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Sheffield Wednesday 2012

Football Aid 2012 at Hillsborough saw the Away team claim victory as wet conditions played their part in the evening game. Former club captain and Football Aid first timer Lee Bullen was the Home team legend and proved to an inspiration to both sets of fans, but he couldn't prevent his team from losing 8-3 on the night. Key attacking performances from Andrew Harland, Vaughan Lonsdale and Greg Atkinson, who combined on numerous occasions, proved too much for the Home side to defend against.   

Date: Wednesday 9th May 2012
Venue: Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday Home vs Sheffield Wednesday Away
Kick Off: 6:00pm
Match Officials: Tom Bramall, Matt Tyers, Joshua Bramall and James Bell
Legend: Lee Bullen
 

With the club having secured promotion to the Championship only days before (overcoming local rivals United at the same time as well), the Owls fans who had gathered to take part, or watch on from the stands, were certainly in good spirits!

The Home team, sporting the iconic blue and white stripes, kicked off the match with both sets of players clearly enthused to live their dream for 90 mins on their hallowed turf. It took only 3 mins for the Away side to create a shooting chance, with Away No 10 Andrew Harland able to pick the ball up on the near touchline in plenty of space, before getting underneath the shot and blazing wide of the goal. It was a warning shot for the Home team as the Away side looked very promising in the early stages of the game.

Shortly after Michael Omaison was able to break away on the right side for the Away team, who were able to string a few passes across the edge of the box before Greg Atkinson flicked on the ball to Harland, who only had enough time to touch the ball before Home goalkeeper Richard Marsh was able to save at his feet.

The Away team were beginning to get closer to recording the 1st goal of the game, but a goal line headed clearance cleared the ball from danger after a great curling effort from Stuart Laver. It was a frantic few minutes of the game where the Home team were purely defending and hoping that they could gain possession of the ball.

The opening goal was however scored after a give-and-go on the edge of the box between Atkinson and Harland, with Atkinson drilling the ball in towards the body of Marsh. The weather conditions didn't help keeper Marsh, as the wet ball slipped out of his hands and into the path of Vaughan Lonsdale, who had plenty of space and time to turn and hit a left footed shot in to the bottom left corner. It was an unfortunate goal to concede but well deserved by the relentless Away side. (0-1)

After more great work from Andrew Harland, he was again able to cut inside and dribble to the edge of the 18 yard box, before a mis timed challenge from Michael Hackney gave the Away side a free kick in dangerous area. Harland clearly wanted to take the free kick and did so, but he put his resulting effort into the side netting. 

The Home side's best chance came in the 13th min, with Away goalkeeper Geoffrey Thorpe picking up a throw-in direct from Oliver Wardman. The indirect free kick was taken by Jonathan Garnett after a touch by Dave Dews, who went for placement but directed his shot into the arms of the well positioned goalkeeper.

Harland got his name on the score sheet again after some very good build-up play by the Away team. The ball was knocked in from the far touchline to Harland, who was able to slide the ball past the keeper before seeing his effort rebound back off the post. The ball was cleared high into the air before it was touched on by the Away team's Steven Foreman onto the foot of Greg Atkinson. Atkinson was then able to pick out his striking partner Andrew Harland who cleverly rolled the last defender and placed the ball past the keeper into the far corner. (0-2)

Noel Hinchcliffe did very well to drive at the Home team defenders before a superb sliding challenge by Gavin Locker on the edge of the box. Unfortunately the ball rebounded straight to the feet of Lonsdale who knocked it on to the oncoming Martyn Cooper who made the keeper work looking to pick out his teammates, before the resulting rebound fell to the feet of Vaughan Lonsdale again for the big Striker to direct the ball into the net and score the 3rd goal of the game. (0-3)

Following that goal the Home No 6 Jonathan Garnett was unlucky with his instinctive long range effort which was drilled wide of the right post. Fullback Daniel Scott, who was having a very good 1st half for the Away team, was involved in the next piece of attacking play. Scott was able to win possession before sending Cooper through on goal, the No 8 rounded the keeper and directed the ball goal bounds and must have thought he'd scored, before the ball rolled agonisingly beyond the post. Locker with great defending again got back in time to block-challenge Harland's follow up.

