Away romp proves value of scoring first goal

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Wednesday’s record away win was 8-0 against tomorrow’s opponents Aldershot - and that match holds a surprising relevance today.

Bare statistics may suggest that it was a mere romp as Wednesday, then in the old First Division, thrashed the Fourth Division Shots in a League Cup second-round second leg on October 3, 1989, with four goals from Steve Whitton, three from Dalian Atkinson and one from Craig Shakespeare.

In fact the match illustrated something that Gary Megson preaches to his players to this day; scoring the first goal is vital.

Lawrie Madden, who played in that Aldershot game, explains: “I remember it because they had the first chance, a very good one.

“Ron Atkinson and Richie Barker [assistant manager] were doing their nut on the touchline. They thought we were playing too loose.

“Aldershot took the game to us. We were on the back foot and hardly in the game for the first 20 minutes.

“We’d expected to go to Aldershot with a bit of a lead. But we had drawn 0-0 at home, we were on an indifferent run and weren’t prolific scorers, and there was a lot of media interest because there was a chance of an upset.

“If they had taken that chance, and we’d have gone one down, at a small, enclosed ground against a team with the crowd behind them, you never know what would have happened.

“The first goal is important; we got it, and after that it was pretty comfortable.”

Dalian Atkinson made it 1-0 in the 23rd minute and it was 4-0 at half-time. Madden added: “Ron and Richie were happy at half-time, after 20 minutes they weren’t. It just shows how your mood can change.”