2013/14: Sky Bet Championship – Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield Town
Will the real Sheffield Wednesday ‘stand-up’? That was the question Owls boss Dave Jones was facing after a 2-1 home defeat in the Yorkshire ‘derby’ against Huddersfield Town.
In their last game at Hillsborough, Wednesday were rampant winning 5-2 against promotion chasing Reading, but against the Terriers they were outplayed for the majority of the game. Jones stated, “we have a block when we play here, but if you start slaughtering the players you lose them and we need them to be big and brave.”
The Wednesday boss made four changes to his team from their last outing at Derby, but it made little difference.
One of those changes, keeper Damien Martinez was soon picking the ball out the net, when Huddersfield went ahead on eleven minutes. Adam Clayton was given too much time and space by the Owls defence and he picked out an unmarked Martin Paterson who finished coolly for his fiftieth league goal.
Paterson looked offside, but Town boss Mark Robins post-match stated he “hadn’t watched a replay” adding, “I don’t care – it was a good move and good finish”. His opposite number Dave Jones, view was that “the first goal might have been offside, but it doesn’t matter because we didn’t do our jobs properly”.
Jones looked to enliven his beleaguered side by introducing Jermaine Johnson and Giles Coke for Michail Antonio and Stephen McPhail at the start of the second-half.
However, it was the Terriers who should have scored just after the break, as a marauding run and shot from Paul Dixon fell for James Vaughan who somehow sliced his effort wide from twelve yards.
The home fans did have something to cheer though ten minutes into the second half, when Jermaine Johnson had his shot well saved by Town keeper Alex Smithies.
Indeed, after the game Terriers manager Mark Robins praised the Huddersfield stopper saying, “his concentration levels were fantastic. There was a small period of the game when we were peppered with shots and he had an answer for everything”.
Unfortunately for Wednesday, they couldn’t find an equaliser and it was Town who went further ahead on sixty eight minutes.
Following a corner, Oliver Norwood’s strike on goal was not cleared by the Wednesday defence, allowing Clayton to arrow his shot into the corner and put the visitors 2-0 ahead.
Even with twenty minutes remaining that pretty much sealed the points for Huddersfield, with a goal from a Connor Wickham free-kick three minutes into stoppage time, merely a consolation.
Unsurprisingly at the final whistle, Hillsborough echoed to boos from the Wednesday fans as this result left their team in the bottom three and with the unenviable record of being the only club in the country yet to have kept a clean sheet.
Terriers’ boss Mark Robins reflected that his team had been “outstanding for the first hour” but accepted the side was “still a work in progress”.
Dave Jones may not have the luxury of time but stated defiantly, “it’s up to everyone to turn this around, and that starts from the staff and through to all the players. We have all got to stand up and be counted”.