RAMBLE | Wednesday 2-4 United

RAMBLE | Wednesday 2-4 United

Derby days. Who needs them eh?

As a full disclaimer and because I think that anyone reading this will know exactly what happened, this ramble is going to be similar to the video review Mark Kermode did of the last Transformers film where he just repeatedly hit his head against a brick wall.

With that in mind please stay with me as I try to make this as entertaining a read as possible.

So back to it, I woke up rather later than usual, on previous derby days I haven’t managed to sleep, and if I remember rightly the last one I didn’t bother going to bed at all and just powered through the night after getting in from Walkabout in Derby (I went to university there, I wasn’t just randomly lost).

But this time round I woke up at around 10:00am feeling more nervous than I can ever remember feeling before a derby game. I don’t know whether it was the long wait for one, or whether it was the good start the Blades have had, but I really didn’t feel confident, and I am usually a very optimistic, easy going fan.

The journey over didn’t help when I heard Leon Clarke’s name mentioned in the line up.

Unlike most Wednesday fans I had talked to, I was really hoping he wouldn’t play. He absolutely loves playing against us and every time he does he raises his game.

He’s like that spot that just won’t go away no matter how badly you pick at it.

Once we arrived in Hillsborough and had got adequate amounts of sweets (you know you’re a lower middle class football fan when you take Haribo Smurfs to a match) we set off on the way to Hillsborough.

Quite predictably, there was bother on Hillsborough corner. After 5 years, there was always going to be trouble somewhere.

Thankfully, we managed to avoid it by taking a detour through the park, and as it was a nice day it made for a more pleasant start to the days festivities. We got to Hillsborough and I went straight up to the stands to sample the new range of chicken based delicacies.

I opted for the southern fried chicken burger, and after seeing the line for beer I thought it was best to just go straight up to our seats.

After sitting down I opened up the burger to find it was, quite literally, just chicken and a bun. No salad, no mayo, no sauce of any description.

I could feel my inner Gordon Ramsay swelling up, so I thought it was best to just bite the bullet and eat it. It was okay to be fair, especially after realising my mum had brought some packets of ketchup with her. She is, as the youth of today say, a legend.

Once devoured, Conquest Of Paradise started.

I could already feel myself beginning to get emotional, football does weird things to me.

Normally, I am emotionally a very conservative person, but something about Wednesday just gets to me, I suppose that should be treasured as it is a sign of how much the club means to me.

Then the familiar sound of Waterfront came ringing around the stadium, and it started to sink in, the derby was back, and I had no idea how to feel. One Hi Ho Silver Lining later and we were off…

 

THE MATCH

 

Okay, here comes the hard part because this game, well, let’s just say it wasn’t a classic and it started off in the worst possible manner.

After a bit of fairly standard build up play, we gave a free kick away on the edge of our box. Straight away I felt sick and I was fully preparing myself for a goal. Predictably, the strike from Fleck was one hell of a shot, and it nestled neatly into the goal.

Dream start for United, nightmare start for Wednesday. Like all the Wednesday fans around me, the only solace was how early it was, and the fact that we had fallen behind before and come back into games. Still, the fact that it was them, those bastardos, just made it harder to take.

Fleck drives home (Image – SUFC on Twitter)

As the game continued, you could see that we just weren’t in it.

United’s 3-5-2 formation was frustrating us massively, and no matter how fluid our passing was, or how well we kept possession, we just weren’t doing anything with it.

It only got worse when, you guessed it, Leon Clarke scored. At first, I was furious, because it looked like Clarke was clearly in an offside position, and I was up on my feet in fury.

After seeing the replays however, he wasn’t, which made it even worse. Essentially, our defence were caught napping, followed by not playing to the whistle, and we were punished. I sat back down, feeling almost as deflated as I did when Forestieri missed the penalty against Huddersfield, and I slowly began to hope and pray that we weren’t going to be on the end of a ridiculous scoreline.

