Main Page

Quick Links

The Rest
   Club info
   Last Season
   Unlikely Lads
   A-Z Index



Season 2003-04
Sheffield Wednesday (a) Friendly

Date: Friday 1st August 2003, 7.45pm

Venue:  Hillsborough

warm and humid

£10, £5 concessions, £2 programmes



Sheffield Wednesday

4 - 3 Newcastle United


2 mins Newcastle found themselves one down after just 90 seconds after Hugo Viana carelessly gave away possession down the left wing. Richard Evans' near post cross was converted easily by Owusu from six yards, giving Harper no chance 0-1

20 mins Dyer played a neat one-two with Ameobi to side foot into the net from close range at the Kop end of the ground 1-1 

Half time: Sheff Weds 1 Newcastle 1

47 mins Dyer this time turned provider, latching on to Lua Lua's through ball. His effort was saved but Ameobi was on hand to slot in the rebound 2-1

65 mins Robbie Elliott was brought down 22 yards out and off a short run-up Lua Lua powered a lovely free kick into the top right corner of Pressman's net 3-1

68 mins Former Orient defender Dean Smith powered home a header from a Cooke corner, Harper getting a hand to it but unable to keep it out 2-3 

77 mins Another goal from a defender, as South Shields-born Craig Armstrong equalised, after Kuqi had hit the post and Cooke stabbed it back towards goal. 3-3

79 mins The Wednesday comeback was completed two minutes later with Kuqi's  excellent volley on the turn from 15 yards out to convert a low cross from Cooke 3-4

Full time: Sheff Weds 4 Newcastle 3

We Said

A distinctly under-whelmed Sir Bobby commented:

"We just fell apart in the second half. We started sluggishly but got back into the game and at 3-1 up I feel they thought the game was over.

"They got back in the game at 3-2 then some indecision in defence and they are 3-3. Their fourth was a brilliant goal and probably the best Shefki Kuqi has scored in his life.

"Sheffield Wednesday gave us a good game and they fought for the full 90 minutes."

"I was disappointed with the home crowd booing and jeering Lee Bowyer."

They Said

Chris Turner said:

""Some of the football that we played in the second half when we got our noses in front against Newcastle was the sort that we all want to see, and that the fans enjoy.

"That was the sort of football I would like us to play more of. You can only play like that when the confidence is there. If we make a good start, then that sort of confidence and football will come more often.

"The feeling we've had all summer from the fans is that they think there's a chance of the club starting well and doing well. When I first came here everbody was on the floor. Trying to lift everybody to such a degree that we could stay up proved virtually impossible, though we nearly did it.

"Now we're in the Second Division, and we have a squad that's capable of doing well. Hopefully we'll play flowing football and score lots of goals.

"I don't want anyone to get too carried away or get disappointed if things don't all go well. The season is over 46 games. I'm very confident that we'll be there or thereabouts at the end."


Owls, as you may know, are nocturnal creatures. It’s probably fair to say that their fans have had more than there fair share of sleepless nights in recent years. Our flirtation with the lower echelons of football is well chronicled some 11 years ago, our “Great Escape” plays on long, in many a bar to a finer tune than any conjured up by the Wednesday band – or if I had my way, banned.  Their flirtation has become a sad reality.

It’s probably this reason that I have a good level of respect for them. Last season despite getting relegated they still had bigger crowds than their neighbours the Blades, who under the stewardship of Neil “I’m not bitter” Warnock had reached two semi-finals and the play offs.

Maybe it’s a fact of life that clubs in red and white stripes will always play second fiddle in their respective areas. I think so. I hope so.

Hillsborough still has a big club feel to it, if more in a traditional sense than today’s concrete bowls that play host to top flight football. It’s a crying shame that a vast old ground such as this will only host third grade football in the coming months.

Compliments over, I still feel the Leppings Lane stand should’ve been demolished after the events of April 1989. Leaving it standing is a crime. I’m sure Wednesday would gladly do so if their finances weren’t so desperate. Names changes and coats of paint won’t do – sorry.

Many people had sly chuckle when Wednesday were relegated last May. The prospect of Chris Turner having to play Hartlepool after having left them caused great amusement to some. I’m not sure I can get my head round this. Unless it’s a move to your nearest rivals I can’t see what he’s done wrong in today’s game. If Hartlepool are sitting top of division 2 at Easter they’ll average around 6,000. If Wednesday are top they’ll get 30,000. Even if Wednesday are struggling they’ll still average around 12 to 15,000.

If you want to give Chris Turner stick, do it because of the clubs he played for – two clubs most of us least like, Man Utd and the Mackems. 

The use of music to stir up the crowd is common these days. The most effective use must have been at Wolves last season in the FA cup. The same Hi-Ho Silver Lining to the words Hi-Ho Sheffield Wednesday is churned out here with less impact. The penultimate song prior to the emergence of the teams appeared to stir up more of the travelling support then those in blue and white. Andy Williams’ version of Can’t take my eyes off you had many a Toon fan singing along.  – Mmm.

The game itself was highly competitive, Wednesday clearly after a premiership scalp to help remind them of their heritage. One or two of our superstars failed to deliver against second division opposition. A midfield that contained Dyer, Viana and Bowyer should be able to command on nights like this. They didn’t.

Bowyer took stick from the crowd. Bear in mind any ex Leeds player will get stick here so he’d have expected it anyway. He received warm encouragement from the 2,000 or so Toon fans behind the Leppings Lane goal which we defended in the first half. Defended is open to debate maybe the problem stemmed from Steve Harper?

Harper wore a blanked out Sheff Wed top which obviously confused our two centre halves who decided not to defend him, leaving him very exposed all night. An oversight in the kit packing department? too many shirts at Hartlepool?

Wednesday’s Keeper was sadly wearing an orange number which resembled a Dutch national shirt. In the second half when Pressman replaced the injured Tidman in the Wednesday goal this looked even worse as Kevin Pressman isn’t as slim as he used to be. Girth turned to Mirth late in the game as he gave us a moment of pure comedy as he dribbled/wobbled up the field beating a couple of our disinterested midfield on the way.

The lack of understanding between Bramble and O’Brien left us trailing after 90 seconds when Owusu took an easy chance after Evans left wing cross. This was to be a repetitive feature of the night with individual errors leading to three of the goals. Only the Wednesday winner from Shefki Kuqi could be put down to brilliance rather than negligence. A winner, which can only be described as a wonder volley.

Our forwards must have felt frustrated, they did their jobs, with Lua Lua and Shola both scoring and creating chances throughout the game. Both hit a post in the second half, Lua Lua with a low 22yd shot which rattled the inside of Pressman’s post and Shola with a fine header from a Bowyer cross hitting the opposite upright. Cort had a power header saved from another good Bowyer cross which should help his confidence. Bowyer himself was tidy enough although quiet in his overall performance. A 26th minute goal of his was disallowed for offside, this seemed to encourage the Wednesday boo-boys. Overall, he’ll need to deliver a lot more to keep Nobby on the bench.

Lua Lua’s goal deserves a mention, a beautiful free kick into the top corner of Pressman’s net reminiscent of any scored by Shearer, Robert, Hugo or Nobby last season. Opposing teams should fear us again at free kicks this season.

In summary we shouldn’t be too down beat on a night, which saw the stronger squad at Hartlepool. Our young guns in the forward line continue to grow. Nevertheless lessons are still to be learnt at he back. Should Woodgate be missing in the coming months some of the guilty party on display at Hillsborough could be upon to fill the gap. Lets hope it’s not in Madrid or Milan.

Roll on Leeds, roll on the monkey.

Thanks to the Pieman


Page last updated 14 July, 2016