Category Archives: Match Reports

Dave Jones ready for ‘hard fight’ as sorry Wednesday lose again

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Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones was defiant about his future after a dreadful performance from his side in a 2-1 home defeat to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town left them rooted in 22nd place in the Championship.

“I’ve said many times before I don’t see why I should keep bringing up what I’ve done and my record. You can’t shoot at it.

“This season is a hard fight, it’s not a nice situation to be in.

“Are you gonna give it up and walk away? Of course you’re not, I’m made of sterner stuff than that.”

The result condemned the Owls to a second consecutive league defeat and means they have now won only once in 15 outings.

Chairman Milan Mandaric has come out with his support for Jones, saying that he still wants to give him more time to improve results.

Mandaric told Sky Sports: “I just want a bit more patience; give the manager support and hopefully he’ll pull us out of this trouble. It’s got to stop.”

But with their next three fixtures against sides in the Championship’s top half, it’s difficult to see where their next points are going to come from.

Huddersfield controlled the game from the outset, benefiting from an extra man in the centre of midfield which allowed them to dominate possession and dictate the tempo of the game.

 

But even Huddersfield’s tactical superiority couldn’t account for their first goal after ten minutes. Following a throw-in, Wednesday’s backline inexplicably stepped up, allowing Adam Clayton to pick out Martin Paterson, who, despite suspicions of offside, was unmarked and slotted home easily.

Town’s second came 20 minutes into the second half after a spell of decent Wednesday pressure, their only such spell of the game. James Vaughan won a cheap corner when he appeared to have little support deep in the right corner of the pitch, and a clever Huddersfield routine saw the ball fall to Clayton to pick his spot through a crowded penalty area.

Jones was keen to stress it was these individual mistakes made by his players which made the difference, highlighting a perceived mental block which was inhibiting his players when playing in front of the Hillsborough crowd.

“The last time we played here we were outstanding, and then we’re not. And that must be frustrating for everybody, the chairman, the fans, me, the coaches, maybe even one or two of the players.

“I think they need to take more responsibility and stand up and be counted, just as much as I will and my staff will.”

A Connor Wickham free-kick deep into injury time brought the game back to 2-1, but by then it was too late for Wednesday to threaten for an equaliser.

It would have been undeserved after such an insipid performance. After Huddersfield’s second goal, audible chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” echoed around Hillsborough.

When questioned about whether the club would be wrong to let him go after the game, Jones grew tetchy.

“Why should I have to answer that? Why should I get embroiled in things like that? I think you already know the answer to that.

“We want to get it right. But you’ve also got to remember that I didn’t kick a ball today and I didn’t make a pass.

“I have a responsibility because I pick the team but then I expect them to go out and perform and that’s what you have to rely on.”

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Sheffield United 3-1 Crewe Alexandra: Blades era under Clough off to best possible start

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I went and saw how Nigel Clough got on in his first game as Sheffield United boss for Forge Sport

A pair of headers for Harry Maguire and a Ryan Flynn solo effort gave Nigel Clough the dream start to life as Sheffield United manager, as the Blades ran out comfortable 3-1 winners against Crewe at Bramall Lane.

18,784 spectators, this season’s highest at home, gave Clough a rousing reception before kick-off, and the new manager must have soon wondered how his new club find themselves in such a precarious league position.

United had the worst goal-scoring record in League One prior to kick-off, but it took just 17 minutes for the first goal of Clough’s reign. Midfielder Stephen McGinn chased down a loose clearance and won a free-kick deep on the left hand side after a heavy challenge. After recovering well enough to take it, his cross was met by centre half Harry Maguire, who found himself unmarked and stooped low to head in.

It was exactly what the home crowd needed. There had been a distinct tension around the ground in the early stages as Crewe settled well.

Suddenly, United had confidence to attack with greater freedom, and it paid off on the half hour. In an action replay of the first goal, a McGinn corner from the left reached Maguire, who again unmarked, nodded in at the far post to give the Blades a well-deserved two goal lead at the interval.

The second half started with a scare for United, when Crewe’s Anthony Grant got into a good position down the left and crossed for Byron Moore, who skied over when he should have scored despite taking the ball on the volley.

If that was a let-off for United, then they really rubbed Crewe’s nose in it just two minutes later. Ryan Flynn, who looked dangerous down United’s right all afternoon, collected the ball 35 yards from goal and drove at the Crewe defence, before beating Crewe keeper Steve Phillips with a low shot at his near post.

United looked likely to add more goals when Taylor, King and Collins all went close.

But it was the introduction of Chuks Aneke and Max Clayton for the visitors which brought them back into the game. After heading against the bar a minute earlier, the bright Aneke then fed Clayton who ran in behind the United back four and slotted home with 15 minutes remaining.

The Blades spent the last part of the game penned in their own half as Crewe pushed for another, but the new boss was able to breathe a sigh of relief as the Blades picked up a valuable three points.

University of Sheffield 1sts 4-0 University of Leeds 1sts

My first match report on university football for Forge Press. It was cold…

Three goals in the last ten minutes saw Sheffield run out comfortable 4-0 winners against University of Leeds and pick up their first three points of the new campaign.

After gaining promotion last season by dropping just two points at home, Sheffield went into the game with confidence despite suffering a 3-1 defeat at Manchester last week. But the home side were noticeably relieved when midfielder Tom Bland smashed home an 82nd minute penalty to put them 2-0 up after a disjointed game, hindered by some questionable refereeing decisions.

With the play stretched and Leeds deflated, the tireless Tam Kitgrave twice broke in behind Leeds’ defence to add another two late goals. Having won the earlier penalty through sheer force of will after chasing down what seemed a lost cause, it was the least his endeavour deserved.

In truth, it was the piece of play that epitomised Sheffield’s performance. After dominating the first 15 minutes, Sheffield had to work hard to keep Leeds’ pacey front three at bay, who constantly threatened to break in behind the Sheffield defence.

The teams had seemed destined to go into half-time at a stalemate, before Sheffield took the lead on 40 minutes. A whipped corner from the impressive Eric Wedge Bull landed perfectly on the forehead of centre back Patrick Howard who made no mistake from five yards out.

Leeds enjoyed their best spell early in the second half, when Sheffield tucked their wingers Kitgrave and James Shields back into midfield to protect their lead, leaving striker Josh Thompson isolated. But Sheffield defended resolutely and restricted Leeds to only half chances.

The game grew increasingly fraught as Leeds searched for an equaliser, and much of their ire was directed at the referee. His display was best described as inconsistent, after bringing the play back for seemingly minor infringements but taking no action after several crunching challenges.

The angrier the Leeds players became, the less effective their attacks seemed to be. Sending their vocal centre back Jason Pilkington further forward left gaping holes which Kitgrave gleefully exploited in the closing stages.

Without ever really dominating, Sheffield gained a handsome victory through their doggedness and determination. Going into next week’s home game against Liverpool John Moores, they will feel confident they can make their mark at a higher level.