Jump to content

30 years ago


Recommended Posts

On 09/04/2024 at 07:09, Chelters said:
Saturday 9 April 1994
FA Carling Premiership
Queens Park Rangers (home)
 
After a successful Easter period, the Owls looked to continue their recent upswing in form against a slightly troubled Queens Park Rangers side. The Rs had been the top placed London side in the country the previous season, finishing a creditable fifth, and were still operating in the top half of the table. But two heavy defeats prior to this game, and some boardroom shenanigans in the background, had put a bit of a different complexion on their season.
 
On the benches it was a battle of the two Messrs Francis, with former Bristol Rovers - and future Spurs - boss Gerry lining up against our own Tricky Trev. The Rangers' boss was one of those men who found a hairstyle at some point in his 20s or 30s and thought 'right I'm sticking with that' as the spiky mullet he wore throughout his career still seems to be his preferred choice to this day. He had actually been touted for the England manager's job at around this time but lost out to Terry Venables.
 
On the pitch Wednesday made one change to the team that had won the previous three matches, with Gordon Watson deservedly getting a place ahead of Michael Williams. The visitors lined up with some familiar names in their lineup, including Ian Holloway and 15-goal Les Ferdinand.
 
Having scored five in their previous home game, Wednesday's confidence was up and it showed as they streaked into a three goal lead within half an hour. With just 7 minutes on the clock, Watson found a bit of space in the right edge of the penalty area. His cross-cum-shot took a deflection of a QPR defender and rolled invitingly across the 6-yard box for Mark Bright to finish neatly with his left foot.
 
Before Wednesday added their second there was one scare as Ferdinand beat the Owls' offside trap only to skew his resulting effort nearer the corner flag than the goal, resulting in much merriment from the onlooking Kop. The second goal then duly arrived as Bright took down a high ball in the box and, as he prepared to shoot, was tugged back by Karl Ready. Despite the rather futile protestations of the away defenders it was a definite penalty (that's one of those things where you get a free shot from 12 yards out in case you've forgotten what they are) and was duly slotted home by the ever dependable John Sheridan.t
 
Before long it was three as first Nigel Worthington put a defender on his backside with a stepover, his cross was collected by Carlton Palmer whose shot was only parried by Tony Roberts, leaving Bright the simple task of blasting in from close range for his 22nd of the season.
 
3-0 up and cruising at half time, expectations were high for another five goal blast at least but it wasn't to be as Wednesday understandably struggled to keep up the intensity in the second half and the game petered out. Bright had a volley saved by Roberts but the closest to a goal was a cracking effort from the edge of the area by Ryan Jones that crashed off the bar. True to form, the Owls conceded a late goal that was thankfully meaningless on this occasion as half-time substitute Devon White scored with a surprisingly deft finish (I say surprisingly as he was not usually the most subtle of footballers).
 
Most worryingly Des Walker was stretchered off with 20 minutes to go with a suspected broken leg, yet another injury concern in a season littered with them. Thankfully though it just turned out to be heavy bruising. 
 
Despite the rather flat second half this was another impressive win for Wednesday and cemented them in 6th place. Four straight wins had even suddenly opened up an outside chance of Europe, although it would take some permutations of teams above them winning cups both domestic and European for that to happen. 
 
Final score : Wednesday 3-1 QPR
 
Wednesday : Pressman, Nilsson, Worthington, Pearce, Walker (Coleman 71), Bart-Williams, Jones, Sheridan, Palmer, Watson, Bright. Unused subs : Jemson, Woods
 
QPR : Roberts, Bardsley, Wilson, Ready, Yates, Impey, Meaker (White 45), Holloway, Barker, Allen, Ferdinand. Unused subs : Wilkins, Stejskal
 
Attendance : 22,437
 

IMG_2243.thumb.jpeg.4b7998f1cdac9b6105abc69b98fbee6f.jpegIMG_2244.thumb.jpeg.ea3c9c833a5241b3376257909695f041.jpeg

Made (what was to 16 year old me)  an absolute fortune at this game, but nearly got my head kicked in.  Had 3-1 and Bright to score first at 33's so stood up and cheered on the kop when they scored at the end. Had also had a cheeky bet on Miinehoma in the national so went home over £100 up which was a lot to me back then.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Otto_Man said:

Made (what was to 16 year old me)  an absolute fortune at this game, but nearly got my head kicked in.  Had 3-1 and Bright to score first at 33's so stood up and cheered on the kop when they scored at the end. Had also had a cheeky bet on Miinehoma in the national so went home over £100 up which was a lot to me back then.

