Category Archives: A view from as a neutral

Bradford Would Beat Chelsea in an Ideal World.

Ahead of the Chelsea Bradford game, a heartwarming preview with a Huddersfield Town and Lincoln City link stirring memories of the oft forgotton 56 who perished in the Bradford fire. May the Bantams win it for them and the great British sense of fair play.

No one is giving Bradford City a prayer against Chelsea FC. However 6000 and the souls of the forgotten 56 will be there hoping for the win our national psyche and ‘sport’ needs.  This in the romantic FA Cup, one that allegedy allows underdogs to go from jumpers for goal posts to the glitter of Wembley.  That is why every neutral and everyone sick of the rising inequality in modern Britain should be on Bradford City’s side.

Chelsea FC.svgThe attitude from those awash with Russian cash in SW6 is that one of Yorkshire’s most inspiring clubs should be grateful for the cash bonanza as brave Bradford gallantly get hit for five or six. But, the Bantam’s have been forged by one of the toughest journeys in football.  With the Hillsborough disaster getting the column inches to earn the justice it deserves, the Bradford fire and its 25th anniversary was ignored outside Yorkshire. Even the Premier and Football League have conveniently moved the dates for the  tributes around the grounds to the 24/25th April.  This May the Eleventh will be the the 30th anniversary of an oft forgotten tragedy with Huddersfield’s North Stand Loyal kicking off a terrific Terrier fundraising initiative – HERE .

A brief bit of history is both respectful and due.  Having won the Third Division Championship  prior to the game a young Peter Jackson (one I count as a friend) was presented with City’s first trophy for 56 years. That same number would die on a day  set up for celebration – some families lost 3 generations  – with 256 injured as the burns unit learned the hard way to become the best in the world at what it does. The opponents that day, Lincoln. who lost two fans and named their former home end after the two victims, went to Valley Parade again 7 years ago with Stuart McCall and laying wreathes prior to  the game.

There is one other massive reason people should want Bradford to win today. Where Chelsea were saved by Ken Bates, then Matthew Harding and then  Roman Abramovich who has spent 100s of millions to get them success .  Bradford fell from the Premiership and almost died falling into the bottom rung of the Football league. There they struggled under debt repayment plans backed by 11,000 diehards who they rewarded with the cheapest season tickets in the country – costing around a game and a half compared to those Made In Chelsea.

From a purest football perspective Chelsea undeniably deserve to win. But if passion is the fashion Hanson will give the two Blues centre-backs a game they will learn from today. The Bantam’s have an attacking trio that can do damage in any division and they will be really up for it today (fired up just did not seem the right thing to put). London may have all the money and the 12:1 job ratio thanks to the banks etc, but Yorkshire is God’s county.

Come on City! Do it for financial fair play, do it for the fans and do it for the 56.

Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire!

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Sheffield Wed 3 Blackburn 2 Brace With Grace JJ Eyes Leeds Repeat.

Sheffield Wednesday needed two moments of shear class from Jermaine Johnson to beat Blackburn who did more than enough to earn a share of the spoils. But the Owls are on the prowl, with Millwall Tuesday and the Yorkshire Derby against Leeds at Elland Road next week.  The battle is not over and could yet run until the away trip at Peterborough on the last day.  But hey, come what may, the Owls will look to quality to have the final say.

A Massive thanks to The Owls for the free tickets given out on a visit to the fantastic Sheffield Children’s hospital. Alas the lad was still too ill to make it, but this was a trip that brought a smile to the face of his Dad, a great mate, who spends his life at his side or by his phone, with a season ticket few of us would envy. We showed him this TOUR of the ground. Thankfully, Football, the People’s game, still has the power to lift and giants like the Owls treasure their roots. For this and the spirit shown, let us hope they and their fans return to whence they belong and like all with illness, the cure is soon.

