Football: Chelsea's two downed

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The Independent Online
Chelsea. . . . . . . . .0

Sheffield Wednesday. . .2

HAVE two goalkeepers ever made their home debuts in the same game? That was not the only experience shared yesterday by Dmitri Kharin and Gerry Peyton. Kharin let in a goal just after the start, Peyton replaced him at half-time and followed suit just before the end. Sheffield Wednesday duly won 2-0.

Chelsea have failed to win in nine outings. They enjoyed a successful stretch of similar length earlier, but now it seems to be pay-back time. John Spencer saw a shot cleared off the line in the first half and forced Chris Woods to make his first save of the match in the dying minutes. But the more telling contest was at the other end, where Wednesday's cut-and-paste front two took on Chelsea's cut-and-paste back four and were allowed to come off best.

Paul Warhurst, who apparently does not feel comfortable up front, thumped home a corner in the third minute in a manner which suggested otherwise, and that was all the cushion Wednesday needed until John Harkes wrapped it up. The mind boggles at what David Hirst and Mark Bright might have perpetrated if fit.

It was one of those Stamford Bridge afternoons when all the regulars could do was work on their gallows humour. For some of the first half Andy Townsend was like the one hellraiser at a party when the other 10 guests do not want to join the fun.

Wednesday were everywhere, an impression confirmed by a post-match scene in the press- room. A television in one corner showed Trevor Francis giving his views to Grandstand, while from another the talking head walked straight into our midst.

Chelsea: D Kharin (G Peyton h/t); G Hall, S Sinclair, A Townsend, A Myers (S Clarke h/t), M Donaghy, G Stuart, J Spencer, M Harford, E Newton, G Le Saux. Sub not used: R Fleck. Manager: I Porterfield.

Sheffield Wednesday: C Woods; R Nilsson (N Pearson 71 min), N Worthington, C Palmer, J Harkes, P Shirtliff, D Wilson, C Waddle, P Warhurst, C Bart-Williams (G Hyde 90 min), J Sheridan. Sub not used: K Pressman(gk). Manager: T Francis.

Referee: P Foakes (Clacton)

Goals: Warhurst (0-1, 3 min); Harkes (0-2, 90 min).