RAMBLE: Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday

RAMBLE: Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday

It seems absolutely ages since I last went to a match and I’ve almost settled into being away from it all…I’ve only missed the last 2 home games, one due to work and the other through man flu….proper man flu though, none of ya half arsed rubbish…

It was bad enough to lay me out for a few days…mindstya, going by what I’ve read and heard about those two games they were good to miss.

Having said that, the prospect of traveling over the M62 to Hull doesn’t exactly thrill ya to the core does it? Especially on a biting cold winters night.

Having to wait until 5.20pm for the kick off just makes it a long old day and seems to compound the rubbish underwhelmed feeling this game has generated…Hull are this seasons Stoke. They remind me of Stoke the season they were promoted…uninspiring and dull yet they keep getting the results. Let’s be honest though, what Wednesday fan wouldn’t grab that with both hands at the moment?

It’s a short uneventful journey down the motorway and before ya know it we’re parking up a short walk away from the ground. Just as we parked up the weather took a distinct turn for the worse as hailstones bounced off the road before covering it in a white blanket of icy balls…Hmm, hope that wasn’t gonna be my complaint later tonight.

I paid the bloke for the parking…a really pleasant fella wrapped up tightly in his Hull City scarf and hat who wished us good luck and said to ‘have a good game’…Soon as I opened the car door the icy blast rattled both me and the Young Un and we quickly wrapped ourselves up in as many layers as we could find.

Hull City KC Stadium inside

Inside the KC

We set off into the dark for the short walk to the brightly lit KC stadium and made our way in…I have to tell ya that both outside and in the stewards were absolutely brilliant. Really smashing friendly folk, only too ready to make general small talk and chat along with us as we huffed our way up the stairs and to our seats.

Given how friendly they are and I mean genuinely friendly, warm and welcoming, the abuse the stewards took throughout this game was ridiculous…I wouldn’t be a steward at this ground if they paid in gold…it really isn’t worth it and if ever there was a case for handing it back to the police, this is it.

There was quite a bit of argy bargy as the game kicked off…a bit of skirmishing in our end as a couple of fans wanted to make their presence felt with the nearby Hull fans and the stewards…but it was even worse in the Hull side.

It was bad enough that they ripped their own seats up and hurled them in our direction but it’s surely a step too far trying to throw a police officer over the railing into the stairwell…Do they not understand the meaning of banter?
Can’t we have good natured banter without all this malarkey?

In those early exchanges during a bit of a lull, a lad in front of me chanted…

I’M HAVING A NAP….I’M HAVING A NAAAAP!

HOW QUIET MUST YOU BE, I’M HAVING A NAP!

Some of the Hull fans thought it was as funny as I did and I even saw one or two applaud but the reply from the City fans was crass chanting about Jimmy Savile and paedo chants aimed at Dave Jones…I could see it wasn’t all of them and I could see some were as disgusted as I was by it but it spoilt what could have been great banter throughout the game

THE MATCH

What a game….for Wednesday fans anyway.

I suppose if you were a Hull City fan it wasn’t so good but if you’ve read any of the reports with a Hull bias about how badly done to they were and how the ref was poor and in our favour, and how the weather was shit and again in our favour…if you’ve read any of that gubbins, ignore it…ignore it all.

It’s just a bunch of excuses from poor losers.

There weren’t many Wednesday fans that thought we could get a result here, that was evident by the low turnout, usually double what it was for this game but we’ve had our confidence well battered this season so it’s understandable that our confidence was so low…but every single Wednesday fan that saw this game, either at the ground or at home cannot fail to have loved it….to have enjoyed every moment…every agonisingly bad decision and every incredible high as we fought off injustice after injustice, either from the officials or Hull getting breaks they scarcely deserved.

We’ve been told that at home Hull are quite formidable. Good solid promotion contenders and that we’d be under the cosh for most of this game in their own back yard where they’ve not conceded a goal since Noah was a lad, scoring for fun and taking the game to all and sundry..

It was a surprise then when our team of underachieving Championship battered misfits turned the tables and took the fight to them…not only took it to them but absolutely battered them from pillar to post.

Smug JJ

Oh yeah…I’m back

Where was this composed, skilful Hull City I’d heard so much about?

