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[Archived] News Article -> 2012/13 Match Report: Sheffield Wednesday 3 Rovers 2


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At the end of a week when Circus Venky's, once again, grabbed national headlines for all the wrong reasons the Rovers slipped into the dreaded relegation places for the first time. Although it was a far more spirited display, particularly in the second half, than the one at Cardiff on Easter Monday, the end result was still the same — nil points.

Sheffield Wednesday (2) 3 – 2 (1) Blackburn Rovers
Jermaine Johnson 20, 78,

Lita (pen) 35

Rhodes (pen) 12, Dann 71
Referee: R. East Attendance: 24,660

At the end of a week when Circus Venky's, once again, grabbed national headlines for all the wrong reasons the Rovers slipped into the dreaded relegation places for the first time. Although it was a far more spirited display, particularly in the second half, than the one at Cardiff on Easter Monday, the end result was still the same nil points.

 

Watching the tortured figure of Gary Bowyer on the touchline trying to inspire, cajole and encourage his troops throughout the ninety minutes, one couldn't help but contrast the raw emotion of a genuine football man with the mob who sit in Pune and their acolytes in the boardroom. Whilst Shebby, Shaw, Agnew, Madam Desai and the Brothers Grimm argue over contracts and continually rearrange the deckchairs, the good ship Blackburn Rovers steams relentlessly forward towards the impending iceberg that is relegation.

 

The dynasty that Jack Walker envisaged and that was so jealously guarded by the likes of John Williams and Tom Finn has long since been sacrificed on the altar of mammon. It is days like this and games like this that makes one realise just how far we have fallen in such a short space of time. Sadly, one suspects that the damage being wrought by the "rich kids" from Pune is likely to be irrevocable.

 

Of course, one could argue that the present demise of the club has not been intentional and is simply the result of poor decisions by those sitting in Pune. However, that would be to forget that the "rich kids" in Pune wanted to be pro-active. It was their decision to replace Allardyce with Kean. It was their decisions which led to the departures of John Williams, Tom Finn, Martin Goodman, Andrew Pincher and others. Indeed, when the very people who they appointed to succeed these guys told them things they didn't want to hear, it was their decision to make more changes. In a little less than two and a half years they have taken an established, well-run and well-respected Premier League club and turned it into a national laughing stock that stands on the brink of a second successive relegation. The "rich kids" of Pune have become the accepted model of how not to run a football club.

 

The players, of course, must take their share of the blame for what has occurred this season. However, a quick look at the teamsheet today compared with the eleven who lined up when the Brothers Grimm were first paraded around Ewood Park a couple of years ago merely underlines the folly of the owners. Michel Salgado, Chris Samba, Ryan Nelsen, Brett Emerton, Phil Jones, and El Hadji Diouf have all gone. Paul Robinson has seemingly played his last game for the club, whilst Dunny waits to see if he the one player who shows real commitment to the cause will be offered a new contract in the summer. Then there is the mysterious case of Gael Givet the eternal bench-warmer who it would seem is never to be actually called into the action. To replace this array of talent we have scoured the bargain basement for the likes of Lee Williamson, Cameron Stewart, Josh King and David Jones, amongst others, all good journeymen every one, but nowhere near the same calibre as those we have lost.

 

The sad fact is that Dunny apart, until he tired in the second half, the Rovers had nobody who could provide that spark of magic to undo a very ordinary Wednesday defence. However, in Jermaine Johnson the home side had a player who had little trouble in destroying the Rovers back-line time and time again.

 

After the debacle at Cardiff, Gary Bowyer made six changes to his starting line-up with Grzegorz Sandomierski, Jason Lowe, Lee Williamson, Cameron Stewart, David Dunn and Jordan Rhodes all coming in to the starting eleven.

 

Sheffield started positively and straight from the kick-off drove into the Rovers area and won a corner within the first minute of the game. However, after a few minutes of early pressure from Wednesday, the game settled down and the Rovers started to enjoy a little more possession.

 

On 12 minutes the Rovers got a major boost when Chris Kirkland felled Dunn in the area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The move had started with a ball played forward by Lowe which enabled Rhodes to get the better of Miguel Llera before he was thwarted by Kirkland. However, the ball broke for Dunn who was brought down as he attempted to round Kirkland, who was anxiously trying to regain his ground after the initial save. Rhodes picked up the ball and calmly sent Kirkland the wrong way as he slotted home the spot-kick.

 

The Rovers enjoyed a spell of possession as the home side seemed rattled by the early goal. However, it was clear that Wednesday carried a threat down both flanks with Jermaine Johnson looking particularly impressive.

 

Sadly, the Rovers were, once again, masters of their own downfall when a shockingly inept piece of play by Williamson, after 20 minutes, allowed the whippet-like Johnson to pick up the ball, race into the area and then beat Sandomierski with a perfectly placed low shot which found the net.

 

The goal provided the spark that Wednesday and the large home crowd required and only excellent work by Sandomierski prevented Jeremy Helan from giving Wednesday the lead. The corner that followed brought more mayhem in the Rovers ranks until an agricultural hack from Scott Dann cleared the lines and allowed the Rovers to regroup.

 

The home side were now enjoying far more of the ball and their direct running was causing problems for the Rovers down the flanks. With ten minutes to go before half-time the Rovers fell behind to a somewhat controversial penalty decision. A deep cross from Reda Johnson was confidently claimed by Sandomierski. However, the officials deemed that a combination of Josh Morris and Grant Hanley had pushed Leroy Lita as he waited for the cross and a penalty was awarded. Lita, like Rhodes before him, sent the 'keeper the wrong way to convert the spot-kick with ease.

