Wednesday 1 – 0 Orient

Wednesday 1 – 0 Orient

I know it doesn’t take much to get me giddy these days, usually anything bright and shiny is enough to get my heart beating quicker nowadays and most footy days I’m in the mood for it all but today I had a bit of extra giddiness about me…

It may be early in the season and nothing will be decided and yes, yes, I know, there’s a long way to go and blah, blah, bloody blah…but this game was a line in the sand game, this was our marker…

We’ve been hovering around the play off zone from the start but now this was our chance to make sure every fooker in this division knew we meant business…it’s the most important game the club has had in a good while and we needed the players to step up to the plate and show us they were ready to take us where we want to be…

With all that stuff mulching around in my head and more physically, in my stomach, I mean I was getting butterflies the night before and I’d forgotten what that was like…when I woke up I was still feeling the same, stomach churning like it was a cup final or sommat daft…

I know, it’s chuffin stupid…but here it was…a game that meant something…a game that could, even if it was temporary, put us in second spot…

There was no room for changing the routine today…everything HAD to be perfect and the lucky routine that has served the club and me so well this season was put in place with military precision…

A warm up of 70’s tunes then into the bathroom for the 3 lucky Sh’s…

I get the first ‘Sh’ out of the way and load the bath with my voluptuously curvy form and the lucky 80’s songs start blaring out….

Kate Bush gets the whole show underway with ‘Running Up That Hill’…PERFECT!

Gary Megson loves his hill running and it’s been the foundation of our season, IT’S A SIGN!
 


I love the start of it ya know…

‘Bwowbaboo bwowbaboo bwowbaboo abooboo…’

‘Feel only coal and make a deal with god and then get him to swap our places…we running up that road, we running up that heeel….’

I could picture Megson singing this to the players…. COME ON!

I used to have a thing for Kate Bush, most lads at the time did, how could ya not? Her videos were always a bit poncey though…she always looked good but she loved to wave her arms about a lot and do some pretend ballet type stuff…I was all ower that in the shower…I was off…

If they ever do Moby Dick on Ice I expect it to look sommat like me dancing to Kate Bush in the shower…

I don’t know if you remember the video for this song but she does this thing with he hands, like pretend running, like she’s clawing at sommat….I do that in the shower….taunting the shower gel…it’s backed up with solid pirouettes and sound turns…Oh aye…


When ya caught in the moment ya caught in the moment, there’s nothing you can do…it looks daft, it’s even dafter trying to explain it to someone but I didn’t care…I WAS running up that hill and really didn’t have a problem.

I was really in the mood now…it led onto Rock Me Amadeus and then the excellent Bananarama singing ‘Robert Di Nero’s Waiting’…I was singing along whilst shaving…’Tal-kin eeetal-yan’….and once again ended up with gravel rash as I got carried away…second time this season I’ve got carried away singing whilst shaving and it never makes for a pretty sight.

For the second week running the Young Un is bang on time and we get our stuff together and head off…we listen to a bit of footy on the radio, having a great natter about this, that and t’other and we put the world to rights…

This is all really going well…I remind her of her routine now and tell her she must play some 90’s songs before we get to the ground, which she does and the routine is complete…or it would be as long as I didn’t wear a hat or scarf at the game today…

NOTHING CAN GO WRONG!

Orient may as well just go home now…the three points are as good as ours.

Oh and just to add to making this day brilliant, we were meeting Issabelle and her family…they’re the PACT family that Owls Alive forum members and Twitter followers had donated tickets towards for them to have a family day at Hillsborough…and to make it even better, with the money we’ve collected this year they were going to get a few extra presents…Me and the Young Un had met Issabelle before as they’ve been Owls Alive guests before but since then the 6 year old Wednesday fan has not been well and has had to visit a hospital in London…despite this, she remains so full of life, as you’d expect from a 6 year old and she is one of the most beautiful little girls you could wish to meet…I defy anyone to meet her and not have her melt even the hardest of hearts…

When we get to the club shop I while away a few minutes chatting to Baldy outside whilst we wait for Issabelle to arrive and the Young Un goes to switch the tickets to the North Stand as they’d requested…

When the family arrive we go inside and sort out shirts…I ask Issabelle who her favourite player is to have on the back of her shirt…

‘Well, I used to really like Tommy Spurr but he doesn’t play for us anymore….so…hmmm’ She had a good long think about it but couldn’t make her mind up…

I used to like Tommy as well, he was my favourite too I tell her.