Fortune favoured the brave!

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saturday 23 April 1994

FA Carling Premiership

Ipswich Town (home)

 

Despite the rather flat performance at Coventry in the previous game, Wednesday were still riding (relatively) high in 6th place but with any outside chance of Europe now pretty much extinguished. They welcomed to Hillsborough a struggling Ipswich side who were a few places above the relegation zone but still very much in trouble. Earlier in the season the Owls had recorded an impressive 4-1 win at Portman Road, kickstarting a run of form that lifted them from the relegation zone to the top half.

 

It was a beautiful April afternoon at Hillsborough and, with no real pressure on the game for Wednesday but some impressive recent form (particularly at home) it was set up for an enjoyable game, and it certainly proved to the case, but only for Wednesdayites.

 

The match was just 6 minutes old when the Owls took the lead. Nigel Worthington found space on the left and drifted a cross into the box, the ball eluded the Wednesday strikers but was then inexplicably headed into the top corner by David Linighan for an own goal. The Linighan family had a strange relationship with the Owls, with Andy of course scoring that FA Cup goal but also having scored an own goal himself at Hillsborough in his Norwich days, and younger brothers Brian and John in the Wednesday setup.

 

Ipswich were clearly struggling and it took just 10 more minutes for Wednesday to make it two as a lovely ball behind the defence from Ryan Jones was slotted in first time by Gordon Watson. The game looked already done and Wednesday continued to pour forward, with only some missed chances and stubborn goalkeeping by Craig Forrest keeping the score down. Mark Bright could have had a first half hat-trick but didn't manage to convert any of the chances whilst Carlton Palmer was unlucky to not find an Owls shirt with his cutback after rounding the keeper. Ipswich had one chance when Kevin Pressman saved from Ian Marshall, but the Tractor Boys could consider themselves fortunate to be only two down at the break.

 

Unlike the previous home game against QPR, there was no let up in the second half. In the 56th minute, John Sheridan's free kick was flicked on for Andy Pearce to head home in front of a delighted Kop. With 20 minutes to go Worthington was again the provider as his cross was headed home at the near post by Chris Bart-Williams for the fourth. All the goals were being celebrated by the home crowd in that laid-back, polite end of season way that a crowd has when their team is knocking it about nicely in a no-pressure game.

 

There was still time for a fifth in injury time, Graham Hyde did all the hard work as his first effort was saved, his second looped onto the crossbar and Mark Bright hammered the ball in from close range. Then the house was almost brought down by a Des Walker goal but he just failed to connect from close range. It would have marked a great season for the ever-present England defender who had just been crowned the Supporters' Player of the Year.

 

Ipswich were shellshocked and getting deeper in trouble, whilst Wednesday made it 16 goals in four home games and elevated them, for now at least, to the position of top home scorers in the Premiership. 

 

Final score : Wednesday 5-0 Ipswich

 

Wednesday : Pressman, Nilsson, Worthington, Pearce, Walker, Bart-Williams, Jones, Sheridan (Hyde 84), Palmer, Watson (Jemson 84), Bright. Unused sub : Woods

 

Ipswich : Forrest, Stockwell, Johnson, Linighan, Wark, Palmer, Slater, Williams (Yallop 66), Milton (Guentchev 60), Kiwomya, Marshall. Unused sub : Barker

 

Attendance : 23,475

 

IMG_2248.thumb.jpeg.db89d3220583018378441ef8e618130d.jpegIMG_2249.thumb.jpeg.8f5fd9400d13200daa153ae85fbe28eb.jpeg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saturday 30 April 1994

FA Carling Premiership

Oldham Athletic (away)

 

Wednesday travelled to Boundary Park on a good run of form, but this had the look of a tricky game at a ground where the Owls tended to struggle and with Oldham desperate for points to avoid relegation. Whilst Wednesday still had some injury problems, they had settled somewhat, meaning it was a side unchanged from the comfortable 5-0 victory over Ipswich. The Latics lined up with SWFC arch nemesis Graeme Sharp up front alongside Sean McCarthy, who had been linked with a switch to Hillsborough earlier in the season.

