Football: Clarke and Ekoku in Kinnear's bad books

Wimbledon 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Click to follow
The Independent Online
DERRICK WHYTE

Wimbledon 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Andy Clarke and Efan Ekoku must have thought it was their day when Joe Kinnear told them to stop warming the substitutes' bench and get out there and sort out Sheffield Wednesday.

Fifteen minutes was all Kinnear gave them after Paolo Di Canio's intervention in a goalmouth scramble had poked Wednesday level and in that time the two strikers scored zero on the pitch and in the manager's little black book.

"If Ekoku had passed to Clarke in the closing minutes we would have had a tap-in goal and Clarke also missed two sitters. We should have had all three points. It's so frustrating," Kinnear said. "Our strikers have to take more responsibility. They have not been doing their job. Too often they put their heads down and did not see anyone else."

While Clarke and Ekoku hung their heads, Jason Euell was in Kinnear's good books. "This boy will make the England Under-21 team," said the manager of the 19-year-old who gave the Dons a 17th-minute lead with an angled header and was a constant threat.

Wimbledon had more chances, but Wednesday had most of the second-half play. "We had better shape in the second half and I think we deserved our goal, but I have to say I am pleased with a point," David Pleat, the Wednesday manager, said.

Di Canio, Pleat's summer signing from Celtic, forced the ball home from close range in the 75th minute after Graham Hyde and Mark Pembridge had shots blocked.

Wimbledon claimed the equaliser was offside, but Pleat countered: "When Ekoku and Clarke were both through on their own in the closing minutes, a linesman was very much at fault. Not one, but both men were offside."

Goals: Euell (17) 1-0; Di Canio (75) 1-1

Wimbledon: Sullivan; Cunningham, Kimble, Jones, Blackwell, Earle (Hughes, 90), Holdsworth (Clarke, 75), Gayle (Ekoku, 75), Perry, Ardley, Euell. Substitutes not used: Thatcher, Heald (gk).

Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman; Atherton, Nolan, Pembridge (Collins, 84), Newsome, Walker, Carbone, Booth, Di Canio, Hyde, Blondeau. Substitutes not used: Whittingham, Nicol, Oakes, Clarke (gk).

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester-le-Street). Booked: Sheff Wed: Atherton.

Man of the match: Euell. Attendance: 11,503.

Comments