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Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Town - Match Report
Saturday, 16th Apr 2016 17:37

Sixteen-year-old Andre Dozzell came off the bench to score a debut goal as the Blues drew 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, but Town would now appear to have no realistic chance of making the play-offs. Dozzell came on at half-time and headed home Liam Feeney’s cross in the 71st minute, Fernando Forestieri having given the Owls the lead three minutes before the break.

The Town starting line-up featured five changes with David McGoldrick making his first start since October, while Kevin Bru, Jonathan Douglas, Liam Feeney and Tommy Smith also returned to the team.

Luke Varney (hamstring) and Cole Skuse dropped out through injury, Luke Hyam due to suspension, while Ben Pringle moved to the bench and Ainsley Maitland-Niles was left out of the 18.

Dozzell was amongst the senior subs for a second time, alongside fellow youngsters Adam McDonnell and Myles Kenlock.

The Blues, wearing their orange third kit, started in a 4-4-2 system with Feeney on the left and Kevin Foley on the right, Bru and Douglas in the middle and McGoldrick and Freddie Sears up front.

Town threatened for the first time in the third minute when Sears escaped down the left but his low cross was cut out.

The former Colchester man came close to opening the scoring a minute later when he was sent away on the left following a quickly taken freekick - too quickly according to the home players - but Wednesday keeper Keiren Westwood diverted his shot from a tight angle wide.

The Owls’ first chance came from a ninth minute Ross Wallace corner on the right but Daniel Pudil headed well over.

The Blues were having the better of the opening spell and on 11 McGoldrick, who spent time on loan at Hillsborough in 2011, turned a shot a couple of yards wide of Westwood’s right post.

The Wednesday keeper came close to creating a goal in the 17th minute when his long kick deceived Christophe Berra, allowing Kieran Lee to take the ball down and find Lucas Joao, who broke into the box and hit a low shot across Bartosz Bialkowski but wide of his right post.

Three minutes later, with the Owls now on top, Joao was sent away through on goal on the left by Pudil but was thwarted by the advancing Bialkowski.

On 28 Wednesday skipper Glenn Loovens headed wide from another Wallace right-sided corner.

Just after the half hour, the Owls broke down the left and Wallace whipped over a dangerous ball which Bialkowski punched against Bru at the edge of the box with the ball falling to the Mauritius international rather than a home player. After his initial clearance had cannoned back into the area, Bru eventually saw the ball out for a goalkick.

Barry Bannan scraped a shot wide in the 38th minute after good work from Joao on the right with Wednesday still in charge and with Town rarely getting into the final third.

Three minutes later the home side came even closer when a dangerous ball from the right appeared to catch both Blues skipper Luke Chambers and Forestieri as it flew across the six-yard area before being claimed by a grateful Bialkowski.

But a minute later the Owls went in front. Wallace crossed from the left, Berra’s stooping header hit Joao and fell to Forestieri, who smashed the loose ball past Bialkowski from 10 yards.

Neither side threatened again before the break with the Owls going in deservedly in front.

Having made a bright start with Sears having had a couple of opportunities, the Blues had allowed the home side to get on top and Wednesday might have gone in front prior to Forestieri’s goal with Bialkowski doing well to save from Joao when the Portuguese striker was through on goal.

Town had a lot of work to do in the second half to claim the win which would reignite their play-off hopes.

The Blues handed first-year scholar Dozzell his senior debut ahead of the second half in place of Foley, the academy scholar aged 16 years and 350 days, older than his father Jason who made his famous goalscoring bow aged 16 years and 57 days back in February 1984 in a 3-1 home victory over Coventry at Portman Road.

Town began the half with McGoldrick up front ahead of Feeney, Sears and Dozzell in front of holding pair Bru and Douglas.

Wednesday had the better of the opening quarter of an hour but without seriously threatening to add to their lead, Forestieri lashing over right on the 60 minute mark.