In the end she settled on her own surname and her age on the back…I suggested she might need a warm hat too as it was pretty cold outside so we should go over and pick one to keep her lugs warm…

She already had a Wednesday scarf which she was proudly wearing…a nice bright pink one…We settled on the hats and I joined the massive queue to pay…and it was massive…back to the doors and doubled back on itself.

Just shows ya what a good run of form can do for a club…
 


Hollie needed help sorting the tickets out so I had to leave my queue to go sort that out…by the time I got back into the other queue it was even longer…

As we approached the counter time was kicking on and there was now around 10 minutes to kick off… eventually we get sorted…the bloke behind us was buying car mats…Car chuffin mats! Why would you buy car mats 10 minutes before kick off?

We could end up missing the kick off but we didn’t give a monkeys chuff if I’m honest, it was worth it…we took the shirts over to the kids and they were made up with them…it was worth it all right there….

If you donated to make this possible, no matter how much, you should know…right in that moment, on those faces in the whispered ‘Thank you’ it was worth it and they thank every one of you. So do I.

Time for a quick photo before we all legged it round to the turnstiles to try and actually make kick off…as we run along the road behind the kop, we’re waving to Issabelle and we can hear the announcer saying the teams are coming out and the roar from the crowd goes up….

We get round the corner and down towards the South Stand, into our turnstiles…we have the season tickets out already and they’re thrust under the nose of the bloke scanning them…we squeeze through and run up the steps and down the other side…we head along the front to our seats… I step over the railing to my seat and it’s covered in rain…it’s all over me nadds…my gusset must have hoovered up every bastard raindrop on that railing…BASSAD! As I sit down on my seat, that’s also wet through and it soaks into my already wet jeans…so I now have soggy nadds and a wet arse…

There’s just time to turn around for a quick hello to Stan, his dad, his lad and his new girlfriend….

The whistle blows…MADE IT!

THE MATCH

COME ON YA FOOKERS LET’S BE HAVING THIS!

They must have heard me because we were on the attack straight away with Marshall skipping past defenders, as he does, leaving them for dead, as he does…if you let him go you’re in trouble, if you foul him you’re in trouble…he was fouled…they were in trouble…

Well not really…we took the free kick and it was well defended but it was a good start by us and it was a statement of intent…it didn’t end there either, we were outstanding throughout this game but especially so in the first half…the weather conditions were dreadful at times, slinging it down with rain and swirling wind but we tried to play football…


Just to remind us that we had a job to do and to keep us focussed, Orient have a great move themselves around the fifteen minute mark where they attack down our left and have a free header on goal that THWACKS! Back off the crossbar…

They really should have done better…it was a lovely move from back to front and we were nowhere to be seen but it had the desired effect, we went to work properly from that point…

I don’t know what the possession stats were for the half but they must have been heavily in our favour…

Batth launches the ball and O Grady flicks it on…it’s a lovely touch, it really is but Lowe is given offside…it must have been fookin close!

Lines goes on a great run, picking the ball up, he’s oozing with confidence, he cuts inside and across the pitch…Tavernier gets the ball and goes on a little run down the other side…we’re showing great skill and confidence all over the pitch but we can’t make it count…

Marshall takes a long throw and Llera gets his head to it but he puts it over…

COME ON WEDNESDAY MAKE EM HAVE IT!

Reda picks the ball up and runs gazelle like at the defence…he shows strength and skill as he goes past the defence and is brought down…another foul and another free kick in a dangerous area…

THIS IS IT!

I CAN FEEL IT IN ME WATTER!

Just get the ball in the chuffin box…

We decide not to and Marshall plays it short to Chris Lines who takes a touch, looks up and curls a beautiful ball into the box where Reda is waiting at the back post to nod it home…

GET IN YOU FOOKIN BEAUTY!

I LOVE A REDA GOAL! WHO DOESN’T?

The Wednesday fans have really taken the lad to their hearts and the usual chant went up….

REDA-REDA-REDA-REDA

The goal lifted us even more and the Wednesday play got better, it lifted the home crowd too…
 

AT THE LANE, AT THE LANE…and because we had the kids around…WHERE THEY’RE NOT VERY NICE AT THE LANE

This was turning into a class display from the Wednesday players…O Connor puts Ryan Lowe through and his shot is well saved by the keeper…

Marshall does another silky run and gets a shot in but it’s deflected over. He takes the corner himself and Reda gets up at the back post to nod home for the second goal….

