Writer: Vital Scunthorpe
Date:Sunday August 28 2011
Saturday 27th August - 3:00pm k/o
Attendance: 16, 862
It was a pulsating afternoon's football in South Yorkshire - and despite scoring twice away from home again: the Iron had to crawl back from the blue half of Sheffield empty handed.
That wasn't for a lack of trying or even chances. The Iron had 16 shots to Wednesday's 13 and really should have come away with something from the game.
And perhaps the Iron are beginning to nail that myth of needing a goalscorer. Having not kept a myth under Alan Knill's reign - and with no spare professional defenders: the Iron are in fact woefully short at the back.
This was seen as both sides looked very shaky on show today - and had the diabolical referee James Linnington not decided to play HopScotch with his lack of balls, then they may well have taken something from the game.
With him electing initially to decisively give a penalty thanks to a clear view - but then bottling it thanks to the reaction of the home fans and players. After consulting with the linesman: they then gave a corner. The ball never went out.
And don't even get me started on Semedo hacking Dagnall down when he was last man and bound to be sent off. Not even a foul according to Mr Linington.
Iron fans with long memories might remember the Swansea League Cup game where the same referee sent 3 of the opposition's players off. Think we might now have a bit of sympathy with the Taffs.
And whilst some may wish to use Scunny's 120 minutes on Thursday evening as an excuse - the fitness still seemed to be there: as the Iron really pushed on and finished the game well.
And Scunny's trait of beginning games in an appalling fashion has outlasted any draining Carling Cup games.
About that Knill is absolutely spot on. Whilst correctly blasting the referee for having been absolutely dreadful - he didn't shy from being equally critical of the defence.
And whoever's decision it was to let Hughes & Raynes go wants machine-gunning.
Whilst they might not have been everyone's cup of teat - leaving the Iron in the position where there's no spare fit defenders is ludicrous.
And one that will have to be immediately rectified. And this is before we even get on to the Iron being simply unable to keep clean sheets.
He also added that he was sick of being labelled unlucky - and quite frankly so are the fans. We want wins just as badly as you Alan.
Otherwise - we might be on for an even more mediocrity-ridden transitional season than could have been expected/feared from the outset.
No changes were made from the Thursday night clash at home to Newcastle.
This thus meant that it remained Josh Lillis in goal behind the back four of Eddie Nolan, Niall Canavan, Michael Nelson and Andrew Wright.
The midfield was again Andy Barcham, Oliver Norwood, Sam Togwell and Jimmy Ryan. Completing the line-up were Bobby Grant and Chris Dagnall.
And on the bench for the Iron were Sam Slocombe, a half-fit Paul Reid, Michael Collins, Mark Duffy and Garry Thompson.
And the Iron were behind after just four minutes as they opened up at the back for the gleeful hosts.
Not concentrating enough or picking the right options - Togwell was beaten far too easily - and then the pullback fell to the feet of Morrison.
But he couldn't beat Lillis from 4 yards, and it was left to GARY MADINE to tap the rebound into the empty net from 2 yards.
This was incredibly frustrating for the Iron - who have the unenviable record of conceding first in every single League match so far.
But the Iron should have been given the opportunity to be level just minutes later.
It was a good ball to the feet of Chris Dagnall - who with his back to goal, did absolutely brilliant to viciously turn David Prutton - and was then hacked down by the mop-hair winger.
The referee immediately pointed to the spot to the Iron fans' delight.
But then Linington bottled it like the coward he is.
We can tolerate honest mistakes - no matter who the benificiary - from all, even the referee.
But don't back down when seeing an intimidating crowd and a petulant bunch of Wednesday players. Disgraceful.
Following the above - he then started proverbially wetting himself and consulted his linesman.
Now the assistant's view was no superior than the referee's - the man with the flag seemed insistent it was a corner.
Despite the fact that the ref blew for a penalty before the ball went out.
Couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery. Incompetent wankers.
The Iron's corner was thus unsurprisingly cleared, despite a bit of a desperate scramble.
Wednesday's second then had a huge slice of good fortune about it.
BEN MARSHALL was able to race up the left flank far too easily, and when he got to the virtual byeline - a wicked deflection was able to power his effort home.
It was barely a shot, and certainly not on target - but we're in no mood to declare and own goal, and neither were the tannoy announcer or the BBC.
This was thus 2 nil in just the 18th minute - and was an all too familiar tale for the travelling Iron fans.
However, with just over half an hour - the Iron were perhaps a tad unlucky not to have hauled themselves level after a great Dagnall drilled effort could only clip the post on the way wide.
But in what was a scrappy, and perhaps deflating 1st half under the circumstances - that was it for chances really.
Thus when ref blew for half-time, he was the man in the bright orange shirt whom the visiting fans took out their anger on. For they knew the first league win of the season was once more unlikely.
HALF-TIME SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 2-0 SCUNTHORPE UNITED
The Iron began the first half much sharper - although it was left to Lillis to tip the first effort over his bar for a corner.
But only minutes later - Norwood did have a half chance, but could only slash his effort way over the bar.
Barcham was seeing plenty of the ball on the flank, although when cutting inside - and at the final moment he did seem short of ideas.
Unwilling sometimes to take a punt or pull it back: but he was definitely unlucky to see one effort deflect wide.
Then from the corner, whilst the Iron won the header: they continued the thread of not threatening from them. Canavan's header dipped harmlessly on to the top of the net.
Shortly after this - with about 25 minutes left: the Iron made a double change to bring on some fresh legs as Garry Thompson replaced Jimmy Ryan and Michael Collins came on for Sam Togwell in two straight swaps.
And the Iron thus finally started to win some balls in the air - as the previously universally dominant Rob Jones found a match in Garry Thompson finally.
And the Iron soon found themselves back in the game.
It was a great ball to Dagnall, and a lovely little flick to BOBBY GRANT who poked it past the on-rushing keeper to throw the Iron a lifeline.
The Iron shortly then made another sub with Mark Duffy coming on for the tired Chris Dagnall as he went out wide - with Thompson shifted inside to the middle.
But the Iron's defence soon went walk-abouts as a simple dink over the top was able to free GARY MADINE to slip past Lillis with all the time in the world.
Despite the game seemingly over, the Iron did not give up and with Wednesday eager to sit back - it did give the visitors hope.
This was truly the case when it was a great cut inside from MARK DUFFY who lashed his effort into the roof of the net despite the best efforts of David Prutton on the line.
Despite the home team's attempts at time-wasting, it was all one way traffic.
Duffy was patently emboldened - and all the Iron's play was flowing through him.
It was a good effort from him and 25 yards out - he was entitled to shoot: but disappointed to see his effort fly over the bar.
And when stoppage time finally arrived - a great little flicked header was somehow denied by Weaver at the back post - when the Iron seemed destined to equalised.
But in the last few moments, the Iron seem to lose momentum: and the hosts wound down the clock effectively - with very little refereeing desire to intervene.
And that was it sadly. The Iron ran it close but not close enough.
On to Tuesday and Saturday!
FULL-TIME SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 3-2 SCUNTHORPE UNITED
Date:Sunday August 28 2011
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