RETRO OWLS: 20 years ago this week...Sheffield Wednesday 4 Coventry 3

Sheffield Wednesday player Mark Bright pictured with Paul Carrack - 1995
Sheffield Wednesday player Mark Bright pictured with Paul Carrack - 1995
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There was little for Sheffield football fans to toast in December 1995 as both teams stumbled towards the festive season.

United were fourth bottom in Division One, outside the relegation zone on goal difference, while Wednesday were also precariously close to the bottom three in the Premiership.

Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry City - 5th December 1995'Guy Whittingham salutes after scoring the first goal

Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry City - 5th December 1995'Guy Whittingham salutes after scoring the first goal

Coventry were the visitors to Hillsborough on 4 December as Wednesday sought only their second home win of the season.

The Owls had won their opening match in S6 on 23 August but since then they had taken just two points at home against the two Manchester clubs and they were on a winless run of five games.

So, it was hardly a spellbinding prospect for the TV cameras on a Monday night that drew just 16,229 fans.

When Dion Dublin scored for the Sky Blues after 18 minutes, the omens were not good for David Pleat’s side, the striker heading home from Coventry’s fourth corner of the match after the visitors applied some pressure.

Andy Sinton. Sheffield Wednesday.

Andy Sinton. Sheffield Wednesday.

However, the Owls were level seven minutes later, Guy Whittingham on target following Lee Briscoe’s run and cross.

Kevin Pressman denied defender Paul Williams but was then at fault as he spilled John Salako’s long-range shot which allowed Dublin to pounce and slam the rebound home eight minutes before the break.

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The Owls were behind for just two minutes though. Ian Nolan’s cross found Mark Bright whose volley was blocked by Sky Blues keeper Steve Ogrizovic only for David Hirst to sidefoot the ball into the net.

Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry City - 5 December 1995'Marc Degryse salutes Owls third goal

Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry City - 5 December 1995'Marc Degryse salutes Owls third goal

Bright then missed from eight yards shortly before half-time.

The second half opened with Coventry defender Richard Shaw heading against his own bar with Bright, Whittingham and Marc Degryse all in the midst of goalmouth action.

Again though it was Coventry who found the net and again it was that man Dublin when a near-post flick-on left him with a free header to complete his hat-trick after 56 minutes.

Once more the Owls hit back. Hirst found Bright whose header was saved but Degryse followed up to level the match at 3-3 five minutes later.

Lee Briscoe

Lee Briscoe

Wednesday poured forward in search of the matchwinner.

Chris Waddle’s cross was just too high for Bright, Hirst raced away only to smash the ball against the inside of a post and Whittingham side-footed Bright’s cross wide.

Degryse had worked hard and played with no little skill all night and it was he who provided the assist for the seventh and winning goal.

The Belgian played the ball which got a deflection off Salako, Nolan also involved in the move which was finished off by Bright who jabbed the ball home at the near post.

It could never be plain sailing though and Pressman was called upon to save an angled drive by Peter Ndlovu with his feet.

Eventually referee Mike Reed blew for time and victory was Wednesday’s as they moved up to 14th, five points between them and QPR in third bottom.

The overwhelming emotion was one of relief ahead of their upcoming games against Manchester United and Leeds from whom they took four points.

“We got one more goal than them!” said Pleat. “We have entertained and played in a game which must have been enjoyed.

“You could say we gave the other team a chance.”

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