17/11/1991 6:55 pm
Referee: S Lodge
|Sheffield United||Sheffield Wednesday|
|Whitehouse 45+3, Deane 73|
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Most neutrals will no doubt enjoy the Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow Derbies, but here have been many Steel City affairs which have sparked up the intensity of the nation. When reliving the past matches between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday there are those fixtures which are simply unforgettable and those which are unforgivable! Last season’s victory at Hillsborough will long stand in the memory as one of the Blades greatest victories over our rivals, and many of today’s supporters will still remember United crushing the old foe in 1991.
The Steel City Derby fixture on 17th November 1991 at Bramall Lane was a significant match for the City. Wednesday had just returned to the top flight at the first time of asking and it was the first all-City derby match following an 11 year absence, and became en-route to claiming the double over the Owls that season.
Having gained promotion to the then First Division (now Premier League), and successfully won the League Cup against Manchester United along the way, the blue half of the City were naturally confident ahead of the match. They were also in a better league position with United struggling at the foot of the table.
Dave Bassett’s Blades had been thwart with injuries and had been without star striker Brian Deane for a substantial length of time with glandular fever and it was only fitting that upon his return he would be the hero of the hour (and a half).
United scored a goal in each half, though the Wednesday faithful will have been disappointed with there defending as United charged forward and took full advantage. The hosts had almost taken the lead on 33 minutes but for calamitous defending were somehow kept out. An in swinging Carl Bradshaw was completely missed by keeper Chris Woods, and Brian Deane’s bullet header was somehow cleared off the line before rebounding off Woods for another corner.
Wednesday’s comedy of errors continued as on 45+3 minutes the lead was taken. A mix up in midfield as Owls duo Paul Warhurst and Darren Sheridan both battle with the loose ball – only to collide heavily with one another, and leaving John Gannon free to solider up field up attended. His pass to Ian Bryson saw him clear and although Woods did well to keep out his effort, no one could stop Dane Whitehouse from steaming in at the far post to hammer home in front of the Kop.
The visitors produced a better second half and just before the hour mark United stopper Simon Tracey was on hand to brilliantly keep them at bay. Paul Williams had expertly taken the ball around Tom Cowan and despite being in a good position to shoot, he instead offered the opportunity to Danny Wilson (former Blades boss) but he squandered his chance as Tracey did well to prevent a goal.
On 73 minutes the game was all but over as another defensive mix up saw United double their lead. A corner from the right was delivered into the box with the ball falling to Deane who twisted before hitting low with the left foot and through Woods legs to score.
The footage of this fixture can be found on YouTube, or viewed below.
Sheffield United: S Tracey; J Pemberton, T Cowan, J Gannon, B Gayle, P Beesley, C Bradshaw, J Hoyland, I Bryson, B Deane, D Whitehouse.
Sheffield Wednesday: C Woods; R Nilsson, P King, C Palmer, P Warhurst, V Anderson, D Wilson (sub: J Harkes), J Sheridan, D Hirst, P Williams, N Worthington (sub: N Jemson).
I’m sure there are many Sheffield United and Wednesday supporters who can remember this fixture. Maybe you were there. Red or Blue, why not tell us your experiences from this match below!