United were all over us and we didn’t look at all like getting back into then. Then came a little snippet of hope. Just before half time, neat interplay between Wallace and Hooper led to Hooper doing what he does best, confidently putting the ball into the back of the net.

Five in five

The mood changed.

I was up on my feet and all the adrenaline my body could create started to surge through me. I looked over to the United fans with my finger pressed against my lips doing the “ssssh (t)” signal to the United fans. Shortly after, the white went and we went into the half time break feeling a hell of a lot better than we thought we would

 

Half Time – Wednesday 1-2 United

 

That goal felt like a turning point, it really did.

The mood had lifted around the entire stadium and you could feel it.

That being said, we didn’t deserve it at all. United had controlled that first half from start to (almost) finish and we all felt incredibly lucky to have got ourselves back into it.

The usual meet up with Tommo and his kids didn’t happen at half time because they seemingly hadn’t bothered to turn up.

In fairness, they hadn’t exactly missed a thriller and looking back at this game I don’t think they will be too gutted. Still, call me and let me know you’re okay please Tommo babe.

As the queues were ridiculously long and we had no company, we decided to proceed with eating our Haribo (mmm middle class deliciousness) and head on back up.

Jones couldn’t get hold of Brooks at all, he was hooked at HT

After ending that half with a goal, we were all walking back up with a feeling of hope and excitement, rather than a feeling of deflation and despair.

My mind began to drift back to Bristol City at home last season, where we had come back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, and to do that against United would be, with no disrespect to Bristol City, a million times better.

However, the fact remained that we were still a goal down and nothing had been decided yet so I kept my emotions under control and sat down to await what would turn out to be an eventful 45 minutes of football.

 

Second Half

 

We started off much, much better, although it would have been worrying if we had started off worse.

We were keeping possession and going forward is a similar style to the first half, but it felt like we were doing so with much more purpose and intent. Carlos had clearly lifted their spirits, as every player on the pitch looked more energised and up for it.

Hooper had a great chance to bag the equaliser, the ball fell to him after it was launched over the top of the defence but it just didn’t fall for him, I don’t think he was fully expecting it to get to him in all honesty. Then, just as we were coming into the final 20 minutes, we got the equaliser.

A nice bit of play down the left from Reach and Joao (remember him?) led to Joao neatly getting in behind the defence and slotting it home.

To quote an overused phrase, scenes. SCENES MATE!

Again, the adrenaline rushed all around my body.

Yessssssssssssssss! Cue mad celebrations

I remember looking at my dad with the same “ssssssh (t)” finger expression, which confused my dad no end, I think he thought I was telling him to shut up at first.

Once I pointed to the Unitedites however, he understood. Every corner of the stadium was bouncing and as I looked around, I could see a certain Mr.Beastie and Hollie at the front of the Kop understandably getting caught up in it all, which made me smile.

They have gone through some hard times lately, so to see them in much happier spirits was great.

It was ours to win now, surely?

United would just try and sit back now, soak up the pressure, and we would get a late winner, sending everyone around the ground and the surrounding Hillsborough area into scenes of mad joy?

Yeah, so then this happened.

Literally just as I was about to get my phone out and film all the sides of Hillsborough joining forces in mutual joy filled bounces, Mark Duffy turned Adam Reach inside out and scored a lovely goal.

I hate to admit it, but if that was a Wednesday player we would have all been watching that back for weeks.

I think that was the quickest I have gone from pure joy to deflated agony.

I laughed a little because it just didn’t feel real. After that goal, the game got worse.

We were still attacking, still trying to give it all that we had. Sadly all that we had was pretty fucking average, pardon my French.

The game was sealed by another Clarke goal *insert side eyed emoticon here*. After truly awful defending from Tom Lees that would have made Darren Purse blush, Clarke found himself in behind the defence and he slotted home the fourth goal for them.

I have never left a game early but I came very close to doing so. A looping header from Hooper aside, we were done, closed for the day.