We set our stall out early doors when Antonio and JJ linked up well to set JJ up for a hammer drive on goal that stung the fingers of the Hull keeper and from that moment we didn’t look back…

They couldn’t get near us as we outplayed them in every department and this was despite the officials doing everything they could to disrupt the game. The biased reports were right about that, they did make a long series of bad decisions but not in our favour, if anything they were far too lenient with Hull but throughout the game they made poor decision after poor decision for BOTH sides. It didn’t bother us; we stuck to our task well but we should have known when after about 20 minutes minutes when Faye went flying in with both feet off the ground for a tackle on JJ and gets nowt!

Not even a stern talking to!

If that challenge issn’t a red card I dunno what is…to make things worse later in this half the ref pulls Giles Coke up for a sublime challenge on Stephen Quinn where he times it to perfection and comes out with the ball….

BEHAVE REF! GET A CHUFFIN GRIP!

Chuff em! If that’s how it’s gonna be then fair enough…

A minute or so later after a half-hearted Hull attack the imperious Giles Coke takes the ball out of our box, saunters forward, all the time looking for a team mate…he’s looking left and right…he’s looking forward and he will NOT be hurried into anything rash…not for him lumping the ball aimlessly forward…he spots a team mate forward, it’s Jeremy Helan on our left and he’s on the move and with a sublime flick of his boot the ball is on it’s way and so are we…

Helan picks it up without breaking stride and sets of legging it towards goal….

As he’s cutting back inside he’s fouled….a foul where there is absolutely no intention of getting the ball and the Hull defender simple takes our man out…

The ref blows but again keeps his cards to himself….never mind, we’ll take the free kick…it looks promising.

I turned to Danny and Hollie and said…’Brace yaselves, we’re gonna score her’

We get the big lads up into the box and Rhys McCabe stands over the ball…

He puts in the most exquisite of crosses and we see both Reda and the helmeted head of Miguel Llera throw themselves at it…there was a pause…a pause that seemed to last forever…. we waited and waited until eventually we just caught a glimpse of the ball as it came from behind a wall of players and hit the inside of the side netting…  GET IN!

Reda arms up

Luvvin it

The Wednesday fans erupted…

I couldn’t believe it…no one knew who’d scored or how and to be honest, no one cared…

Eventually as the players jogged back upfield for the restart it came over the Tanoy and onto the scoreboard behind us and the chant went up…

REDA-REDA-REDA-REDA

As the players took their positions for the restart Reda strolled over to his spot and applauded the fans…he loves it does Reda….absolutely loves all this stuff. Both him and Llera know how to milk this ‘Peoples Champion’ stuff and we love it too…there’s more of an excited buzz about Wednesday fans when one of these two scores…like it means a little more.

If we looked good before the goal we looked even better now and the two lads in midfield were loving it…Rhys McCabe was strolling around like he owned the place but as good as he was in reality this particular back yard belonged to Giles Coke….his first game in god knows how long and he was strutting around and showing everyone who was the boss and what they’d been missing in his absence…he was running, he was tackling, he was getting stuck into everything and more than that, much more than that he was in control….this was a very mature performance from the lad.

The Wednesday fans were settling into the game now as the players started to turn it on a bit and only a few minutes after scoring there was a superb bit of goalkeeping and quick thinking by Chris Kirkland that set us away again…

He throws the ball out with incredible speed and accuracy to the feet of JJ who knocks it on and is after it in a flash…he rides yet another piss poor tackle from a Hull player that once more goes unpunished and he races on towards goal…

He cuts into the box and there is his strike partner Antonio in acres of space waiting to bury it…

The ball comes across and he must shoot!

AAAAARRRGH!

His first touch is just awful and the ball bounces upwards for the keeper to palm away…AAAARGH!

So unlucky!

What a goal that would have been…from back to front in seconds…breathtaking stuff!

As the half wears on though Hull wake up and show glimpses of the form that’s taken them to the top of this division and we do eventually come under quite a bit of pressure in the last 10-15 minutes of the first half, but ya know what?

No matter what they did we had the answer to it!

They couldn’t break us down and it led to some frustration from the Hull players especially former Blade Stephen Quinn…Hull had broken down our left with a great run by Ahmed Elmohamady who flicked  across a superb ball for Quinn to flash a quick header goalwards…fortunately for us it was wide of the target and as he turned to run across the front of the Wednesday fans he was inundated with jeers and enquiries about his parentage…it had the desired effect as he flicked a bent arm ‘UP YOURS’ gesture back at the baying Wednesday fans…with more than a hint of a smile spreading across his face.