 

Oldham had been forced to rip up their ever unpopular plastic pitch in recent seasons, but the state of the pitch for this game was such that Wednesday would have probably preferred to have it relaid, as they were faced with an unusually hard and bobbly surface. With Oldham looking to make the game difficult, it was not set up for a vintage performance from the Owls.

 

As expected, the hosts went at it from the off and Wednesday struggled to get any passing going. McCarthy blazed over in the 5th minute when he should have done better, and his strike partner was denied by a sharp stop (see what I did there) from Kevin Pressman, a save which drew high praise from Joe Royle after the game. A scrappy first half ended goalless.

 

Wednesday did improve a bit in the second half and carved out a couple of chances, with Chris Bart-WIlliams forcing a save from home keeper Paul Gerrard, followed by Andy Pearce's header being clutched at the second attempt by the England Under-21 custodian. Midway through the second half Trevor Francis - in his own words - 'gave up' trying to play any football and replaced Bart-Williams and John Sheridan with Nigel Jemson and Graham Hyde. 

 

It didn't really make much difference as the remainder of the game was played out in a similarly turgid style, with Oldham almost getting a vital win when McCarthy's shot bounced back off the post. Craig Fleming blocked from Nigel Worthington late on but, in truth, neither side really deserved to take the three points and Wednesday were probably happy to end the game relatively unscathed.

 

A point was not really good enough for the Latics, who were to find themselves relegated a week later and have not got anywhere near being back in the top flight since. For Wednesday it was a rather unenjoyable day on the pitch, but a slightly more entertaining one off it with some away day fancy dress and the showering of Gordon Watson with daffodils (if anyone knows why, please let me know). 

 

Final score : Oldham 0-0 Wednesday

 

Oldham : Gerrard, Makin, Pointon, Fleming, Jobson, Bernard (Beckford 64), Holden, Henry, Milligan, McCarthy, Sharp. Unused subs : Redmond, Hallworth

 

Wednesday : Pressman, Nilsson, Worthington, Pearce, Walker, Bart-WIlliams (Jemson 68), Jones, Sheridan (Hyde 68), Palmer, Watson, Bright. Unused sub : Woods

 

Attendance : 12,967

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I did go to that game, but don't recall the daffodils for Watson. I do recall my mate had a new company car which he drove like an idiot. We got back to High Green not much later than we would have done from Hillsborough

Edited by mkowl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, mkowl said:

 I did go to that game, but don't recall the daffodils for Watson. I do recall my mate had a new company car which he drove like an idiot. We got back to High Green not much later than we would have done from Hillsborough

What was the car? Not that I remember anyone driving back from the wrong side of the Pennines like a complete bell. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, HoylandOwl said:

What was the car? Not that I remember anyone driving back from the wrong side of the Pennines like a complete bell. 

Crikey I think it was a Nissan - did they do something called the Bluebird.

Anyway it was an upgrade - said mate had previously worked at Fletchers, he had one of the bread vans that used to deliver around the estates. So we used to get lifts in that, free left over buns and a cracking free parking space.

He had gotten a new job - which may have been related to the fact he was delivering slightly more than buns to a bored housewife on some rough estate in Dingle land, which was fine until the aggressive husband found out. A Fletchers van was not a quick getaway choice 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, mkowl said:

Crikey I think it was a Nissan - did they do something called the Bluebird.

Anyway it was an upgrade - said mate had previously worked at Fletchers, he had one of the bread vans that used to deliver around the estates. So we used to get lifts in that, free left over buns and a cracking free parking space.

