real cause for optimism but for me, those few months when there’s no football and no Wednesday seems to go on forever so I really don’t understand those fans wishing the season away.

I mean I for one just can’t get enough of our now famous pitch.

It’s cost us at least 2 players, God knows how many points and, during the international break, it now seems to have caught the plague.

The side nearest the dugouts was covered in sandcastles. It seems fair enough that with now just three games to go on it, our groundsman has downed pitchfork.

Indeed why bother trying to patch it up when we’re getting a brand new one that you’ll be able to eat your tea off?

THE MATCH

To the match then and Gray decided to move Dielna and Helan onto the bench with Lavery heading up front to partner Nuhiu, while Mattock came in at left back.

Lavery's goal at Rotherham earned him a starting berth this week

Lavery’s goal at Rotherham earned him a starting berth this week

So I ended up sat between two Town fans in the home end. Spogs included Murray Mints (who’s Murray?), dry roasted nuts and something I hadn’t seen since the late 90’s – Munchies. An excellent call from the sister.

The game started pretty evenly with neither side really stamping their authority. The only noteworthy moment in the opening stages came when about a third of the Wednesday faithful clearly didn’t have their referee’s handbook to hand:

Town centre-back Hudson played a back-pass off his knee to ‘keeper Smithies. Smithies duly picked up the ball and bowled it out to his left, infuriating a section of our support.

In recent times, Rob Jones used to do this quite a bit playing at the back for us and there is nothing wrong with doing so: it’s only considered a back pass if the ball is played with the foot.

I wouldn’t try testing the rule in Sunday league mind!

The first real chance came when Sign-him-up McGugan, combined well with Nuhiu, the latter dinking a ball over to Lavery who shot first time on the half-volley from about 8 yards out.

A good first Hillsborough showing from the Southampton man

A good first Hillsborough showing from the Southampton man

It was a good effort under pressure but he should’ve probably hit the target.

Isgrove, on loan from Southampton looked bright early on, showing some good touches and a nice turn of pace. He also looked about 12.

Town seemed to be allowing us to come forward quite easily down the right but Vermijl didn’t seem all that willing to run on to support Lee in the midfield.

Nuhiu was having his usual afternoon of good and bad. I was actually in the middle of explaining the wonder of Big Dave to Dale, my Town fan mate, when he perfectly demonstrated his season in 3 seconds – he took the ball down well on his chest, moved forward with good feet then gave the ball to the opposition. Brilliant.

Huddersfield started to come into the game as the half wore on; firstly Lynch fired a shot into Westwood and then Vermijl cleared off the line from David Edgar.

A half chance from McGugan and a Nuhiu head-juggle aside, that was it.

As per, a largely forgettable first half.

HT: WEDNESDAY 0-0 HUDDERSFIELD

Fun fact: we’ve failed to score two goals in the first half of any of our home matches this season. In fact, we’ve only actually scored 2 goals at Hillsborough twice this season. Scintillating value for money.

Sheffield Wednesday v Rotherham Utd

Half time change of approach?

We started the second half a little brighter with Big Atty having our best chance of the match so far.

Kieran Lee slipped a lovely ball through. Nuhiu was one on one with a great opportunity but yet again, he fluffed his lines. He took it round Smithies via a miskick and Lynch, to be fair, made a great clearance on the line.

Should’ve been one-nil. Soon after, he had another chance. Vermijl, who really grew into the game, put in a great ball towards Nuhiu.

He inexplicably decided to try and chest it down from about 5 yards out instead of just attacking the ball with his head. I just don’t get it!!!

By contrast, his strike partner Lavery did really well with an over-hit pass off a sandcastle from McGugan, controlling the ball brilliantly in the box and then finding himself some space for a shot.

Unfortunately he snapped at the shot in excitement but the Wednesday faithful appreciated his efforts.

As the half wore on, another 0-0 looked inevitable. Sensing a flat atmosphere and a need for a spark, Gray brought on May and Bus for Nuhiu and Lee and instantly there was a change in impetus.

With Big Dave out of the picture, we were forced to get the ball on the deck and the ball seemed to moving quicker with us getting some joy down the right in the sand.

Nobody splits opinion more than Atdhe Nuhiu

Nobody splits opinion more than Atdhe Nuhiu

Town also brought on the evergreen Ishmael Miller who immediately caused us problems, having a decent penalty shout turned down. Of course, Miller is a member of the same club as Kevin Davies, Trevor Benjamin, Kevin Phillips and Jordan Rhodes as a striker who always scores against us but more on that later.

With 5 minutes left on the clock we looked to have won it. McGugan (who else) played in Vermijl who easily beat the Town left back.

He did really well to get to the byline and fizz a cross back across goal. May slid and missed but the ball came to Bus who arrived on time at the far post.

He scuffed his first effort but showed real determination in winning the second ball and he eventually forced the ball home sending the Kop crazy.

Busssssssssssss

Busssssssssssss

Booooooosh 1-0!!

It seemed we’d managed to get something out of nothing and take a narrowly deserved three points. We were however quick to forget our own exploits the other week at Toy Town.

The build up to Huddersfield’s equalizer was as equally scrappy as our goal. A long ball forward wasn’t dealt with, Scannel rushed onto it, colliding with Mattock which resulted in the ball being presented to Miller who added another goal to the strikers who always score against Wednesday club.

Balls.

This is was definitely worse than a 0-0. I’d have taken another 0-0 over this. It was made worse by the fact I had a Town fan on either side of me sat on their hands.

We had the win within our grasp but let it slip far too easily. Town nearly nicked it in stoppage time but for some shoddy finishing. Alas, another draw it was at Hillsborough.

FT: WEDNESDAY 1-1 HUDDERSFIELD

We’d seen this before. I was left with that same feeling you get after watching a bang average film you’ve seen umpteen times before. Something like Kindergarten Cop or The Day After Tomorrow.

You keep going back to it because you know there’s going to be something exciting happen but you still have to sit through all the crap. Inevitably, it gets boring after a while.

The amount of games that we’ve had the upper hand in but not taken our chances is staggering. It’s what separates us from the top 8.

Players to build a team around

Players to build a team around

We have a few good players to work the team around and you can’t often fault our effort but we simply haven’t scored enough goals this season. I read a stat on Twitter saying that for the first time in our history, our away form will be better than our home form this season.

Just think if we could do what were supposed to do at home and do better than we do away?! Bang average teams have come to Hillsborough and played bang average and gone away with a point or maybe three simply because we can’t do it on our own turf or sandcastles.

But there are positives. I’m looking forward to seeing how Bus gets on for us, he’s looked sharp in his two appearances from the bench.

Vermijl had a good game, McGugan ran the show yet again and Lee linked up well in the middle with the strong as ever Hutchinson. We do have the makings of a good team, as remarked by my Town mate.

For me, playing Nuhiu is a bit of a cop out.

There’s still 18 points to play for and we’ve got nothing to lose for the last six games so let’s ditch the ‘lump it up to Nuhui so he draws players in’ tactic, play May and Bus together and get the ball down the channels.

I can’t take another re-run of Kindergarten Cop!

UTO.

Tom
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @tjchitt86


One Comment

  1. Well done again Tom , brilliant ramble .

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