Once again we held firm at the back, led by the now formidable centre pairing of Miguel Llera and Ant Gardner…this partnership gets better and better with each game and looks so solid these days….and for all their huff and puff Hull couldn’t break through…I tell a lie…

Kirkland rolls ball out

Sharp as they come

Just before the half time whistle blew they finally did break through and ended with a glorious opportunity…

A one on one Robert Koren against Chris Kirkland…

The ball is flicked forward at the halfway line and we’re defending high up the pitch…it cuts out Llera and the Hull lad breaks in from our right leaving Llera and the rest of our defence treading water…OH SHIT!

It just happens to be Robert Koren as well, it had to be him didn’t it? Probably the best player they have and as he bears down into the box we hold our breath…

All our good play to this point was about to be undone…no way could we hold this one out…

He danced forward…it was a shame…a real shame…

Kirkland came forward…making himself big…

SOD IT!

We’d done enough to go in at half time with our lead in tact…

He carried the ball forward more…he looked up at the approaching figure of Kirkland…

We’d battled so well…hell we’d played VERY well…we didn’t deserve this…

Kirkland was now right in front of him….blocking his path…here was a moment’s hesitation…

DECISION TIME!

He took the shot…BLOCKED!

DENIED!

And rightly so…Kirkland kept him out…what a block…what a great piece of goalkeeping…

HAVE THAT YA CHUFFERS!

Get in…The Young Un was going nuts, screaming ‘That’s as good as a goal, as good as a goal…that’s as good as Kirkland scoring!’

She was right of course it was every bit as good as scoring and was at a crucial time…if they’d scored right on the stroke of half time it would have been a huge boost for them. As it was we were able to get to half time with our lead in tact.

It had been a tense ending to the half but we got what we deserved in the end…Mindstya….it was gonna be even more tense keeping them at bay for another full 45 minutes!
Badge Owl POST
When they came out for the restart Rhys McCabe was immediately replaced by another of the peoples champions, Jose Semedo. This was another great move by Dave Jones as the young midfielder had looked quite lethargic at the back end of that half and had noticeably run out of steam very quickly, not his usual energetic self…he’d even been giving the ball away at the end, and quite cheaply too. Semedo would add a bit more steel to our defence and make that midfield more solid…he did just that.

From the kick off Hull seemed to try and up their own work rate which, if they were to get back into this game they needed to do but they still didn’t faze us and it was us that had the ball in the back of the net first…

We got a free kick for another foul on Coke, just inside the Hull half, this time Lewis Buxton takes it…it looks nowt really but as usual we load the box with the big lads and he floats one in there…the Hull defence look to have done their job well and the ball drops behind and the Hull keeper steps forward to claim it…

BANG!

Giles Coke

Mature performance

In a flash Giles Coke nips in behind and before the ball finds the safety of the keepers gloves Coke has poked it into the net and we’ve gone nuts…

Cokes face is an absolute picture as he goes running across in front of the Wednesday fans…he slides on the turf towards us screaming at the top of voice…loving it…pounding his chest and screaming…HAVE IT!

It was a great goal…it was a great moment…

THUMP!

That was the sound of our collectives arses falling through the floor as we looked up to see the Hull fans laughing and taking the piss as we’d not seen the goal had been disallowed…and worse than that, the Hull players were still playing whilst ours were off the pitch at the wrong end.

I hate them situations when it happens to you…Don’t get me wrong, the other way round they’re fantastic…it’s a great moment to rub it in with the opposition fans but it’s horrible to be on the receiving end and it hurts like a chuffer.

Meanwhile Hull are bursting forward and we’re all over the place, in a right two and eight but somehow we manage to compose ourselves and halt them up the other end and straight away we’re back on the attack.

It’s an attack that’s so promising it cuts the piss taking from the Hull fans to the quick…

It’s JJ dancing his way down the right…in and out of Hull players…tip toeing his way into the box before blamming a shot goalward only to see it blocked by the keeper…it was a breath-taking, stomach churning, agonising few minutes that encapsulated this entire game…how good would it have been if we could have scored so soon after having that effort waved away? We could have given the Hull fans some right stick…never mind…it was still a wonderful series of events…

In that one brief moment the entire highs and lows were there in a snowglobe of emotion and it ended with a cracking little bit of handbags as the ball is put out just in front of the dugouts and Ahmed Elmohamady runs into Dave Jones on the side lines. The Wednesday manager pushes him back and like a petulant school kid Elmohamady squares up to the smiling Wednesday boss…

You can’t beat a bit of handbags to raise the temperature of a game but this game needed no help in that department

Sweet baby Jesus…breathe….breathe….

