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Vacant Possession: Sheff Wed Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 04/04/2004

A bright afternoon with a curly-swirly wind wafting erratically through the rafters of the old place. The entire Osmond End was jam packed full of exotic glitterati, down from the big city at their weekend retreats, their second homes on the coast. My, the Fitties was full.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Sheff Wed (h)

Grimsby Town 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0
03 Apr 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

The Town fans trooped in to Nicky’s Ark two-by-two, expectations low, hope not so much absent as hidden inside a lockable metal box and buried in concrete underneath that new bit of the garden, set aside for barbecues. All decking and pot plants. We know where it is, we can go and get it if we want, but we don’t have to have it on public show. It’s our little secret, our special stuff.

Town warmed up in three groups, playing one-touch football, a Boschian triptych if ever there was one. Mansaram and Monsieur Hulot, with Ford as the straight man: shuddersomely hypnotic viewing. The horror, the horror. What has Jevons done to his hair? Ran out of time at the barbers? Or a big boy’s joke perpetrated by "Craney" as he slept after Thursday’s light shopping trip to BHS? The left temple shaved higher than the right, making it look like his wig had slipped. Come to think of it, what about Mr Fettis, our friend from the North Bank. He’s increasingly turning into a giant garden gnome, with balaclava hair. I fully expect him to sprout a grow bag beard and take a little fishing rod out at QPR.

Oh yeah, the football match. Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. So, who goes there in Law’s Lottery? "At right back we have......Number 4 (Simon Ford). At left back ......Number 26 (Jason Crowe)". Wahey, Law forced to play Edwards! At centre back! The team was just about (given the personnel available) what every sane, and perhaps even insane, Town fan would have chosen. Jevons on the left wing, Anderson the right, Crane and Edwards back together in the centre of defence. And on seeing that line up, the Town fans gave a little smile to themselves and began to dig up the patio, for the concrete hadn’t set just yet.

Wednesday? They were at the other end and ponced about prettily in front of their increasingly surly supporters. They played in some leisurewear, a sort of light tan affair, with Terry Cooke scampering about on the periphery. Given that 465 footballers have whizzed through the automatic doors at Blundell Park since he left, you can forgive the Town fans for failing to recognized the name, so he was neither cheered nor jeered.

1st half

Wednesday kicked off and kept the ball for a few seconds, not long, but enough to sate their appetite. Then a Wednesday player kicked the ball out of the ground. Oh no, my mistake, it was Crane. It’s so difficult to tell them apart these days, they all look the same, don’t they, these footballers. Town had a very satisfactory opening ten minutes and, most unexpectedly of all, they passed the ball to each other. Coldicott clamped, Lawrence bustled, with only a couple of "Des" moments, Rankin whirled around, pestering the rather lightweight looking Wednesday defenders. Ooh, nearly, Mansaram chasing a Jevons’ flick. And nearly again, Jevons, up to Mansaram on the right corner of the Owl area, a first time flick and Lawrence bounding after the ball, chasing, chasing as it bombled across the mud. He’s still chasing it.

Another surge, this time down the right with a Lawrence cross shinned away at the near post. Good, good, fine, this is what we remember. Passion and passing. Very nice. In the fifth minute the ailing aristocrats spread some benevolence our way. Crowe gave the ball away then won it back about 10 yards inside the Wednesday half, near the touchline. If your stripes are blue then you’d say Ndumbu-Nsungu was a right wimp. Whatever, the ball rolled to Jevons who took out a cloth and vigorously rubbed the ball, making it sparkle. He caressed a right footed dink over the top of the defence into the twilight zone between defence and ‘keeper. Pressman, that huge hulking barrel, waddled off his line and stopped. Barry-Murphy got his body between Mansaram and the ball. There then followed a Mexican stand off as the Wednesdayites had a staring competition. The ball kissed the defender’s thigh and trickled slowly, slowly, slowly past Pressman exiting stage left pursued by a bear, well, Mansaram actually. A lovely, lovely BARRY-MURPHY OWN GOAL, no need to beware geeks bearing gifts today.

Cranegoalyellow card
Croweyellow card


Antoine-Curier38 mins
Rowan67 mins


Philip Dowd


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The report continues in Part Two.

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