He had gotten a new job - which may have been related to the fact he was delivering slightly more than buns to a bored housewife on some rough estate in Dingle land, which was fine until the aggressive husband found out. A Fletchers van was not a quick getaway choice 

The bluebird was a massive big tank of a car IIRC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tuesday 3rd May 1994

FA Carling Premiership

Leeds United (away)

 

Wednesday made the short trip up the M1 to Leeds for the final away game of the season in a midweek fixture (that I assume must have been rearranged for some reason). With Leeds just a couple of places and 4 points ahead of the Owls, the bragging rights of top club in Yorkshire were at stake if nothing else. There was, of course, another team in Yorkshire in the Premiership but let's just say they weren't exactly in the running for that accolade (and never will be of course).

 

Wednesday kept with the settled team that was finishing the season in such good form, except for an enforced change at right back as Simon Coleman replaced Roland Nilsson. There was a good atmosphere at Elland Road as both sets of fans wanted the win, and Howard Wilkinson was obviously keen to keep up his unbeaten run against the club he had left in 1988.

 

Wednesday played some good, confident football in the first half and were rewarded with a goal in the 20th minute and a lovely goal it was too. Gordon Watson produced a brilliant back heel from the corner of the box into Mark Bright, he squared for Carlton Palmer who in turn had the presence of mind to lay in Chris Bart-WIlliams, who finished confidently past John Lukic.

 

The Owls continued to make chances, mainly for Watson who put one chance over and saw another saved by Lukic. The home side for their part saw a Gary McAllister effort saved by Kevin Pressman but it was Wednesday who were in front at the break.

 

Seven minutes into the second half the lead was extended as John Sheridan played a typically perfectly weighted through ball into Watson. The young striker did well to deal with a knee-high bobble before rounding Lukic and slamming into the net in front of the delighted Wednesdayites. Given the Owls' recent form, it looked like another fine win would be on the cards.

 

Sadly though Wednesday's inability to hold onto leads came back to haunt them as they began to tire and the home side found some impetus. With 19 minutes to go Gordon Strachan's low cross was looped over to the far post by a deflection for the onrushing David White to finish from close range. Leeds were suddenly on the offensive as the home fans got giddy and were level within a few minutes, this time Brian Deane played a lovely flick (he was probably trying to control it) through to Rod Wallace, and the serial Owls tormentor finished despite Pressman getting a touch. 

 

The game had completely swung by this point and Wednesday did well to hold on to a point in the end as White, Wallace and McAllister all had further chances. And so the spoils were shared, meaning that, with just one game left, Leeds would take the position as top dogs in Yorkshire for this season.

 

Final score : Leeds 2-2 Wednesday

 

Leeds : Lukic, Kelly, Sharp (White 45), Wetherall, O'Leary, Strachan, Speed (Tinkler 43), Fairclough, McAllister, Wallace, Deane. Unused sub : Beeney

 

Wednesday : Pressman, Coleman, Worthington, Pearce, Walker, Bart-Williams, Jones, Palmer, Sheridan (Hyde 82), Watson, Bright (Jemson 82). Unused sub : Woods

 

Attendance : 33,806

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I’m a day early but thought I would get this done…

 

Saturday 7th May 1994

FA Carling Premiership

Manchester City (home)

 

The 1993/94 season drew to a close with a home game against Manchester City. Wednesday went into the game in 7th place, 3 points ahead of Liverpool but with a vastly superior goal difference, and 2 points behind Wimbledon. The Dons were away to an Everton side needing a win to stay up, so the Owls could finish the season in 6th if they could win and the Toffees could pull off the great escape.

 

City, under the rather dour stewardship of the somewhat unpopular Brian Horton, arrived at Hillsborough at the end of a disappointing season, only 3 points above Everton but with a sufficient goal difference cushion to alleviate any relegation concerns.

 

One of the most significant events of the day actually happened before the match started as the legend that is Roland Nilsson was presented with a gift (the inevitable decanter) by Trevor Francis and Dave Richards. Nilsson had, of course, announced his desire to return to Sweden for his family, a decision that no Wednesdayite could begrudge him really, but was disappointing nevertheless. Francis was typically magnanimous in his programme notes, stating 'I can't help thinking that he's making a terrible mistake'. Lovely words from Trev.

