Shadow over Warnock's joy
Monday 29 May 1995
reports from Wembley
Huddersfield Town 2
Bristol Rovers 1
Huddersfield Town now possess a fitting stage to go with their spectacular new home, the First Division prize rapturously acclaimed yesterday thanks to a large helping hand from Andy Booth, their much-vaunted centre forward. Whether the name of Neil Warnock will remain fastened above the manager's door, however, is a conundrum not so easily solved.
Warnock is something of a play-off talisman. This was his third Wembley triumph and his achievements have not gone unnoticed among those clubs with a vacancy to fill. He says Huddersfield can only go forward now, but for him to stay in step depends on the outcome of today's meeting with the chairman, Terry Fisher.
The manager, who in successive years gave Notts County a promotion leg- up here, has been working without a contract and is disappointed at the reluctance so far to tie him down. "If it had been one of my players I would have locked him in the dressing room until he had signed," Warnock said. "Tonight I just want to enjoy the champagne, then I hope to hear certain things from the chairman. After that I will go away and think things over."
Warnock has had his differences, too, with an element of the Huddersfield support but as Chris Billy's winning goal 10 minutes from time brought an engrossing Second Division final to its climax, they were behind him all the way. At their fifth attempt Huddersfield had at last sampled Wembley success and the feeling was rather special.
It was Warnock who had played the decisive hand just as Bristol Rovers were wondering if their tidy, considered football was to meet its reward. Marcus Stewart, shooting from right to left, had just gone close. Earlier, Gareth Taylor had bungled a glorious opportunity when Stewart had seen a header come back to him off the bar, a moment that will haunt him for some time. Then Warnock sent on Iain Dunn and with his first touch the substitute crossed for Booth to set up Billy's winner. The aerial presence of the young England striker was something Rovers could not master all afternoon.
It was Booth who had given the Yorkshire side the lead in first-half injury time after another bout of penalty area head tennis following Ronnie Jepson's centre. His 30th goal of a productive campaign was cancelled out within 68 seconds as Stewart, on the turn, angled the ball deftly away from Steve Francis. Right at the death he struck the crossbar a second time from 25 yards. Unlike on Saturday, his name was not to prove so favoured.
Huddersfield Town (4-4-2): Francis; Trevitt (Dyson, 56), Scully, Sinnott, Cowan; Billy, Bullock, Duxbury, Crosby (Dunn, 80); Booth, Jepson. Substitute not used: Blackwell (gk).
Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Parkin; Pritchard, Clark, Tillson, Gurney; Sterling, Miller, Skinner, Channing (Archer, 84); Taylor (Browning, 80), Stewart. Substitute not used: Collett (gk).
Referee: C Wilkes (Gloucester).
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Primary PPA Teachers required for wo...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teachers requir...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...
£23760 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...