For the benefit of  Owls & Rovers fans visiting the site for the first time, first the  score & scorers, secondly the teams & schemes, then the match report and finally more stats than you can shake an Owl or Rovers fan  at  Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs please feel free to sign our Conference 3 up 3 down petition HERE

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday 3 V 2 Blackburn Rovers.svg

Sheffield Wednesday – Blackburn Rovers

(H/T  2-1)

Scorers

Rhodes (Pen) 12 J Johnson 20 & 78 Lita (Pen) 35  Dann 71 

Att 24,660

Ref: East

Owls  Rovers   

*****

The teams & Schemes 

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday 

Dave Jones favours 4-2-3-1

***

1 Kirkland (Y-12)

2 Buxton  32 Llera 4 Gardner (C + Y-36) 3 R Johnson (Y-78)

28 Coke    23  Olofinjana (Y-67)

11 J Johnson (Y-72) 22 Holden  15 Helan 

 24 Lita

*****

 Substitutions
59 Lee on for Holden, 68 Howard on for Lita, 84 Maguire on for J Johnson

***

Subs 

43 Bywater 5 Taylor 16 McCabe 20 Lee 25 Prutton 10 Maguire 29 Howard

 *****

Blackburn Rovers.svg

Gary Bowyer favours 4-4-1-1

***

29 Sandomierski 

19 Kane (Y-84) 16 Dann 31 Hanley (Y-69) 24 Morris (Y-34)

17 Williamson (Y-60) 8 Dunn (Y-33) 6 Lowe  32 Jones

32 Stewart

11 Rhodes

***

Substitutions

57 Kazim-Richards  on for Stewart, 63 King on for Williamson

***

Subs 

Gomes, Givet, Pedersen,  Kazim-Richards, King , Usai, Rekik

 *****

 

But to the game fellow football fans, to the game…….

The heckles rise as High Ho Sheffield Wednesday unites the congregation to an Owl, at the magnificent Hillsborough Cathedral.  Wednesday are quick out of the traps, but early promise comes to nought. Rovers begin to dominate the midfield, with Rhodes going close. A long ball sees Rhodes get the better of  Llera and in the confusion Kirkland strides forth, in a ploy straight from Twickenham, to take out Dunn for a stonewall twelfth minute penalty. Referee East fortunately brandishes yellow, though all would agree he got little right all afternoon.  A second heart stopping moment sees Rhodes send Kirkland the wrong way for the lead.

The band plays on prompting the Owls to prowl with the particularly graceful but powerful fowl, Johnson, aka JJ, ruffling the feathers of Morris. The left back has an interesting half to say the least, perhaps equally artful Dodger Dunn, is a mentor. Moments after being elbowed to the floor JJ, picks himself up, moves wings, twists and turns  before ending a fun run with his right-foot gun. From all of 20-yards he side-foots firmly into the far corner, of the hallowed Spion Kop.

But wait there was more to come.   Another slick, irresistible run saw the irrepressible force  denied by Sandomierski, at full stretch.   But Leroy Lita, at times like a lone sparrow between the eager eagles of Dann and Hanley would have his chance to make an impression or two.  A deep cross finds Reda Johnson, who is fouled by Morris, giving the referee no option but to grant a second penalty. Lita finishes high and into the corner with aplomb.  A sumptuous flick from JJ then frees Lita, he advancesd shoots true but Sandomierski makes himself big to save the day.

Second half.

Both managers keep the faith, with Dunn taking the game by the scruff of the neck. He was at the centre oh the whines, wingmanship and songs. The Owls were spooked as Dunn fires wide, then tamely taps into Kirkland’s grateful gloves. A free-kick from Jones is but a fivers breadth over the bar. Wednesday then fail to clear, giving Jones all the time in the world to conjure a cross to Dann unmarked at the far post. His towering header loops into the far corner from a good 15 yards.

Wednesday withstand the onslaught, mindful of defeat and a home form that would test the faith of a saint.  The Owls are losing everything in the middle, leaving the back four and fantastic support to fight a spirited rear-guard action to preserve their sacred Spion Kop goal. The introduction of Kazim-Richards sees a save from Kirkland and another promising move end with the sub putting just the wrong-side of the near post.

