A decent test against a Wednesday side which showed more than their league position suggested they might. Here's Ffion Thomas to tell you about it.....
Among the many positives of our play from the hour mark onwards, it was great to see Kieran Dowell come on and have a really big impact on the game. On several occasions he’s struggled to make his mark as a substitute but he was positive and productive and on this evidence I’d expect him to get plenty of minutes in these last ten games.
A combination of too many poor touches and a compact Sheffield Wednesday swarming our every move having taken advantage of their early chance made the first half a frustrating watch. But we remained patient, upped the energy, and then those passes started to stick.
Moment of the Match
Not a moment, a sound – the very audible rattle of the goalframe as Todd Cantwell’s shot crashed off the underside of the bar and in. A superb goal worthy of winning any game and one that will be up there with the defining memories of this season, especially with the brilliant tackle from Emi to start the move off. All that was missing was a full away end to celebrate it.
Stuck with the substitution already being prepared before the equaliser went in and it paid off, with Dowell’s introduction taking us up another gear or two and we never looked back.
Random Star Performer
It was just another typically brilliant performance from Teemu Pukki. His workrate continues to be incredible – one standout moment came in the first half when he won the ball back after chasing a Wednesday player along the touchline all the way back into our own half – while the stat of 50 goals in 75 games at this level is absolutely mind-blowing. That’s two weeks in a row he’s smashed one into the top corner, which (to me anyway) seem like quite un-Pukki-like finishes when he normally goes for the bottom corners, but maybe that’s what confidence does for you.
This was a good test. A glance at the form guide indicated an easy away win was on the cards but, desperate for points and having had a full week on the training ground under a new manager with plenty of fresh ideas, for an hour Wednesday worked hard and did a decent job on us, much like Wycombe two weeks ago. But they struggled to maintain that intensity once we got things flowing and, of course, made the mistake of giving Teemu and Todd the time and space to tee themselves up for two absolutely unstoppable finishes into the same top-left corner. Good teams find a way to win, and we are a good team.
We were getting ready for issue 5 of the fanzine and thought it might be interesting to post some of the old pieces from the archives - here's Richard Jeffery on a memorable day out, for the last day of standing on The Kop at Anfield.....