 

Having scored 16 goals in the previous 4 home games (all wins of course), the expectations were high for another goal-fest on a no-pressure final day in front of a bumper crowd. The game was entertaining enough, but it was to prove a frustrating afternoon as far as the goal tally was concerned. 

 

Wednesday started the game playing their usual brand of football and were on the front foot from the off. Chances were created, perhaps the best when Gordon Watson flew past two defenders but couldn't find a way past Andy Dibble in the CIty goal. Mark Bright had a header from a corner cleared off the line before City missed a good headed chance at the other end.

 

The Owls continued to make chances and were rewarded with the opening goal after 25 minutes. John Sheridan swung a free kick into the box, which was flicked on for Watson to score at the far post with a neat volley. Unfortunately, Wednesday's inability to hold on to a lead was again in evidence 3 minutes into the second half when the defence (perhaps affected by Des Walker's half-time withdrawal) switched off and allowed Uwe Rosler to head home from a free-kick. 

 

There was no let-up though, particularly from Watson, who was buzzing around and causing all sorts of trouble, and once again was thwarted by Dibble after dancing his way into the box. Further chances came and went as Sheridan's powerful free-kick was parried by Dibble, Watson's looping header was just wide and Bright headed over from a driven Bart-Williams cross. The final chance went to Sheridan as he burst into the box and lifted his effort over Dibble only to see it go narrowly wide.

 

So Wednesday  were held to a draw and had to settle for 7th place on a day when they would have gone a place higher with a win, after Everton's unlikely comeback against Wimbledon that saw them safe. With Swindon and Oldham also down there was one place left going into the final few minutes of the season. Cue probably the best part of the day for the Hillsborough faithful as Chelsea's Mark Stein entered his name into that small band of players who are Wednesday legends without having played for the club (Carlos Tevez doing the same thing some years later) by scoring a late goal against the Blades to send them down. 

 

The Owls were left to reflect on a season that had promised much but delivered relatively little compared to the promotions, Wembley wins and European tours of previous seasons.   Injuries to key players like Chris Waddle (already a doubt for the start of the following season), David Hirst, Sheridan, Nigel Pearson and Wothington had not helped but were perhaps a sign of an ageing squad. With Nilsson due to be joined on his way out of the club by other key players over the summer, it's fair to say that we've never had it as good since. We didn't know it at the time but this was the end of an era, with only one top half Premier League finish in the 30 years to follow.

 

Final score : Wednesday 1-1 Man City

 

Wednesday : Pressman, Nilsson, Worthington, Pearce, Walker (Hyde 45), Palmer, Sheridan, Jones, Bart-Williams, Watson, Bright. Unused subs : Jemson, Woods.

 

Man City : Dibble, Edghill, Phelan, Kernaghan, Vonk (Flitcroft 31), Rocastle (Lomas 83), McMahon, Brightwell, Beagrie, Walsh, Rosler. Unused sub : Coton.

 

Attendance : 33,589

 

So that's it for the 1993/94 season folks. Hope you've enjoyed this dip back into nostalgia and that I've done Cheat, the original founder of this idea, justice in keeping it going. Thanks for reading and I'll be back in August for all the excitement of the 1994/95 season.

 

Cheers for now

Chelters

 

IMG_2262.thumb.jpeg.49f3615bc714197317de094129e26cee.jpegIMG_2263.thumb.jpeg.14781be513af113b90792813d2a8e7d2.jpeg

Edited by Chelters
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for doing it and bringing back memories from that time.

As mentioned over this thread, it was in hindsight peak Wednesday. Perhaps we were seeing how the bigger clubs were starting to pull away, the influence of more foreign players and without deep pockets it was hard to sustain the competitive edge.

That is with a lot of hindsight because the mood would have been slight disappointment at only finishing 7th ! But with good expectations for the following season. 

(I was probably moaning tbh) 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

√ó
√ó
  • Create New...