Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Sheffield United – League 1


On Sunday 26th February I was at Hillsborough for the Steel City derby between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

Having seen a classic match at Bramall Lane earlier in the season between the two Sheffield clubs which ended 2-2, the opportunity to see the return fixture at Hillsborough was too good to turn down.

We arrived just over an hour before kick off and walked all around the stadium soaking up the derby day atmosphere as well as taking plenty of photographs. At one point, I spotted Oldham Athletic manager Paul Dickov who was more than happy to pose for a photograph with me. The buzz of anticipation outside the ground was brilliant with both sets of supporters proudly wearing their colours and singing loudly before they had even gone through the turnstiles.

After some time I  took my seat in the South Stand. I have visited Hillsborough on 3 previous occasions, all of which were with Chesterfield and so this was the first time that I had sat with the Sheffield Wednesday supporters.

The atmosphere inside the ground was electric with a sell out crowd of 36,364 watching the action, 4,700 of who were supporting the Blades. Both sets of fans were in good voice as the game got underway but the early exchanges were rather scrappy with neither side grasping control of the game.

The first chance fell to Chris O’Grady whose header flew over the crossbar and in to the Kop. United then came just inches away from opening the scoring when Lee Williamson’s free kick hit the underside of the bar and bounced down on to the line before Owls goalkeeper Stephen Bywater smothered the ball and the scores remained level.

The first half was fairly even and rather scrappy in parts. Wednesday’s new loan signing Michail Antonio fired the ball across the United box but Ryan Lowe just couldn’t reach it to convert the chance, while a half-hearted effort from 30 yards out by Ched Evans flew well wide of the post. The first 45 minutes were goalless and it was all to play for in the second period.

At half time, 1966 World Cup winner and former Wednesday manager Jack Charlton came out on the pitch to do some presentations which meant I have seen both the Charlton brothers in real life now this year! Jack had been at Hillsborough the previous evening for a dinner with several of the team from the Owls famous “Boxing Day Massacre” squad of 1979.

The Owls came out in the second half playing slightly better and looked the more likely to open the scoring. However, there were no real clear cut chances it was still goalless as the hour mark approached. As a result, Gary Megson replaced Ryan Lowe with the clubs top scorer Gary Madine in the hope of having more success in front of goal.

On the 73rd minute pressure paid off when Lewis Buxton broke down the wing and his cross met the head of O’Grady whose header beat Steve Simonsen and flew in to the net to put the home side ahead in the Steel City derby.

The Blades were forced to go looking for a goal now and began to pile pressure on the Wednesday defenders who coped well with everything that was thrown at them. Danny Wilson brought on James Beattie as a final role of the dice and United nearly did snatch a late point when Will Hoskins’ header was tipped over the bar by Bywater. However, the Owls managed to hold on and earned not only the bragging rights but a big 3 points that moves them up to 3rd in the League 1 table and within 2 points of the Blades. The win was also Wednesday’s first in the derby since February 2009 and it will certainly be a day to remember for the supporters of the Owls.

After the game I met and had a picture with the legendary Sheffield Wednesday supporter Paul “Tango” Gregory in the club shop. I also had pictures with Wednesday players John Bostock, Richard O’Donnell, Clinton Morrison, Nicky Weaver, Ryan Lowe, Stephen Bywater, Gary Madine and Lewis Buxton as well as United players Steve Simonsen, Johnny Ertl, Andy Taylor, Marcus Williams, Lescinel Jean-Francois, Harry Maguire, Michael Doyle, Ched Evans, Stephen Quinn, Nick Montgomery, Lee Williamson and James Beattie before heading home.

Being born and bred in Sheffield myself,  I found it interesting to see the tie from both perspectives across the two games this season at Bramall Lane and Hillsborough. Overall,  I had another great day watching the Sheffield derby and it is always a great game to attend for any football fan.

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Sheffield United

O’Grady ’73

 Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, Semedo, R Johnson, Prutton (M Jones ’63), Lines, Antonio (Llera ’90), O’Grady, Lowe (Madine ’59)
Simon, Lowton, Jean-Francois, Collins, Maguire, Montgomerry (Flynn ’79), Doyle, Williamson, Quinn (Beattie ’86), Evans, Cresswell (Hoskins ’84)

Heading to Hillsborough for the Steel City derby

Sheffield United Academy sign near Hillsborough

Wednesday fans make their way to the ground

Terraced houses surround the stadium

Fans queue at a burger van outside the ground

It's derby day

I buy the matchday programme

The Owls Megastore

The Badge

Outside Hillsborough ahead of my 4th match at the stadium

Fans make their way through the turnstiles and in to the ground

Home fans head through the turnstiles

Owls fans outside Hillsborough

Outside the main reception at Hillsborough

with Oldham Athletic manager Paul Dickov

Owls supporters head to the South Stand

Wednesday supporter Matt and his daughter Sophie

Next match at Hillsborough sign on the Leppings Lane End

The away end

A Blades supporter outside Hillsborough

A van parked outside the ground!

