Football / FA Cup Fourth-Round Replays: Peacock repays Chelsea's faith: Wednesday evicted

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Wednesday. . . . . . . . . .1

Chelsea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

(aet; score at 90 minutes 1-1)

CHELSEA'S expensive investment in Gavin Peacock and Mark Stein paid off when it mattered most, in the 96th minute of this replay. The pounds 1.6m Stein's headed lay-off was perfectly judged and the pounds 1.2m Peacock's angled finish was priceless, flashing in off the far post to keep Chelsea's season afloat.

It was Peacock's cross which enabled Craig Burley to seal it five minutes from the end of extra time and earn them a visit to Oxford. Glenn Hoddle's makeshift side were good value for their victory. Wednesday will have to raise their game several notches if their own hopes of silverware are not to sink at Old Trafford on Sunday in the Coca-Cola Cup semi-final.

Their fortunes had seemed to be looking up, with Andy Sinton demonstrating his return to fitness with some penetrating runs down the left, and Chris Waddle coming off the bench towards the end of a first 90 minutes neither side deserved to win.

It was the pace and enthusiasm of Chelsea's youth against the measured build-ups of a Wednesday side whose older heads sometimes seemed to be supported by old limbs.

Darren Barnard had already brought a fine save from Kevin Pressman when Peacock gave early warning of what was to come, his overhead flick setting up John Spencer's goal after only six minutes. Wednesday were back on terms before the break, though all 11 Chelsea players disputed the goal's validity. Sinton's corner was only partially cleared by Dmitri Kharine, who complained he was impeded by Chris Bart- Williams.

But there was no arguing with Mark Bright's finish, which he drilled through a packed goal area.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Nilsson, Pearce, Walker, Coleman; Bart- Williams, Palmer, Hyde, Sinton; Watson (Waddle, 73), Bright. Substitutes not used: Poric, Woods (gk).

Chelsea (4-4-2): Kharine; Clarke, Sinclair, Johnsen, Myers (Hopkins, 96); Burley, Newton, Peacock, Barnard; Spencer (Kjeldbjerg, 113), Stein. Substitute not used: Hitchcock (gk).

Refereee: R Hart (Darlington).

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