Exciting it may have been but we were still smarting from the disallowed goal that had occurred right in front of the Wednesday fans and none of us for the life of us could figure out why it had been disallowed and just to make it worse loads of us were getting texts from folk watching on telly saying it was a travesty and the goal should have stood.

Hull City Koren

The injustice of it all

Just to compound the feeling of injustice Hull score a few minutes later…

Another burst of speed sees them break quickly and effectively and they tear us apart at the back…the impressive Elmohamady puts in a peach of a cross and Koren is there with a strange low header that flies past the motionless Kirkland and the Hull fans to our left were loving it…

The injustice of it all merely added fuel to their fire as they chanted….

WE’LL SCORE WHEN WE WANT…
WE’LL SCORE WHEN WE WANT
WE’RE HULL CITY…WE’LL SCORE WHEN WE WANT

Bastards!

If it could be made any worse than it already was the Hull keeper was doing his best to ram it all home and started jumping up and down and running across to their fans right in front of us, pounding his badge and punching the air, really rubbing salt into the wounds.

We hadn’t deserved this…THEY hadn’t deserved it.

I turned to Danny and Hollie…’I chuffin hate these now…I really want us to win this game and I want us to score again and do it quick to give em it back both barrels’

The Young Un was beside herself as well…she was totally gone and doing her nut at their keeper…

‘I want that keeper to get it big style! She said…look at him! Look at him!’

What a feeling…that goal and the preceding ten minutes or so had sloughened us into the middle of next week. We felt so deflated now…

That feeling didn’t last long…

You could feel a surge amongst the Wednesday fans, it was a lovely moment, it built up amongst us all in that away end…I’ve not felt that for a long time amongst Wednesday fans…

We tried to lift the team…

We wanted to use that injustice, that feeling of angst and make it work for us…the players looked as though they did too and rather than sit back feeling sorry for ourselves we attacked…and boy did we chuffin attack!

A matter of moments later and we were running at them…Lewis Buxton has the ball and he’s running deep into the box down the right hand side…he gets almost to the by line when the challenge comes in and we get a corner…

Llera takes the corner, it’s rubbish!

It’s way too close to the keeper and nowhere near our players, the keeper catches it and to the amazement of everyone he carries the ball over the line then does some kind of juggling act to make it worse.

It’s like he’s thinking he can drop it forward, drop onto it and hold his face like he’s been fouled and get away with it…basically trying to cheat.

We all look as one at the lino then ref…thousands of Wednesday eyes burning into the officials…the lino is waving like mad and running upfield indicating a goal…ref is agreeing with him…

The cod-heads to our left stand there slack jawed and you better believe we gave them both barrels…

and a bit extra for good measure….have that ya filthy chuffers!

Have some of that!

Get in!

Get in!

And there down in front of us with the Wednesday fans was Miguel Llera right down in front with our players all over him….his face etched with that scream he does….snarling at the fans…wallowing in another man of the people moment…

02 Llera

The peoples champion

Once we were absolutely sure the goal had been given it went mental…there were arms and legs all over the place as Wednesday fans celebrated big style….we were hugging the bloke at the side…hugging the lads behind us and anyone that was close enough to grab…it was fantastic…get in!

Then we turn and in one voice to chant at the hull fans that moments ago had given us grief…

WE’LL SCORE WHEN WE WANT…
WE’LL SCORE WHEN WE WANT
WE’RE SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY…
WE’LL SCORE WHEN WE WANT

What a moment…a wonderful, wonderful moment…

This is what it’s all about…right there….that exact moment when you get to return the chanting…sharing that moment with friends and strangers alike…with fellow fans…it doesn’t get any better…

Well it does actually…

The Hull keeper that had been rubbing our noses in it a few minutes ago was now being ladled off the pitch…

Such is his embarrassment that he not only stays there clutching his face…

NO ONE TOUCHED HIS FACE!

Regardless of that they scoop him up on a stretcher and carry him off.

Stretchered off for embarrassment now there’s a first…wonder how the physio will treat that?
That’s the only thing that could be hurt, his embarrassment.

He wasn’t bouncing around in front of us now was he?

It took ages for the game to restart…
It was obvious it was a lot more serious than the keepers pride being hurt, it seems they couldn’t prize the keepers gloves away from his face.