Scott was involved again, showing excellent composure to look up and play a great long ball through to Greg Atkinson, whose change of pace was enough to knock the ball past the oncoming keeper and prod the ball over the line. It was a great striker's finish. (0-4)

The Home side did though respond in the 33rd min. After a deep corner from Jonathan Garnett found Steven Houston waiting around 25 yards out, the Home No 7 was able to control the ball before looping the ball over the back tracking keeper. It was possibly a cross, but regardless it was definitely a great effort to score his team's first goal. (1-4)

There was almost an instant reply from the Away team to losing their 1st goal of the game. An attempted cross by the tricky Martyn Cooper on the far right, floated towards goal, and with the ball rebounding back of the post Atkinson, Lonsdale and Hinchcliffe all followed in to try and force it home but the Home team defended very well, especially Gavin Locker who made another last ditch clearance.

An impressive 1st half hat trick was completed with a headed goal by Lonsdale after more great work from Martyn Cooper. The left midfielder collected the ball on the far right side of the box before putting a ball across the 6 yard box to the head of Vaughan Lonsdale. It was a great piece of attacking play from the Away side, and definitely influenced the shape of the half time team talk for Lee Bullen. (1-5)

Half-Time: Sheffield Wednesday Home 1 - 5 Sheffield Wednesday Away

The Home team started the second half much better and were able to put in a stronger performance to get back into the game. The introduction of Lee Bullen strengthened the defence and gave both the Home players and their supporters a massive lift. Bullen was clearly determined to stop the attacking Away team from scoring again and give the Home team a chance of getting back into the game.  

It was the Away team however, that managed to carve out the next real chance in the 63rd minute. After intercepting a pass from Lee Bullen on the edge of the box, Steven Foreman was unable to get a clean strike away and the play ended with a comfortable save for Marsh.

However the Away team struck again in the 68th min after an out swinging corner from Michael Omaison to the edge of the 6 yard box was flicked on by Atkinson across the line to Lonsdale, who calmly tapped in his 4th of the game, from close range. (1-6)

After patient play by the Home team, Michael Hackney received the ball on the near touchline and dribbled past the Away defender to the edge of the box, before drilling a left footed drive through the legs of the goalkeeper. Hackney was clearly eager to get his team back into the game and fight to the last whistle. (2-6)

However the Away team's 2nd half sub Steven Foreman also got onto the score sheet with a well taken goal from 12 yards out shortly after. Foreman was able to control the ball on his chest before half volleying it off the bar and over the line. The Home keeper Marsh had no chance from that close a range. (2-7)

The battling Oliver Wardman was unlucky to concede a foul for his tackle on the edge of the Away team's box, which lead to the Home team's 3rd goal. Home No 9 Jamie Reid was the free-kick taker on this occasion and he curled a great shot, which due to the very wet weather conditions was able to slip through the hands of Thorpe and cross the line for a goal. (3-7)

However the goal of the game was scored by Andrew Harland, who started the move inside the Away team's own half, receiving the ball from Atkinson, Harland was able to produce a moment of magic to flick the ball past Lee Bullen, turn back inside and fire into the far left corner of the goal.

It was to be the last kick of the game and was a fitting ending to a hugely entertaining game of football. All credit to both sets of players who showed great skills to serve up such a high quality game in what proved to be one of the wettest Football Aid events of the 2012 calendar. (3-8)

Full-Time: Sheffield Wednesday Home 3 - 8 Sheffield Wednesday Away

Man of the Match Home: Matthew Barton
Man of the Match Away: Andrew Harland
Moment of the Match: Gavin Locker

Home Team: Marsh, D. Garnett, Bullen, Hackney, Barton, J. Garnett, Houston, Dews, Reid, Brookes (C), Powell, Masser, Locker, Eales, Kidby
Home Mascot: Ryan Dews

Away Team: G. Thorpe, Scott, Wardman, R. Thorpe (C), Hinchcliffe, Laver, Cooper, Atkinson, Harland, Lonsdale, Omaison, Price, Foreman
Away Mascot: Obi Laver