AFC Bournemouth: Owls improving under Gray

Bournemouth Echo: . .

CHERRIES’ league history with Sheffield Wednesday has been much like waiting for the proverbial bus.

The clubs had never met on an equal footing until Wednesday slipped to the third tier in 2003 but have since met on eight occasions as the Hillsborough outfit bounced between the middle divisions of English football.

Historically, the Owls largely held the Indian sign over their Dean Court rivals in cup competitions over the years, including a 7-0 thrashing in the FA Cup fourth round in 1932 when the Yorkshire outfit were at the peak of their powers.

Cherries, who went on to finish 15th in Division Three (South), had trumped Northfleet United, Blyth Spartans and Halifax Town in the previous rounds before being unceremoniously dumped out by the team which went on to finish third in England’s top flight.

John Hold’s solitary strike gave Cherries their only success against Wednesday prior to the turn of the century as more than 15,000 witnessed Freddie Cox’s Division Three strugglers topple their Division One counterparts in a League Cup shock at Dean Court in 1969.

However, that was to prove a rare high point as eight months later Cherries were relegated for the first time before the John Bond era was ushered in.

But as soon as league fixtures worked their way onto the agenda, Cherries soon broke their Hillsborough hoodoo by picking up seven points from three trips to Sheffield.

After waiting so long to land a success against Dorset’s top dogs, Owls were remarkably swift in swooping the points with a six-minute blast in the last meeting between the sides – Wednesday’s 3-0 victory in March 2012.

Lee Bradbury’s men were battered within the opening 10 minutes with strikes from Ryan Batth and Michail Antonio sandwiching Miles Addison’s own goal.

The result extended to five matches Cherries’ losing run at the time and Bradbury left the club 15 days later.

Onto the present day and tomorrow’s opponents have bolstered their prospects of staying in the Championship with six points from caretaker manager Stuart Gray’s first three matches in charge.

The Owls sit third-bottom of the division, a point below Charlton Athletic and second tier safety with Cherries five points and five places above Wednesday.

Gray’s side have shipped just two goals since the temporary boss took charge while loan striker Connor Wickham has been in fine form, banging in five goals in eight Championship matches since switching from Sunderland.

Comments (1)

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6:44am Fri 20 Dec 13

Richard 1976 says...

Very much looking forward to this game as it is my home city.. And my dad was a united ite so he will be looking down hoping we put one over the owls! For those of you travelling by train the Sheffield tap in the station is well worth a visit, very good range of real ales, alternatively the new barrack tavern on penistone road (10 mins walk from ground) has always had a great pre post match atmosphere and saw other cherries in there on our last visit two seasons ago..Should be a good friendly atmosphere and let's hope for a better result than the last visit..up the cherries!
Very much looking forward to this game as it is my home city.. And my dad was a united ite so he will be looking down hoping we put one over the owls! For those of you travelling by train the Sheffield tap in the station is well worth a visit, very good range of real ales, alternatively the new barrack tavern on penistone road (10 mins walk from ground) has always had a great pre post match atmosphere and saw other cherries in there on our last visit two seasons ago..Should be a good friendly atmosphere and let's hope for a better result than the last visit..up the cherries! Richard 1976

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