On Saturday 3rd November 2012 I went to Hillsborough to spend another day with the media team for Sheffield Wednesday’s game against Peterborough United in the Championship.
After spending a day with the Sheffield Wednesday media team in September, I was invited back for their game against Peterborough United today. This time I was given the chance to attempt my first ever running match report which was another great opportunity for me.
Upon arrival I noticed Wednesday players Danny Mayor and Rodri making their way in to the ground and got a photo with them both. I also saw the visitors coach arrive and got photos with manager Darren Ferguson, the son of Sir Alex, and captain Michael Bostwick.
I was once again greeted by Trevor Braithwait, who writes the match reports for the official website. He gave me some tips on how to write a report as the action happens before I took my place in the press box.
The two teams were both at the wrong end of the table coming in to this game and looking to climb away from the danger zone with a victory in today’s game. A 3-0 win against fellow strugglers Ipswich Town had ended a treacherous run of form for the Owls and seen them pick up their first three points since August. Meanwhile, Posh had picked up victories over Derby and Huddersfield Town in their last two games to move out of the relegation zone but still remained above Wednesday by just a single goal.
Dave Jones named an unchanged starting eleven from the Owls’ comfortable victory at Portman Road last week, with Chris O’Grady leading the attack in a 4-3-3 formation that saw Michail Antonio and Jay Bothroyd on the wings.
Meanwhile, Darren Ferguson also named the same side for Peterborough United after an impressive 3-0 victory against Derby County in their previous game, with Michael Bostwick captaining the team.
The first sight of goal came for the Owls on around the 10 minute mark when Llera played an excellent ball through to Bothroyd, but he fired a weak effort in to the arms of goalkeeper Robert Olejnik.
The Owls began to look more dangerous and looked the more likely to open the scoring.
Lewis Buxton charged down the right wing, beating a couple of players before finding Barkley in the area. The Everton loanee fired from a tight angle but his effort was palmed away by the goalkeeper and the resulting corner came to nothing.
Llera then came close to giving the home side the lead when his header from a Bothroyd corner flew just inches over the crossbar.
However, after a slow start from the visitors the game began to even out. The action was once again very scrappy with neither side able to create any clear cut chances as the two struggling sides battled for an advantage.
Wednesday made the perfect start to the second period, taking the lead after just 15 seconds. It came straight from the kick off with Barkley picking up possession just outside the area, cutting inside and unleashing a tremendous strike that flew in to the back of the net to put the home side 1-0 ahead.
Despite a breakthrough, the game continued to see very few good chances as the two sides cancelled each other out in the middle of the park.
A couple of challenges on Antonio inside the area in quick succession saw penalty appeals which were waved away by the referee, much to the frustration of the home supporters who made their opinions known to Mr Drysdale.
Antonio should have doubled the home side’s lead with just under 15 minutes to go when he went one on one with the goalkeeper before firing his effort wide of the target.
On the 77th minute it was 2-0 to the Owls courtesy of a header from Llera. Antonio crossed the ball with the outside of his foot, found Llera unmarked in front of goal and the Spaniard directed the ball in to the top corner.
However, the Posh were back in the contest immediately. Boyd fired a low shot from outside the area past Chris Kirkland to give Peterborough hope of salvaging something from the match.
The Owls searched for another goal to finally guarantee the points and Llera came close to scoring his second goal of the game with a close range header that Olejnik did well to keep out.
Five additional minutes resulted in a nervy ending for the Owls, but the defence remained solid and saw out the victory which moves them out of the bottom three.
The result saw Wednesday move up to 19th place in the Championship table and 3 points above the relegation zone. Peterborough fell back in to the bottom three after a short absence and are currently in 22nd position.
After the game I was allowed to go and watch the press conferences. First to face the press was Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones who was pleased to see his side’s second consecutive league win. He said that the game was “very slow tempo, but you have to win games like that and we did.”
Scorer Miguel Llera also did a post match press conference and told the journalists that “it doesn’t matter who scores the goals as long as we get the 3 points.” He also claimed that Wednesday were a better side than their league position suggested and said “Peterborough didn’t have a single clear chance and still scored a goal, which is disappointing.”
Finally, Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson was interviewed. He was clearly disappointed but said that “at this stage the league position isn’t important, I know how many points we need to stay up”. Ferguson also said “We have put ourselves in a difficult position with a slow start.”
I had another great day with the Sheffield Wednesday media team and it was a great experience for me to write my first running match report. A big thanks to Trevor Braithwait and everyone at Hillsborough for inviting me to today’s match.
Sheffield Wednesday 2–1 Peterborough United
Barkley ’46, Llera ’76, Boyd ’79Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, D Jones, Llera, Semedo, Antonio, Corry (McCabe ’24), Barkley, O’Grady (Madine ’68), Bothroyd (J Johnson ’90) Olejnik, Alcock, Brisley, Little, Ntlhe (Newell ’62), Bostwick, McCann (Swanson ’74), Knight-Percival, Tomlin, Boyd, Berahino (Mendez-Laing ’82) Attendance: 22,406