2014/15: Sky Bet Championship – Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham

Matt Smith’s second half strike earned a point for Fulham equalising substitute Stevie May’s near post header.

Wednesday welcomed back Chris Maguire for his first start since the Cardiff game whilst Fulham gave a debut to Norwich City loan signing Michael Turner at centre half.

The first half gave little for the supporters of either side to cheer as both teams tried to play football on a difficult surface. Wednesday’s rhythm was disrupted by losing Liam Palmer to a leg injury after 25 minutes following a challenge by Scott Parker, then 13 minutes later Will Keane limped off to be replaced by May. Both sides were having trouble controlling the ball on a poor pitch and clear cut chances were few and far between. The best chance of the half fell to May in the 5th minute of first half injury time but he couldn’t control his shot from 8 yards and Bettinelli fell on the ball to snub out the danger.

The second half started much brighter with Wednesday unusually defending the Kop end. A good move from Wednesday resulted in the opening goal. A long ball from Westwood was well held up by Nuhiu who bought Kieran Lee into the play and May’s shot was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, the ball came back to Lewis McGugan whose cross was met by May and his header nestled in the bottom right hand corner of the net giving Wednesday a deserved lead.

May’s first goal since his double against Wigan in November kicked the game into life. Wednesday created another good chance for Nuhiu at the back post but he was unable connect with the ball and Maguire tested Bettinelli low to the keepers left.

The game opened up and Fulham started to create chances of their own. Tim Hoogland’s pile driver was blocked by the head of Claude Dielna and the introduction of Seko Fofana by Kit Symons coincided with Fulham’s best period of the game. Ross McCormack dropped deeper into midfield and caused Wednesday some problems.

Fulham’s equaliser was tinged with controversy as the Wednesday defence stopped thinking referee Andy Woolmer was going to give a free kick for simulation but only Matt Smith played to the whistle blasting a fierce shot in off the underside of the bar.

A strong finish from Fulham bought a two great saves from Westwood and a McCormack free kick went just over the bar, but neither side was able to force a winner.

Wednesday manager Stuart Gray: “It wasn’t a game for the purists. It was a poor game, the players seem to have lost confidence in the pitch. The positive is that we’ve reached the 50 point mark. I’m disappointed that the referee didn’t give a free kick for simulation but you’ve got to play to the whistle.”


Ed Williams

Tags: , , ,
FBR Copyright 20214 All rights reserved.

Posted March 16, 2015 by Editor in category "Football Features

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.