But saviour JJ, the jewel that is Johnson, harnesses the hopes and expection of this heraldic citadel, to add pride to his stride. The faithful sense something as he demands the ball from Helen.  He twists and turns, before releasing an unstoppable 25 yard drive into the far corner to turn the game. A brilliant strike, worth the gate money alone, to ice a brace of beauty and grace. The Band played up the curious proud, perhaps tweeting of the Owls, was set in motion to their song as they bobbed and bounced around the stadium to will their heroes home.

Maguire, JJ’s replacement, could have added a fourth but for a point-blank save from Sandomierski. That would have been unjust on a gamely Blackburn side. They find themselves in the bottom 3, winess on their travel in 2013, but certainly not for the want of trying. They are hardly leaving up to their Rovers name at the moment. But then since sacking long-ball Allerdyce, these new owners have done little but tinker and break the spirit of a the club that Jack built.

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday3 V 2  Blackburn Rovers.svg

Sheffield WednesdayBlackburn Rovers

*****

Stats

Note

shots on includes goals and saves includes crosses claimed

*****

51% Ball 49%

9 Shots on 7

6 Misses 9

5 Saves 6

Corners 8

2 Offside 4

21 Fouls 16

5 Yellows 5

0 Reds 0

***

Championship Standings 6/4/13

Pos Name P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Cardiff City 40 24 7 9 64 40 24 79
2 Hull City 41 23 5 13 57 46 11 74
3 Watford 41 21 8 12 76 51 25 71
4 Crystal Palace 41 18 12 11 67 54 13 66
5 Nottm Forest 41 16 15 10 60 52 8 63
6 Brighton 41 15 17 9 57 41 16 62
7 Leicester City 41 17 9 15 60 38 22 60
8 Bolton 41 16 12 13 60 53 7 60
9 Middlesbrough 41 17 4 20 57 62 -5 55
10 Derby County 41 14 12 15 59 56 3 54
11 Burnley 41 14 12 15 57 56 1 54
12 Charlton 41 14 12 15 51 55 -4 54
13 Birmingham 41 13 14 14 57 63 -6 53
14 Ipswich Town 41 14 11 16 40 55 -15 53
15 Millwall 39 14 10 15 48 53 -5 52
16 Leeds United 41 14 10 17 51 61 -10 52
17 Blackpool 41 12 15 14 56 54 2 51
18 Sheffield Wed 40 14 8 18 47 56 -9 50
19 Wolves 41 13 9 19 51 60 -9 48
20 Barnsley 40 13 9 18 50 60 -10 48
21 Huddersfield 41 12 12 17 42 68 -26 48
22 Blackburn 40 11 14 15 48 55 -7 47
23 Peterborough 41 13 8 20 59 67 -8 47
24 Bristol City 41 11 7 23 56 74 -18 40

Sheffield Wed V Blackburn – Form Teams & Schemes

Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers go into this relegation six-pointer on 47 points, remaining outside of the drop zone by virtue of goal difference.  Huddersfield Town 22nd, who entertain Peterborough, in 23rd, could well pounce at one of these big names expense and even leap-frog Barnsley who are away at promotion chasing Crystal Palace.

A massive thank you to Sheffield Wednesday for the free tickets for this one (as well as ex Owls Vadaine Oliver and Todd Jordan who are pulling up roses at the Imps) and so to pay for our supper, for our sins, with a statistical preview as a prelude to a view from The Leppings Lane report on the game itself. If it is anything to go by I have never seen the Owls lose at Hillsborough, with every game being against Arsenal ( I was a season ticket holder for 14 years after the seats came in until moving up to Lincoln to start another story)  thank you for reading the Form of the Foe courtesy of Neil Gentleman-Hobbs 

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday V  Blackburn Rovers.svg

Saturday  6th April K.O 3pm

GROUND GUIDE

Pos Name P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Cardiff City 39 24 6 9 64 40 24 78
18 Wolves 40 13 9 18 51 58 -7 48
19 Blackburn 39 11 14 14 46 52 -6 47
20 Barnsley 39 13 8 18 50 60 -10 47
21 Sheffield Wed 39 13 8 18 44 54 -10 47
22 Huddersfield 40 12 11 17 40 66 -26 47
23 Peterborough 40 13 7 20 57 65 -8 46
24 Bristol City 40 11 7 22 55 71 -16 40