GET IN! GO ON REDA YOU FOOKER….

It didn’t stand.

WHAT?

WHAT THE FOOK?

It looked chuffin fine to me…are you blind ref’?

We’d seen it with opposition fans in the last two away games where they’d celebrated early only to be brought crashing down to earth when the goal was disallowed…now it was our turn. It’s shit when the boot is on the other foot.

We continued to press and we continued to create good situations but for all our possession and all our good play we couldn’t get the second goal that we probably deserved…

There was a fantastic bit just before half time when we attacked with pace, passing the ball about well…


It was calm, it was measured and it was precise…

It totally encapsulated everything good about this team at the moment…it was great to watch….and the crowd roared…

It was a proper Hillsborough roar as we got excited by what we were seeing and  urged them forward towards another goal…it didn’t come but the half had flown by…

So far so good…


The wind was picking up and so was the rain, it was swirling about now and the rule the Young Un has about me not being able to wear a hat or gloves or scarf so as not to upset the lucky omens…well, I’ve got to tell ya, it’s really starting to tick me off now…it’s getting very cold, wet and windy and as the year goes on and it’s unpleasant to say the least….any one of those things is gonna piss me off but when it’s doing all three I’m not a happy bunny…before long I’m gonna need em, actually NEED EM…I can’t take it at my age

I huddled into me coat and tried to take shelter inside my collar….

The players came back out…

Within seconds of the restart we had a corner, which Marshall took from down in front of us on the South Stand side…it reached Reda out the back but he was unable to get on it and steer it goalwards…good start though…

5 minutes into the half and O Connor was replaced by Liam Palmer.

We had plenty of great forward movement first half and had played well but we hadn’t hammered home the advantage to put the game out of reach.

Perhaps Palmer could get us that elusive second goal…


We continued to attack and we continued to put the Orient defence under good pressure…Ryan Lowe was showing what the work ethic of the squad is like these days when he chased an absolutely nothing ball into the corner…he had no chance of getting it…certainly not of controlling it and he didn’t…but he did stop it going for a goal kick and managed to knock it out close to the corner flag for a throw in and the crowd showed their appreciation for that effort with a good round of applause…

Marshall gets the ball down our left and he sets Reda on his way…Reda is buzzing now…he’s stuffed with confidence…he runs forward into the box and lets fly…it was a difficult position and he couldn’t quite find the target with it, eventually hitting the side netting…for a moment though it looked in and we were up and on our feet and straight back down again as we realised it wasn’t a goal….

BOLLOX!

It had to come though…it had to come…that second goal couldn’t be far off now…we were dominating so much…

Lowe puts an orgasmic defence splitting ball through for O Grady who gets the shot off but it’s saved….

Marshall puts O Grady in this time…he shoots, it’s blocked….he shoots again it’s blocked AGAIN!

AAAAARRRGGHH!

Fookin hell! What do we have to do here?

Marshall cuts into the box yet again…he’s deep in there and he looks up…he lofts a delightful ball over for Chris O Grady to head home…he gets his head to it and we’re on our feet celebrating…IT’S IN!

THIS TIME IT’S- No it fookin isn’t!

How the hell did that not go in?

Did it cross the line? It looked like it had…it must have done…FOOK!


Not only was it not a goal but as O Grady threw himself at the ball his momentum took him forward and he ended up colliding with the post…it was fookin horrible…the whole goalposts shook…

It looked for all the world as though he’d hit the post with collarbone…it was bad…this simply had to be a serious injury…

Someone came over to lift him up, Liam Palmer I think it was but O Gradys face was a picture of anguish and he turned very quickly on the youngster and shouted ‘NO!


He didn’t want to move and didn’t want moving… and when the ref tried to move him he was even angrier… he snapped back…’NO!

I couldn’t believe it when minutes later the physio had him sat upright and was riving his arm about, probably pushing it back into socket al la Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon…Not only did O Grady allow them to do this to him without so much as flinching but he got up and moments later was back on pitch.

Fookin hell!

That would have put lesser men on sick for 6 months and here he was up and playing on…it wouldn’t surprise me if later they found it was actually broken but he just ‘isn’t that bothered’…he’s just solid fookin muscle that lad and it protected him here…

Whilst he was getting attention the crowd had noticed Semedo standing on the halfway line and started up the Semedo song…

HE’S MAGIC, YA KNOW…YOU’LL NEVER GET PAST SEMEDO

Straight away he was applauding and smiling…loving it…showing his appreciation to the fans…great stuff.

