Football / FA Premiership: Swales protected from fans' wrath

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The Independent Online
Manchester City. . . . .1

Sheron 86

Sheffield Wednesday. . .3

Jones 66, Bart-Williams 75, Jemson 84

Attendance: 23,416

PETER REID was out as manager of Manchester City after a run of five games without a win; his replacement, Brian Horton, has now managed eight.

But the animosity at Maine Road after Sheffield Wednesday had rattled in three goals in quick succession yesterday afternoon was all directed at someone else, Peter Swales, the Manchester City chairman.

So intense was the home crowd's campaign that they hardly noticed their late token goal, and 200 fans continued in full voice outside the ground for 45 minutes after the end of the game. Swales was flanked throughout the match by three bouncers, and, as the 'Swales out' chants filled the rafters, they were joined by a string of stewards and policemen.

After another poor showing from City, it would seem that there is more happening off the pitch than on it.

Yet beside the presence of their chairman, yesterday's display provided plenty to keep the Kippax shouting. There was the occasionally sublime - breakneck breakaway attacks in the first half directed at Niall Quinn - and the totally ridiculous - David White falling over the ball in the box when he should have finished off one of the best chances of the game.

City's real blooper, however, was provided by Quinn before his half-time substitution. Kevin Pressman, Sheffield Wednesday's goalkeeper, attempted a dribble of Sinton-esque quality, went around Mike Sheron but was robbed by Quinn who then missed the open goal.

Andy Sinton had by this stage gone off having been the kingpin of an impressive opening 25 minutes in which Mark Bright twice failed to finish. With the departure of Sinton, Wednesday's supremacy and a lot of the game's finer touches went with him.

City gradually took the upper hand, spending the start of the second period camped in Wednesday's half, and it was against the run of play that Wednesday produced their triple whammy.

The first was a scrappy toe poke from Ryan Jones, the second followed a skilful run by Chris Bart-Williams, and was again finished by Jones, while the third was a header from by Nigel Jemson from Graham Hyde's cross.

City, to their credit, kept their heads up. Sheron scored with six minutes remaining and Adie Mike had a shot headed off the line. And as the disenchanted players went off, the 'Swales out' shout went up once more.

(Photograph omitted)