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Sheff Wed 0-0 Palace

February 11 2006

The huddle

The huddle

One of the worst performances of the season was on display at Hillsborough where a 0-0 draw failed to do anything for our promotion chances, writes Simon Pophale.

The performance in question was not however of anyone in a home or away shirt, but in the black of the referee. Kevin Wright had, put simply,was abysmal and spoilt what could have been, an entertaining game.

His decisions ranged from giving corners when they should have been goal kicks, throw ins to the team that booted the ball out of play.

The only aspect that could be described as positive, was that the decisions seemed to even themselves out over the course of the game.

As for the quality of the play, Wednesday are 20th in the league due to a poor home record, so immediately from the kick off we took the match to them and in the 6th minute, carved out the games first chance as AJ set up Freedman in the box, but he scuffed the effort and the chance went.

Wednesdays’ first effort came from Chris Brunt, whose corner was cleared under the bar by Leigertwood and Kiraly, but the referee ordered a goal kick!

Wright then bizarrely booked Micheal Hughes for taking a quick free kick and minutes later, failed to do the same to the opposition. Reich hit the free-kick inches wide of right hand post.

We should have lost this game as after this, Wednesday showed why they are one of the lowest scoring teams in the division with a host of missed chances. We looked comfortable in possession but could not get a decent final ball to the front two.

On the half hour mark, Richard Wood somehow fired over from 2 yards following a corner, before Sturrock was forced into a change with Deon Burton going off and Leon Best coming on.

Best then missed when placed one on one with Kiraly, firing the ball wide and only at the end of the half did we manage to threaten again, with Adamson denying Freedman right at the end of the half.

The 2nd half was not much different, as Best went on a one man spree to miss all of Wednesdays chances. A mix up from a throw gave him a chance on 53 minutes and again Kiraly managed to come out on top on a one on one 5 minutes later.

AJ picked up an injury so Dowie replaced him with Morrison and on 62 minutes, Drissa Diallo failed to keep his footing which allowed McAnuff to get a dangerous cross in, but no-one was there to connect to it.

Leon Best raced clear again only to be stopped short by Darren Ward and he saw a booking for his trouble. Referee Wright did not book Diallo for the tackle which took AJ out the game, strangely enough.

We ended the game with Macken on as well and all we had to show for the days endeavours was a Clinton Morrison effort that was ruled out for off side on 78 minutes.

The match was on the whole a poor advert for Championship football and the boos that rang out at the final whistle showed how we felt.

We were poor, Wednesday were not much better and the referee was a disgrace. 2nd place is, barring a miracle, now beyond us.

Palace: Kiraly, Ward, Hudson, Leigertwood, Boyce, McAnuff, Riihilahti (Soares 45), Hughes, Reich (Macken 64), Johnson (Morrison 61), Freedman.

Subs Not Used: Speroni, Watson.

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