 

Long-range efforts from Dunn and Kane were well held by Kirkland and the Rovers had cause to be grateful to Sandomierski when he did well to thwart Lita when the Wednesday man seemed certain to score.

 

The Rovers started the second half strongly and enjoyed the greater share of possession as they forced Wednesday onto the defensive. Wednesday began to employ a "they shall not pass" mentality which brought an increasing number of free-kicks as Rovers players were hacked down whenever they threatened to get clear. Dunn, in particular, came in for some harsh treatment and got very little in the way of protection from a weak set of officials.

 

On 71 minutes the Rovers' endeavours were finally rewarded with an equaliser. A corner from Jones was only partially cleared and when the ball fell to Josh King, who had replaced the disappointing Williamson, the former Manchester United man swung the ball over to the back post where Scott Dann headed back across goal into the far side of the net.

 

Having got on level terms it seemed as if the Rovers would go on and win the game as they were enjoying the greater share of the attacking play. Unfortunately, it was when one of these attacks broke down that Wednesday were provided with the opportunity to take the lead. Once the ball found its way to the feet of the ever dangerous Jermaine Johnson, the Wednesday man set off in determined fashion towards the Rovers goal. Evading anything that resembled a challenge he got within 25 yards of goal then unleashed a strike which beat the dive of Sandomierski and found the corner of the net.

 

The Rovers tried to get back into the game, but Wednesday settled for what they had and played out time quite successfully deep in the Rovers half. Indeed, they might even have stretched their lead with Helan firing over when clean through and then in the final moments they carved out a wonderful chance when the ball found its way to Kieran Lee in front of goal. Fortunately, Sandomierski was alert and was able to make a save with his legs to prevent Wednesday from scoring a fourth goal.

 

In goal Grzegorz Sandomierski did everything that could be expected of him and but for one or two crucial saves the margin of defeat could have been greater. His handling on crosses was good and he looked positive when he elected to punch the ball clear. However, he looked to be caught somewhat by surprise with the third goal and was possibly a little late in trying to get down to make a save.

 

At right-back, young Todd Kane looked very impressive both defensively and whenever he got forward. He is comfortable on the ball, is prepared to take people on and isn't afraid to have a go at goal. Josh Morris worked hard at left-back but struggled to contain Sheffield down the flank. The pace and quick feet of players like Jermaine Johnson and Leroy Lita caused him problems, but at least he stuck to the task.

 

Grant Hanley and Scott Dann were again impressive in the centre, although Hanley was caught out on a couple of occasions and had to give away needless fouls. Despite the improved form of the centre-back pairing, the fact remains that the Rovers are conceding far too many goals.

 

Once again, David Dunn was the pick of the midfield men and was the one player who looked capable of breaking down the Wednesday defence. Unfortunately, he appeared to be targeted for some rough treatment in the second half and received very little protection from the referee.

 

Lee Williamson, Jason Lowe and David Jones were workmanlike but nothing more. Indeed, Williamson struggled to get into the game and was directly responsible for the opening Wednesday goal.

 

Cameron Stewart made little or no impression on the left wing before being withdrawn along with Williamson early in the second half.

 

Jordan Rhodes again ploughed a lone furrow up front, but at times his link-up play was better than it has been of late. Once again, with limited service he had few chances in front of goal apart from the penalty.

 

Having entered the relegation zone the Rovers now face two crucial home games that will surely decide their ultimate fate. Six points from the games against Derby County and Huddersfield Town and the club have a chance of survival. Anything less and the prospect of trips to the likes of Crawley Town and Stevenage become frighteningly real. Whoever would have thought that one family in India could have wrought so much havoc in such a short space of time?

 

 

 

 

Teams

 

 

 

Sheffield Wednesday

Chris Kirkland; Lewis Buxton, Anthony Gardner, Miguel Llera, Reda Johnson; Giles Coke, Stuart Holden (Kieran Lee 59), Seyi Olofinjana, Jeremy Helan; Jermaine Johnson (Chris Maguire 84), Leroy Lita (Steve Howard 69)

Subs not used: Stephen Bywater (gk), Martin Taylor, Rhys McCabe, David Prutton

Manager: Dave Jones

 

 

 

Blackburn Rovers

Grzegorz Sandomierski; Todd Kane, Scott Dann, Grant Hanley, Josh Morris; David Dunn, Lee Williamson (Joshua King 63), David Jones, Jason Lowe, Cameron Stewart (Colin Kazim-Richards 56); Jordan Rhodes

Subs not used: Sebastian Usai (gk), Gael Givet, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Nuno Gomes, Karim Rekik

Caretaker Manager: Gary Bowyer

 

 

 

Bookings

Sheffield Wednesday Chris Kirkland, Seyi Olofinjana, Anthony Gardner, Reda Johnson

 

Blackburn Rovers David Dunn, Lee Williamson, Todd Kane, Josh Morris

 

 

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Good report PB. You really should do a timeline cataloguing the events over the past two years and have it pinned on the mb for reference by any journo / commentator who is sniffing around to criticise the supporters. There are still plenty of numpty's who think we were horrible to poor little Stevey.

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I'd agree Gord. I'm sure lots of folk would use a reference doc, I often find myself wasting lots of time googling when a certain event happened. Have you seen this from Wayne Wild........ http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rjhkfo .............. covers things for last season, no idea whether PB is the man to write a piece to bring events up to date.

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