The period just after that incident kinda knocked us back for a moment and Orient had a little bit of possession, although they didn’t really cause us many problems in front of goal if we’re honest and it took a great bit of skill from Liam Palmer to get us back on track…dribbling the ball forward in front of us, tied to his laces, into the box and past the defenders…he was showing us all a further glimpse of his potential here…he’d done the hard bit…unfortunately the easier bit, passing it across the box, went awry as he sent the ball feebly across and the Orient defence mopped it up without breaking sweat.

Inside the last 15 minutes or so and Clinton replaces Lowe…

To be fair to Lowe he’d run his race. When we’d had a corner just before he went off, he was trying to get the crowd going…

Looking up at the kop and waving his arms to get us singing and making some noise but he was also blowing a bit and looked a bit knackered…understandably in my opinion as he’d put a decent shift in.


As the game enters the last 10 minutes or so there’s a bit of a scuffle that results in Danny Batth getting a yellow card…it means he’ll miss the next game. The FA Cup game he wasn’t gonna play in anyway…

We’d pretty much outplayed Orient throughout this game but inside that final 10 minutes, because we’d only managed the single goal, Orient could smell a draw and they set about lifting their game…and needless to say things got a little tense as the Wednesday players started to make silly mistakes and invite pressure on.

It now seemed as though any loose ball fell to the boot of an Orient player, any high ball came down to an Orient player…they were everywhere and everything was going their way now…

With a couple of minutes to go Megson brought Prutton on and took O Grady off…we were gonna try and settle ourselves down a little more…try and halt things through the middle…

I was twitching again now…I couldn’t watch when the ball was near our box…

The fourth official held up 4 minutes extra time…at least we knew where they’d got that from this time…

As we went into that time added on we get a break from an Orient corner….


Semedo has the ball deep inside our half, he strides forward with purpose…he goes the full length of the pitch and the further he goes the more Wednesday fans rise to their feet…

This is it…

This is where he cements his legend status at Sheffield Wednesday…

THIS was THE goal of his career…

COME ON SON…YOU CAN DO IT!


There’s no one up with him and his face is a picture of abject horror…’OH MY GOD I’M ALL ALONE

No ya not Jose…we’re with you…seventeen thousand Wednesday fans, all with you..

Chip him…chip the fooker Jose…

You could feel everyone willing him to do it…

He didn’t…he waited a little too long and the keeper made the block…the chance was gone…deflated we all sat back down with one huge slump…

It was unbearable in those closing moments, even moreso when their keeper came up for corners and free kicks and pretty much anything else on offer…

We can’t lose this now…we’ve been so good, played so well…the game has been ours…only one team in it really…

There’s no way this game was ever gonna be a draw…surely not!

It wasn’t. The ref blew and we’d held on…deservedly so.

The single goal victory doesn’t tell the whole story but we’ll take it and the three points that go with it

As we walked out they play M People ‘Moving on up’ on the Tannoy…quality stuff…We rushed to the TV screens under the North Stand to watch for the league table to come up…we knew we were in second place but we wanted to actually see it…

As we got there North Stand Man and the North Stand Boys arrived…we all stood together waiting…watching the results coming in…watching some insignificant Premier League stuff…watching Donny at the bottom of the Championship…

COME ON! SHOW US WHAT WE WANT!

YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAH!

There was a great cheer from everyone around that corner as the league table came up…

GET IN!

What a cracking moment…it was there for us all to see at last….and it looked magnificent.

A really great day out today…I can’t help it now…whenever I get ready for a game I’m up for it, I look forward to it, I long for it…I get fookin giddy about it and I’m convinced, totally convinced we will win… I get this vibe about this team, that we’re invincible, unbeatable that we can do anything, beat anyone and glory will be ours and what’s more the players look like they’re enjoying the ride too.

It’s strange…and when I think about these things I get butterflies…my stomach churns…I genuinely feel like a little kid at Christmas and it seems ages since I felt like that…it’s down to the current Wednesday set up…the Chairman…the manager and the team…when we go away you can feel the good vibe amongst the fans…at home there’s a belief amongst us…

There is a lot of love around this club at the moment and long may it continue

Steve:Beastie
Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @Beastie_


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