The Owls should have made it 2-0 in the 64th minute when Forestieri broke away on the right and fed Joao, who found Bannan breaking into the area to his left, but the Scotland international scuffed his shot at Bialkowski when he really should have done better. On 70 Wallace and Bru were both booked after an off the ball clash.

Town had made little impression since the break, but in the 71st minute they got on terms with the sub Dozzell following in his father’s footsteps by scoring a debut goal.

The England U17 international fed Feeney on the left before making his way into the area and flicking the on-loan Bolton man’s cross past Westwood from the edge of the six-yard box before celebrating wildly with his team-mates.

Wednesday went about looking to restore their lead and a minute after the Blues’ goal Joao just failed to connect with Bannan’s cross from the left.

The Portuguese frontman went close again soon afterwards with a low shot which Bialkowski bundled behind to his right.

Brett Pitman replaced Bru for the Blues on 75, then moments later Gary Hooper took over from Alex Lopez for the Owls. Pitman quickly got his name in referee Robert Madley’s book for a late tackle on Pudil.

As the game moved into its final five scheduled minutes the Blues were suddenly looking the more likely scorers with Wednesday looking vulnerable on the break. On 86 McGoldrick curled a shot from 25 yards out on the left but was unable to seriously test Westwood.

Two minutes later, Bialkowski did well to get down to save from Wallace and then claim the loose ball with Wednesday now putting the Blues under pressure.

Within a minute Town almost scored a comical own goal when Bialkowski cleared against Chambers, but fortunately the ball rebounded wide.

In the final minute of normal time Bialkowski again saved well from Wallace, before a loose ball fell to Pitman in the Wednesday area but his shot was blocked.

During four minutes of injury time McGoldrick shot too close to Westwood from distance, then Chambers was booked for a foul.

The Blues just about defended a goalmouth scramble from a Wednesday freekick with Bialkowski doing well to punch away under pressure, then seconds before the whistle they had a chance to claim the win.

Feeney broke away on the left and turned the ball back to Knudsen with Pitman unmarked in the area and screaming for the ball.

However, the Dane opted to shoot from distance, well wide as it turned out, rather than pass, much to the anger of the striker, who made his frustration very clear in the remaining moments before the referee’s whistle and manager Mick McCarthy had to say a few calming words as he made his way onto the pitch to issue his usual handshakes.

In normal circumstances the result would be a good one for the Blues but only a win would have been enough to keep them in a play-off hunt which in any case looked unlikely.

Goalscorer Dozzell will make all the headlines and he played a role in creating his equaliser as well as scoring it and never seemed overawed by his call into senior football.

Town having got back on terms both sides had chances, with Bialkowski the more stretched of the two keepers, and a draw was probably a fair reflection of the second half, although Town could - and probably should - have won it at the last had Knudsen picked out Pitman.

The Blues remain eighth, still eight points from the play-offs but only a remarkable series of results could now see them finish in the top six for a second successive season.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Loovens, Lees, Pudil, Wallace, Bannan, Lopez (Hooper 76), Lee, Joao (Nuhiu 84), Forestieri. Unused: Wildsmith, Sasso, Bennett, McGugan, Matias.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Douglas, Bru (Pitman 75), Foley (Dozzell 46), Feeney, Sears, McGoldrick. Unused: Gerken, Digby, Kenlock, McDonnell, Pringle. Robert Madley (West Yorkshire). Att 25,082.

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prebsa added 17:39 - Apr 16
Another average performance for a team I still don't understand are 8th in the league. Sheffield Wednesday always looked like they would be the team to get 3 points but again we have Bart to thank for that.

Great to see Dozzell get some minutes and a goal as well. Let's hope he gets to carry on with that and is pairing up alongside Bishop next season! McGoldrick back and starting also really promising and another big plus for next year.

Still not enough creativity in the side and it's so clearly obvious that the forwards are struggling with that. Sears and McGoldrick had to keep dropping back and getting the ball to try and create their own options because they just can't rely on the midfield.

Chance to nick it at the end with Pitman in acres of space but Knudsen who I feel is a very average player choosing to shoot instead. Hopefully when Pitman went over there he was telling him he actually is not very good!

