CITY 1 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 2
Canon League Second Division
10th December 1983
Sheff Wed Varadi(25 & 67)
Ref Alan Saunders
City Williams, Ranson, Lomax, Bond, Power, May, McNab, Dalziel, Parlane, Hartford, Tolmie – sub Kinsey(57)
Wednesday Hodge, Sterland, Shirtliff, Smith, Lyons, Madden, Megson, Bannister, Varadi, Cunningham, Shelton – Sub Pearson(unused)
City could have no complaints about being deposed from the Second Division runners-up spot after an eventful clash against a Wednesday team that had been leading the table all season. In front of the biggest Football League crowd of the day, and City’s best of the season, the industrious Yorkshiremen survived and surfaced with something to spare.
City were handicapped by the suspension of Graham Baker and re-mouIded defence following the sale of Tommy Caton to Arsenal. But the home fighting qualities ensured Sheffield had a scrap and for more than an hour there was plenty for the visitors to think about before they clearly gained the upper hand.
City got off on the right foot. A 25 yard free kick from hard working Kevin Bond was arrowing to goal, took a deflection off the challenging Lawrie Madden, and foxed the wrong-footed ’keeper Martin Hodge.
Wednesday, five men across the back and full backs energetically supporting the skills and endeavour of Gary Shelton and Gary Megson in midfield, were level 14 minutes later. It was helter-skelter stuff from Wednesday, the ball forced forward at breakneck speed and everyone displaying determination and strong running. Imre Varadi equalised, atoning for the handling offence which cost his side the earlier free kick goal. The striker hit an angled shot which dipped over the off-guard Alex Williams and hit the far post before going into the City net. It had been intended as a cross, Varadi admitted later.
Varadi had the home defence rocking with pacey runs and in the 67th minute scored the winner. Bond shaped to play a through ball from Bannister back to his own ’keeper. Varadi was alert to the development and nipped between the doubtful defender and the City ’keeper to slot in a shot from close range.
Jim Tolmie posed most of City”s threats, testing Hodge from 20 yards, wildly missing a good opportunity and being fractionally short of connecting with a teasing cross from Paul Power.
Asa Hartford was fortunate to survive the referee’s serious wrath after a 12th minute tackle on Mel Sterland left the defender with an ankle injury. “It caused a wound that might have been made by an electric drill” complained Wednesday manager Howard Wilkinson. A booking was Hartford’s punishment.
His opposite, Billy McNeill, had no complaint. “Wednesday are the best side I’ve seen in this Division. They don’t give you time to settle. Any team finishing above them will certainly go up”, he praised.
City’s midifield flopped, the lone star belonged to Tolmie. Wednesday had several heroes, notably skipper Lyons, Sterland and Mark Smith, who all eptiomised the undying commitment of the side.
FROM THE CITY PROGRAMME 24TH AUGUST 1985