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Sheffield Wednesday 2015

Our 2015 event at Hillsborough was certainly one to remember, with the watching Owls fans being treated to a fantastic end to end thriller of a game in glorious sunny conditions. The impressive Away team ran out worthy winners in the end by 5 goals to 3, however the Home team pushed them all the way and both sets of players could be hugely proud of their excellent efforts.

Date: Sun 26th April 2015
Venue: Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday (Home) vs Sheffield Wednesday (Away)
Kick Off: 12:00 pm
Match Officials: Matthew Tyers, Paul Cooper, Jack Mason & Tom Bramall

It was a beautiful sunny day as the Owls fans took to the famous Hillsborough turf, however there was a chill in the air and both teams were keen to get stuck into the action right from the off.

The Home team wearing the traditional Blue and White stripes kicked off the game playing from right to left and they started confidently, playing the ball around well. The Away team playing in the all Yellow change strip responded well though and the opening exchanges were very even.

The 1st real effort on goal came from the impressive Home No 10 Richard Hall, however his volley from distance was collected comfortably by the ever dependable Away GK Steve Exley. The Away team responded well though and after Danny Ryder’s cross was partially cleared their No 9 Jonathan Hardy fired a vicious effort on goal, however the powerful dipping shot just evaded the far post by a matter of inches!

With both defences very well organised and GKs Toyne and Exley looking in excellent form, the game remained goalless despite the best efforts of the attackers. The Away team threatened next though and when Harry Griffiths found himself in room on the edge of the box and smashed a low effort goal-wards it looked like he was going to break the deadlock, however Home keeper Mark Toyne saved brilliantly with his feet.  

Central Midfielders Rogers and Hall for the Home team and Griffiths and Laver for the Away continued to impress and the spectators were being treated to some great passing play from both sides. Away No 6 Harry Griffiths again looked like opening the scoring when he burst past a number of players and ran in on goal, however Toyne was equal to his effort again, racing out of his goal to narrow the angle before saving his net-bound effort brilliantly. Toyne came to his side’s rescue again moments later with a fantastic diving interception from Michael Retsinas’ dangerous looking cross. 

However the on-form keeper could do nothing about the Away side’s opening goal on 31mins. The ever present Vaughan Lonsdale started the move in his own half and when the ball broke to Michael Retsinas the Away No 7 played an inch perfect through ball for Striker Jonathan Hardy to run onto, and the pacy No 9 made no mistake, poking the ball low past Toyne and into the net (0-1).

The Away team were well on top now and when Stuart Laver played a perfectly weighted through ball for Danny Ryder the big striker looked destined to double his side’s lead, however his effort rebounded off the right hand post to safety. However they weren’t to be denied on 34mins, Laver played another defence splitting pass which the pacy Harry Griffths just got to ahead of GK Toyne and his clever cut back found Danny Ryder free inside the 6 yard box and the striker made no mistake this time, smashing the ball into the net to double the Yellow team’s lead (0-2). 

However the Home team responded brilliantly and got themselves right back into the game on 37mins! Their Captain Adam Fossett started the move with a quick throw-in down the wing to No 7 Robbie Adams and his cross was met by No 8 Adam Pearce who fired a 1st time effort goal-bound. His initial effort rebounded off the base of the post, however No 11 Michael Gabbitas reacted well to poke the ball back to Pearce and this time the No 8 made no mistake, smashing the ball into the roof of the net from the left side of the box (1-2).

The Away team came roaring back straight away, however keeper Mark Toyne again denied Michael Retsinas when it looked like he was destined to score. Minutes later it was Toyne to the rescue again, after the keeper saved Retsinas’ goal-bound effort from close range. His incredible performance was certainly keeping his side in the game!

Back came the Home team and with only seconds remaining in the half they got back on level terms. No 10 Richard Hall broke up-field and played a perfectly weighted through ball for Mark Clyne and the clinical striker made no mistake from the edge of the box, racing onto the ball and playing it past the advancing Exley with a deft poacher’s strike (2-2). 

The referee’s whistle blew soon afterwards with the game all square and everything to play for in the 2nd half.

Half Time: Shef Wed (Home) 2 - 2 Shef Wed (Away)

The sun was still shining as the teams strode back onto the pitch and with the players well rested and refreshed, the Home team were determined to carry on where the left off, and they did just that on 50mins! Home No 11 Michael Gabbitas floated a great free-kick to the far post and No 7 Robbie Adams’ perfectly placed header from close range gave Exley no chance (3-2).  

The Away team weren’t lying down though and they fashioned 3 chances in quick succession for Retsinas, Banks and Hardy, however that man Toyne denied them again with a succession of fantastic stops! However their pressure told on 55mins when Danny Ryder’s clever back heel flick found their No 9 Jonathan Hardy racing in on goal. This time the ever dangerous striker made no mistake, sliding a right foot shot past Toyne and into the net for his 2nd of the game (3-3).

The game was there for the taking for both teams and the fans were enjoying an end to end thriller of a match. The next chance fell to Home No 10 Richard Hall, however his clever attempt at a chip was well saved by Away keeper Steve Exley. At the other end Kevin Banks found Hardy inside the area with an excellent cross, however the No 9’s header crashed off the bar and away to safety.

The pace of the game was starting to take its toll on both sides now, however they both pushed tirelessly for the decisive goal that could swing the game in their favour. Despite all the excellent efforts from the Home team, the goal went the way of the team in Yellow on 72mins. Striker Jonathan Hardy carried the ball up-field and found Harry Griffiths free on the left side of the box, the skilful midfielder danced inside the last defender and unleashed an unstoppable effort into the far side of the goal to edge his side ahead again with under a quarter of the game to go (3-4).

The Home team were pushing hard for an equaliser, and when Gabbitas was pulled down on the edge of the box with only a few mins remaining they had a great chance to draw themselves level from the resulting free-kick. However the striker’s left foot effort was fired just too high and the chance was gone.

With the clock ticking into the 88th minute the game looked lost for the Home team and the Away team removed any doubt from the result with a well worked goal on the break. Stuart Laver started the move with a long ball to Jonathan Hardy, the striker squared it to Vaughan Lonsdale and when the skilful No 17 hit a wonderful chipped effort goalwards it looked for all the world like dropping into the net, however the ball clipped the bar and rebounded back to No 11 Danny Ryder, who was perfectly placed to smash the rebound into the unguarded net from close range (3-5).

Despite late efforts from Hardy, Retsinas and Griffiths it was to be the final goal of the game and the ref’s whistle brought a hugely entertaining clash to an end shortly afterwards. The watching Sheffield Wednesday fans had certainly got their money’s worth and both sets of players received a hugely deserved rousing reception when they left the pitch. 

Full time: Shef Wed (Home) 3 - 5 Shef Wed (Away)

Man of the Match (Home): Mark Toyne
Man of the Match (Away): Jonathan Hardy
Moment of the Match: Harry Griffiths

Home Team: Mark Toyne, Adam Fossett (C), Richard Johnson, Kevin Robertson, Steve Rogers, Robbie Adams, Adam Pearce, Mark Clyne, Richard Hall, Michael Gabbitas, Iain Gilman, Neil Wharton, Jason Guy
Home Mascot: Thomas Hall

Away Team: Steve Exley, James Simpson, Ray Wallis, Ben Moorhouse, Harry Griffiths, Michael Retsinas, Paul Griffiths (C), Jonathan Hardy, Stuart Laver, Danny Ryder, Kevin Banks, Jonny Heald, Alex Orange, Vaughan Lonsdale
Away Mascot: Obi Laver