Look to next season now with Bishop Dozzell and McGoldrick all in the side and also bring in a proper RB and a new LB with a contract for Feeney and Pringle if we can get him and one more winger from somewhere else.

Sir_Bob added 17:43 - Apr 16
Thanks Andre for brining a little chink of light into this poor poor season

iaintaylorx added 17:43 - Apr 16
Wasn't at the game, but nonetheless, well done to Dozzell! Player in the making. Best thing this season, is having a goalkeeper in great form and an academy that continue to produce great talent.

carlo88 added 17:43 - Apr 16
We need to look at the record of previously successful managers at Portman Road.

Roy Keane, previous promotion winner at Sunderland, kept them in the Premier League. Paul Jewell, previous promotion winner with two different clubs, kept them both in the Premier League. Mick McCarthy, previous promotion winner with two different clubs, kept one up for two seasons.

All three have not achieved anywhere near the same success with us.

boroughblue added 17:43 - Apr 16
well done andre

NoCanariesAllowed added 17:44 - Apr 16
Sounds mad, but I genuinely enjoyed that. Had already assumed our playoff push was dead so turned up with no expectations, and looked like another largely fruitless trip at half time. But despite the predicted ramifications of the result for our season, the Andre Dozzell moment feels like pretty good consolation - something I'll never forget.

Must admit, hoping but never really believing something might happen, I watched every touch and every movement of his with interest before the goal - for a while looking a bit out of his depth as one would expect. But I watched him getting into position waiting for that delivery, my eyes widened when I realised he was actually getting to it... and  the rest is history repeated. :)

To be honest, from that moment on, I wasn't really worried about what the result would be. That alone felt worth being there for. And funnily enough, we were given a second half that felt like we could have won it, much to my pleasant surprise.

Easily pleased perhaps, but just for a change I'm going to be positive, because that day was much better than I thought it was going to be.

Tractorboy1985 added 17:45 - Apr 16
Oley Oley oley oley.... ANDRE... ANDRE!! Season was over before 2day but that was worth a fist pump in the boozer!! Now play him u stubborn ol man! At the same time protect him and don't over use him! What a prospect tho! 16!!! Bet u wish u were as good as him Cole and Jonathan?

TractorBoy666 added 17:47 - Apr 16
So happy for Dozzell! Just really disappointed from the lack of intent from us today, Foley on the wing? In a game we must win, it didn't really seem promising at all with Wednesday the more than likely team to go and win the game. Same old tactics of trying to knick a goal and sit back on it! This would have been a good point but for so many poor home performances recently.

In a dream world of Mick in charge I'd love to see a midfield at home of Dozzell and Bishop if fit, with Skuse behind but you know that isn't going to happen with the negative approach by Mick of trying to combat the oppositions strengths, but with the season now certainly over i want to see some flexibility.

A clear out in the summer of the dead wood in this squad, and some quality added with the league looking like its going to be a lot harder next season.

blueboy1981 added 17:52 - Apr 16
Wouldn't it be nice to think that the Manager would change his stance on negativity, and forever being focussed on preserving the point we start every game with.

We have, and have had, more than enough good players at this Club to have achieved far more than we have this season alone
The fact that we are 8th is proof that the standard in the Championship is far from great - there is just no other reason for us to be in that position, playing the way we do.

More of the same to look forward to next season - as the Manager has already said.

MM will never change.

Steelmonkey added 17:54 - Apr 16
Far better result than I had predicted, great to see the youngster brought on and do so well. Guess he'll get dropped as did Bru and Pringle previously after scoring in favour of Micks stalwarts. Time now to look at what can be changed for next seasons attempt. New ideas are needed.

blueherts added 17:55 - Apr 16
How many shots in a MUST WIN GAME
How many seasons have to needed a 'creative midfielder'?
Great to see Dozzell come on and score and also McDonnell on the bench
How many times will be play Douglas before he realises he does nothing
How many times will Bart save us
How long before Mick realises this is not a strong defensive unit ( Bart excepted )
Still I am sure Mick will shine a light on something - which aside from Dozzell scoring
and Bart not much else to take from this and really sums up the last 4 months

blueboy1981 added 17:57 - Apr 16
Well done young Dozzell - let's hope the 'flair' is not coached out of him. His father will hopefully protect against that.

