Football: European contenders revert to remote control

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Newcastle United 1

There was a sense of remoteness about this match. Two teams semi-detached from the top of the Premiership playing before an audience whose minds frequently wandered elsewhere. The indecisive outcome, which did neither team's European ambitions any good, summed up the afternoon.

The defining moment came in the second half. With Wednesday on the attack, the crowd at the rear of the main stand turned its back to the pitch. It looked like an imaginative form of protest - a backs to the ball statement about the quality on display - until a roar of approval revealed their attention had been the television sets in the executive boxes. Chesterfield had just scored a penalty.

Even Kenny Dalglish, the Newcastle manager, greeted the result ambiguously. "It keeps us in front of Sheffield Wednesday," he said, "and from that point of view it's not too bad. Aston Villa lost on Saturday which also helps us but it doesn't put us any nearer Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United."

Dalglish clearly still harbours thoughts of championships that have long been discarded by Newcastle's supporters. "I would love to win every game this season and see where we are," he said enigmatically; as Newcastle have won only once away since October, his hope is unlikely to be fulfilled. His team look destined for fourth place.

This match was almost a cameo of Newcastle's season. With Alan Shearer rampant they began well, scored through Robbie Elliott, and threatened to demolish their opponents. But they are used to false dawns on Tyneside and no one there will be surprised to learn that the opening flattered to deceive. By the finish Wednesday, who equalised through Mark Pembridge, had fought back off the ropes.

"It was a typical English game," David Pleat, the Wednesday manager, said. "Very hard, very fast. Like most English games it wanted someone to put his foot on the ball. I was going to say Peter Beardsley but it might get me in hot water."

The Newcastle bench contained not only Beardsley but Faustino Asprilla and David Ginola, too, but if that implied a lack of ambition, Newcastle quickly shattered that image. Shearer was just wide with a header after three minutes and had Kevin Pressman flying across his goal to save a free-kick 13 minutes later.

If there was a surprise when Newcastle scored after 34 minutes, therefore, it was that it was the first goal. Les Ferdinand flicked on a header to Shearer whose turn pushed Des Walker to the byline before he pulled the ball back. Robbie Elliott arrived like a bulldozer and when his first shot was blocked by Peter Atherton the rebound thumped into him and bounced past Pressman.

Wednesday had been disrupted by two fouls from David Batty that removed Andy Booth immediately and Des Walker eventually and, given the way the first half had gone there was little reason to expect a home revival. "I told the players it was a test for them," Pleat said, "and they responded very well." Atherton, in particular, as he went from midfield minder to centre-half and nullified Ferdinand's aerial superiority as a result.

With Ian Nolan also becoming accustomed to Keith Gillespie's pace and forcing his runs inside, Wednesday came to the fore through Benito Carbone who transformed from first-half anonymity to become the game's creative source. It was the Italian's run which brought the equaliser, twisting past John Beresford and crossing to the far post where Pembridge scored with a flamboyant volley.

Goals: Elliott (34) 0-1; Pembridge (56) 1-1.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-1-3-2): Pressman; Nicol (Blinker, 66), Walker (Collins, 41), Stefanovic, Nolan; Atherton; Whittingham, Oakes, Pembridge; Carbone, Booth (Humphreys, 19). Substitutes not used: Briscoe, Clarke (gk).

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Hislop; Barton, Peacock, Watson, Beresford; Gillespie, Lee, Batty, Elliott; Ferdinand, Shearer (Asprilla, 82). Substitutes not used: Beardsley, Ginola, Clark, Srnicek (gk).

Referee: G Barber (Warwick).

Bookings: Sheffield Wednesday: Atherton, Stefanovic; Newcastle: Batty, Barton.

Man of the match: Atherton. Attendance: 33,798.

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit