Fear inspires Wednesday - 13/12/2003
TWO GREAT MISCONCEPTIONS DOMINATE football: one, that it is all about money; two, that it is all about winning. Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday do not have much in the coffers and football for their fans, like the majority, revolves around fear and in this case, fear means two words . . . Doncaster Rovers.
It is fear of being the worst. So few real fans can relate to unlimited success, so when good fortune smiles on them it is just a time to be happy. What people can relate to is losing, or being the worst — that is when bragging rights really come into play. Doncaster’s rise presents the very real terror that either of these sides, who were recently in the Premiership, could be the worst team in South Yorkshire.
Wednesday may be becoming a running joke, but here they showed a determination that belied their lowly position. Behind to a wonder goal by Antony Kay, a brilliant volley hit in mid-air from 20 yards, they rallied and showed the kind of fighting spirit apparently lacking all season. Barnsley failed to clear a corner and Guylain NDumbu-Nsungu headed the ball over Sasa Ilic and into the net.
For any advocates of the ten-a-side game there was soon a chance to see one. First Grant Holt, Wednesday’s lump of a centre forward, received a second yellow card for diving, having been booked for a two-footed tackle. Then, after half-time, Paul Warhurst, the former Wednesday favourite, went for repeated fouling. It should not have been a loss — the sometime forward or defender had been stuck in central midfield delivering wayward passes — but Barnsley seemed to lose heart.
With Mark Robins working hard and NDumbu-Nsungu a constant danger, there were chances at both ends. Isaiah Rankin missed two sitters for Barnsley, while the best chance for Wednesday fell to Brian Barry-Murphy, who worked his way into the area only for the ball to fall to his hopeless right foot.
“An excellent game,” Chris Turner, the Wednesday manager, said, while Gudjon Thordarson said he feared that wasted chances will see Barnsley fall out of the play-off picture.
Barnsley (4-3-3): S Ilic 6 — B O’Callaghan 6, G Monk 6, C Ireland 6, A Gallimore 7 (sub: S Hayward, 62min 6) — J Burns 6 (sub: C Lumsdon, 71), P Warhurst 3, A Kay 8 — I Rankin 6 (sub: S Carson, 77), K Betsy 8, J Walters 7. Substitutes not used: D Alcock, N Austin. Booked: Warhurst, Ireland. Sent off: Warhurst. NEXT: Luton Town (a). FORM: DDLWLW
Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): D Lucas 8 — D Geary 6, G Lee 6, L Bromby 6, B Barry-Murphy 8 — M Reddy 5 (sub: A Proudlock, 31 7), R Mustoe 7, S Haslam 6, G NDumbu-Nsungu 9 — G Holt 3, M Robins 8. Substitutes not used: K Pressman, L Wilson, L Owusu, D Smith. Booked: Holt, NDumbu-Nsungu. Sent off: Holt. NEXT: Chesterfield (h). FORM: DLDLLD
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