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday V  Blackburn Rovers.svg

Likely Teams & schemes

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday 

Dave Jones favours 4-4-2

(aka the double 6)

1 Kirkland

2  32 Llera 4 Gardner (C) 3 Johnson

19 Pugh  23 Olofinjana

22 Holden                                                15 Helan 

9 Madine 24 Lita

Blackburn Rovers.svg

Gary Bowyer favours 4-4-1-1

***

29 Sandomierski 

19 Kane 16 Dann 31 Hanley 24 Morris

35 Bentley 36 Jones 13 Murphy 12 Pederson

39 Kazim-Richards

9 Best 

The Head to Head Form Guide

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday V  Blackburn Rovers.svg

Home /Away G W D L F A GD Pts Rank
Owls – Home 20 7 3 10 24 32 -8 24 21
Rovers – Away 19 3 9 7 23 30 -7 18 19
Away / Home G W D L F A GD Pts Rank
Owls -Away 19 6 5 8 20 22 -2 23 11
Rovers – Home 20 8 5 7 23 22 1 29 12
Overall G W D L F A GD Pts Rank
Owls 39 13 8 18 44 54 -10 47 21
Rovers 39 11 14 14 46 52 -6 47 19
Form By Month
G W D L F A GD Pts Rank
Owls Jan 4 2 1 1 5 4 1 7 6
Rovers Jan 4 1 2 1 6 4 2 5 12
Owls Feb 4 2 2 0 6 3 3 8 8
Rovers Feb 6 2 2 2 4 6 -2 8 8
Owls Mar 5 2 0 3 4 5 -2 6 13
Rovers Mar 4 0 2 4 4 6 -2 2 23
Owls Apr 1 0 1 0 1 5 0 1 8
Rovers Apr 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0 18
The Last 5’s
G W D L F A GD Pts Rank
Owls Home 5 2 1 2 5 6 -1 7 15
Rovers Away 5 0 1 4 1 10 -9 1 22
Owls Away 5 2 2 1 5 4 1 8 5
Rovers Home 5 1 3 1 5 5 0 6 18
Owls Overall 5 2 1 2 5 6 -1 7 12
Rovers Overall 5 0 2 3 4 9 -5 2 21

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday  Ker-ching £££  Blackburn Rovers.svg

Owls Crowd Stats Rovers
29,697 Highest Home Gate 20,735
18,922 Lowest Home Gate 12,230
23,706 Average Home Gate 14,820
474,129 Total Turnstile Clicks 296,416

Heroes & Villains

Heroes Goals Heroes Goals
Antonio 8 Rhodes 21
Johnson R 6 Rochina 5
Llera 5 Gomes 4
Barkley 4 Kazim-Richards 3
O’Grady 6 3 lads on 2
Heroes Assists Heroes Assists
Antonio 9 Pedersen 10
Llera 3 Rhodes 3
Johnson J 3 Kazim-Richards 3
Buxton 3 Rochina 3
Madine 2 6 lads on 2
Villains Yellows Villains Yellows
Llera 8 Kazim-Richards 9
Prutton 7 Murphy 8
Buxton 7 Lowe 8
Helan 5 Hanley 5
Johnson J & R 5 Olsen/Dann 5
YELLOWS 81 YELLOWS 61
Villains Reds Villains Reds
Matlock 1    
Buxton 1
Reds 2 Reds 0

Keeper corner

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday  Chris Kirkland

Games Sub Conceded Saves Mins Played Clean sheets Mins per goal Yc’s Rc’s
39 0 53 141 3510 10 66 2 0

Blackburn Rovers.svg – Grzegoz Sandomierski 

Games Sub Conceded Saves Mins Played Clean sheets Mins per goal Yc’s Rc’s
0 1 2 3 38 0 19 0 0