Candle

Glove Face Aid

Joking apart here and in all seriousness…it’s not a nice thing to have…I mean embarrassment is bad enough but glove face can be terminal…please, whoever you support, wherever you are, tonight say a little prayer and light a candle for Glove Face…

He needs the support of the extended football family through this traumatic time. When the Glove Face Aid single is released let’s make sure it gets to number one, go out there and buy a copy…in fact, buy two! This is a worthy cause.

When we finally came down from that incredible high, anxiety started to creep in again…

When one of your players has been stricken with Glove Face it can galvanize his team mates to do extraordinary things in his name and with so many minutes to add on no one knew for sure when the whistle was gonna blow…

We were now well over five minutes into injury time and Hull were on the attack…trying desperately to ‘do one for Glove Face’…this is for you buddy…the ball is slung into our box and I casually look away…I needn’t have worried as we hoof it clear…

It lands perfectly at the feet of Antonio on the halfway line who rides a nudge from the City player and gets on his bike pedalling like chuff towards goal…there’s two of em after him but they aint catching him…

He’s like Billy chuffing Whizz and he’s speeding towards goal now…the keeper comes out…

Can he match Kirkland’s heroics from the first half…CAN HE CHUFFERS LIKE!

As Antonio burst forward at the halfway line the Wednesday fans urged him on…

GO ON SON!

He knocked it forward and left the defence for dead….

He knocked it forward again…the keeper came to him…

He tapped it past him and ran around the flapping seal pup…sliding the ball goalward and in…

That was the cue for the Hull fans to leave in droves and for us to give it to them by the shedful…

Once again we went mental in celebration and the last thing they heard as they disappeared down the gangways was us chanting and celebrating…it was just wonderful stuff…bouncing with the Wednesday fans…wonderful, wonderful stuff..

And as we composed ourselves a great chant rang out from us…

IS THERE A FIRE DRILL…..IS THERE A FIRE DRILL….

BRILLIANT STUFF!

It was all over…there can’t be much left now can there?

I couldn’t take much more, I NEEDED it to be over real soon…my head was pounding and my heart was like a limp rag with every last drop of emotion well and truly rung from it.

It wasn’t over yet though….with  what could barely have been more than a minute left Hull got a pelanty…

SHIT!

Aaaah…who cares?

Sod it…let the chuffers have it…they don’t deserve it but we can stand it…it will be last kick of game anyway and no one cares anymore…

Except Kirkland that is…he definitely cared.
make the save…that was enough and we celebrated one more time and we did it just as though we’d scored again…

ENGLAND ENGLANDS NUMBER 1!
ENGLANDS…NUMBER 1!

The match had delivered so much for Wednesday fans and so little for Hull fans…we celebrated right through to the whistle now and beyond it too….we even took time to ask Stephen Quinn if he knew what the score was…

QUINNY QUINNY WHAT’S THE SCORE
QUINNY…WHAT’S THE SCORE

That was the final bit of action…it was over at last but the Wednesday fans had one more bit of singing to do…the players came over to salute us and we really lifted the noise…it rocked around that empty stadium and the last one off the pitch was Miguel Llera who was being interviewed on the pitch and given the Man of the Match award…we chanted to him and waited patiently for him to finish and come over to us…

LLERA…WOOAH

LLERA…WOAAH

A fantastic end to a fantastic away game…

I know most people will have watched this game on the telly but I have to tell you, you missed a real treat by not being here.
It’s been such a long time since we’ve experienced a vibe like this in amongst the Wednesday fans…probably years since and it was a real pleasure, a privilege to have shared this with the Young Un and Danny and the rest that traveled… performances and results like this don’t come along too often and when they do we need to seize them with both hands and throttle the life out of it…savour every last moment, we did just that…I hope the next one isn’t too far off.
Badge Owl POST
Hull charged us full price for a game that was televised…£27 each…£54 for me and the Young Un for a game neither of us was looking forward to and even though it turned out to be money well spent they can no longer take the moral high ground about these things. The Hull fans have complained about our ticketing in the past and about how our fans have behaved, well having paid way too much and having seen how their own fans behave in their own stadium and outside it there is no moral high ground for them anywhere…
Badge Owl POST
Steve:Beastie
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @beastie_


One Comment

  1. Fantastic ramble! Been on a high all weekend and this read has put one hell of a smile on my face before bed! Joe

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