The Leppings Lane End

The North Stand

The Kop

Inside Hillsborough, sat with home supporters for the first time

The United players walk to the dressing rooms after a pre-match warm up

Looking towards the Kop from the South Stand

United and Wednesday Academy's on the pitch prior to kick off

Reading about Chesterfield's victory over Wednesday last week!

United supporters on the away end

Blades await the kick off

Counting down the minutes until 1 o'clock

Welcome to Hillsborough

Two of the best nicknames in the football league!

The mascots and the cameras await the players

A cuddly toy pig dressed in the Sheffield United strip sits on top of the Owls flag!

The Sheffield Wednesday flag travels up the Kop

A United supporter shows off his own flag

The two sets off players make their way on to the pitch

The teams line up

The opposition players shake hands

Nick Montgomery applauds the away supporters while some Dutch Owls unveil their flag

A final warm up before the game

The Blades are ready for kick off

The home side make final preparations

The two captains and the referee

Both sets of supporters await the kick off

Sheffield Wednesday get the derby underway

Our view of the action

Tango and his fellow Wednesday supporters watch the early stages

A cameraman films from the empty corner

United attack early on

The United players are put under pressure

Gary Megson and Danny Wilson on the touchline

Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson, who was previously in charge of Wednesday, watches the game

Gary Megson shouts orders to his players

A header for Wednesday flies over the crossbar

Match action

Ryan Lowe has a word with the referee after being awarded a free kick

Stephen Quinn is fouled

The referee pulls the wall back

The ball hits the underside of the bar and falls to the goalkeeper

Quinn beats the Wednesday defender

United and Wednesday players argue

Players from both sides warm up

Stephen Bywater takes a goal kick

Lewis Buxton

Wednesday fans watching the action

Wednesday supporters

Lescinel Jean-Francois takes a throw in

Another first half attack comes to nothing

Megson and Wilson become frustrated at their sides lack of chances

Owls players stand over another free kick

A simple save for Simonsen

The referee keeps an eye on Chris O'Grady

Almost half time and neither side have found the net

Wednesday fans watch the match intentley

Blades fans aim their chants towards Gary Megson

Megson sends a message to the away fans in reply

The Wednesday players have a drink during a break in play

Stephen Quinn on the ball

New Wednesday signing Michail Antonio stands next to Richard Cresswell

Former Premiership referee Uriah Rennie at half time

Jack Charlton presents an award

Jack smiles for the cameras

Ozzie Owl

My Dad and his friend Ben have a photo with Barney the Owl!

United get the second half underway

Wednesday players warming up

The club photographer looks on as United try to attack

Gary Madine replaces Ryan Lowe

The Owls push forward

Chris O'Grady's header puts the home side ahead in the derby

The players celebrate with their manager

Chris O'Grady is the goalscorer

Wednesday lead with 17 minutes to go

Owls fans in the Kop celebrate taking the lead

Danny Wilson attempts to change things around

Megson looks to hold on to the 1-0 lead

Only seconds left and the Owls still lead

The final whistle blows and Sheffield Wednesday have won

Wednesday and United players shake hands at full time

The players applaud their fans

Gary Megson celebrates his first Steel City derby win

Disappointed United supporters head home

Tango enjoys his teams victory

The fans eventually disperse after watching their side win 1-0

Two Wednesday fans from Malta savour the moment

The supporters set off home

with Tango after the match!

John Bostock

Steve Simonsen

Johnny Ertl

Andy Taylor

Richard O'Donnell

Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams and Lescinel Jean-Francois

Clinton Morrison

Nicky Weaver

Harry Maguire

Ryan Lowe

Michael Doyle

Ched Evans

Stephen Quinn

Stephen Bywater

Doncaster Rovers player Kyle Bennett who was in attendance today

Gary Madine

Nick Montgommery

Lee Williamson

Lewis Buxton

James Beattie

A final photo of Hillsborough

The United team coach heads back to Bramall Lane

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8 comments

  1. Am I correct in thinking you want to be a sports reporter? You’re not bad with the camera either.
    Good stuff.

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