The last 10 minutes consisted of having to listen to all the different songs from the United end, including an annoying reminder that it was Chris Wilder’s birthday.

The full whistle went and predictably the boos around the ground began, although they weren’t as loud as usual because the majority of people had left. It was over and we had been spanked by our neighbours.


Full Time – Wednesday 2-4 United

 

As I am writing this the day after the game, I am now pretty much over it and preparing to go again on Wednesday, but this hurt, just as much as the Huddersfield game.

We had never conceded 4 goal before against the Blades, and despite my initial cynicism before the game, I didn’t think we would do so today.

Walking out of the ground, it felt like everyone was floating around, we all knew what had happened but no one was ready to admit it. I felt bad mostly for the youngsters

This was their first taste of this incredible fixture and we put in a performance like that. It would be easy for me to sit her and point the finger at Carlos, saying he didn’t get us adequately up for this game.

However I am 100% confident that if players like Lees, Reach and Hunt didn’t turn up and play their worst games in a Wednesday shirt, we wouldn’t be talking about a 4-2 defeat.

So whilst it may feel good to just randomly abuse Carlos, I don’t think he can fully take the blame for this one.

Not a good first derby for many

Moving forward, we have to not let this have a detrimental effect on us. The season is far from over, and a fair portion of both Wednesday and United fans need to keep that in mind.

It hurts now, and it may always sting, but it is one game in a long season and I am not afraid to say that, I know it isn’t just an ordinary game but the aim is promotion.

If we did the double over United but failed to get promoted again, I wouldn’t remember this season as the season we beat United home and away, I would remember it as another season in which we failed to achieve our ultimate aim. Can you imagine if we fell apart?

The Blades would love it.

So it is time to dust ourselves down, keep “the feets on the floors” and go again on Wednesday evening against Birmingham City. Although when we do return to this fixture in January, lads, please turn up this time! UTO.

Billy
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @BillyFensterFen

Images: SWFC, unless stated.


5 Comments

  1. Nice report Billy, quite entertaining, but I take issue with your assertion that it wasn’t a classic. 6 goals, the away side racing into an early lead, then pegged back to 2-2 and finally running away with it in front of over 30,000? Oh it was a classic alright. To be perfectly honest and after watching it back again today I think you should be relieved it was only 4-2. At least you kept the hate and the bile in check. Nothing middle class about Haribo mate, made in Ponte Carlo after all and gobbled by obese schoolkids from Parson Cross to Winn Gardens 😉 so if you really want to be a middle class supporter, grab yourself an elderflower presse and a lemon and poppyseed blondie for the return fixture. Nice report though Billy – I look forward to the one in January.

    • FWIW and as a broken hearted Wednesday fan I would agree with you. Just because we were on the wrong end of a thumping doesn’t mean it wasn’t a classic.

      I hated the result…still do but nowt I can do about that now.

      It had everything though and was an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish for BOTH sets of fans and everything you want from football apart from that result…..I haven’t felt that low or that high during a game for absolutely ages, incredible emotions

      I’ve no problems with the result if I’m honest. The best team won. Well deserved in every way.

      I have a problem with our own team and how we played but that’s our issues. It will be interesting to see how things pan out after this game for both sides.

      • Nice one Steve. I fopr one refuse to gloat too much because this game and this fixture has a nasty habit of biting you squarely in the behind

        • It’s strange isn’t it?
          We wait for these moments as football fans but when they come we daren’t go nuts because we fear it biting us later.

          It’s a silly thing this thing we get so wrapped up with.

          Enjoy it mate…I hope I’m there for the bite back though 😉

  2. A Wendie at work says to me what goes around comes around meaning for us not wind up wendies cause it might come back to bite us. Said ” jeesh we’ve been 6 years in the wilderness and we get a bit of success and now we can’t enjoy it because we might get stuffed in the future. I do it purely because I KNOW wendies will give it me given half the chance

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