essexboy added 18:02 - Apr 16
Have to agree with most posts,the second half was a lot better.Good to see AD come on and score a well headed goal.Lets hope he gets the nod for Tuesday.Season over now so I hope to see a few changes.Long drive home again,but at least we did not loose. 😡

WhoisJimmyJuan added 18:03 - Apr 16
Yes I'm also just going to celebrate the second coming of Dozzell. Clutching at straws or no. We need more progressive thinking like this from MM. Try a few new faces then a summer clear out and start again. I'm no fan of MM but unless he leaves I'm not for sacking him. Yet.

jas0999 added 18:06 - Apr 16
Seems like a fair result, which Sheffield will be delighted about and we should be disappointed. Can't understand why we didn't attack from the off. This was a game we had to win, yet our midfield included Douglas and defender in Foley (he can play midfield, but isn't the attack minded player needed nor would he start in midfield for any other promotion chasing team). Although very positive to see Dozzell play a half and score a goal, this result essentially leaves us nine points (inc goal difference) behind them with just twelve to play for. We now need maximum points and they need to not win any. Not likely.

Like others I'm surprised we are so high up in the league after what's largely been very disappointing since January. I just hope that MM may finally learn that younger hungry players are needed and players like Douglas, Foley, Coke and Toure shouldn't be considered again. Although I realise Foley has been okay, for me we needed better than a non match fit 31 year old in January.

Mathematically possible, but realistically season over. Let's at least try to end it by playing some attractive attack minded football at PR. Two very winnable games against teams who like us will have nothing to play for. Then in the Summer let's hope for an overhaul particularly in terms of MEs strategy which isn't working.


Bluetone added 18:13 - Apr 16
One swallow doesn't make a summer but bu**er me one Dozzell début goal raises my mood considerably.

yorksblue added 18:14 - Apr 16
Bet Jason's feeling a proud Dad after seeing that whilst in with the rest of us

yorksblue added 18:17 - Apr 16
I hope Pitman gave Knudsen a thump as well as verbal in the dressing room. A simple pass and we win 1-2. So he shoots like a headless chicken. V average player imo.

prebsa added 18:20 - Apr 16
Essex57 notice that blind faith is out again marking everyone down!

Surco72 added 18:25 - Apr 16
After all the weeks of dire darkness a young man's goal lightens the way and the mood well done Andre .
Done more in a half than Skuse and Douglas in months !!!

Bluetone added 18:25 - Apr 16
@presba when McCarthy goes perhaps he'll take the idiot Essex57 with him. Would be the best thing he's done for a while.

grinch added 18:31 - Apr 16
This was a team above is and why the negativity about knudsen he has improved over the season and will get better pitman showed am unprofessional image at end we don't go and watch town for players to have hissy fits and go off down the tunnel to be told to come back perhaps it is because didz fit nod ahead of him that's cos he is so much better

yorksblue added 18:42 - Apr 16
Pittman showed disgust and frustration at not being given the chance to score the winner. I would've done same. Sure they're best of mates now it's all confined to history books. A bit of passion doesn't do any harm

shedboy added 18:46 - Apr 16
As a season ticket holder who hasn't yet renewed the sight of Dozzel jnr playing and scoring is the direction I want my club to move in young hungry players who want to play good attractive football on the deck throw in teddy bish and few other Young starlets from lower league clubs that want to prove themselves is the way forward rather than the current strategy I think if the club came out and said this is our direction we want to move in the fans would Buy into this in spades and be patient

Big congrats Andre hope you will be watching your dad at ram meadow tomorrow #LEGEND

warktheline added 18:47 - Apr 16
Call me over cynical but why play young Dozzell now? Is there any chance our 'selling club ' are putting another talent in the shop window!

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