As Steve Simonsen blazed over his penalty kick to hand Huddersfield Town promotion to the Championship, the wave of disappointment that came over me was something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Its taken me a good few days to gather my thoughts. I pretty much flat out refused to speak to anyone about the game itself and I did my best to divert my conversations to other matters or telling them about my five hour journey to England’s national stadium.
Many fans across the country will look upon a trip to Wembley as a fantastic day out, something to really look forward. A day for your club on the biggest stage in front a big expectant crowd. Sheffield United fans however look upon these trips with dread. My personal record of these big occasions is awful, I still haven’t seen United score a goal. Still had nothing to really celebrate during these big occasions. Nothing to really grab onto, like taking the lead or scoring an equalizer. The closest thing I have come to is a couple of saves from Steve Simonsen.
I think that’s the thing that puts most United fans off going to these games. We have never been in a position to win the game. No real excitement to get people off their seats believing that yes, this is the day we finally do it. Ok, we would have been two in front in the shootout had Andy Taylor scored his kick, but as we celebrated the saves by Simmo my thoughts were always quickly on the next spot kick and how it could go wrong for us. Once it went to sudden death and Huddersfield kept on scoring, I knew it was a matter of time before we missed one. I’m in no way ever going to blame Simonsen, he had his best game in a Blades shirt last Saturday. I will take that as my last memory of him as he has been released this week, good luck to him.
So as I made my way out of Wembley in the evening sun hoping it wasn’t going to take another five hours to get home, I said to my friends “Can you really pick yourselves up for another season after today?” The answer was not at the moment, but as time passes the hurt fades. Thoughts turn to a new season with a few new players and a couple of new teams to play. United have a number of players out of contract and will no doubt be trying to fight off bids for young stars like Matt Lowton and Harry Maguire.
Here’s to another summer, a summer that will be packed with sport. I’ll watch the Euros, the Olympics and the cricket with interest. Come August my enthusiasm for league football and Sheffield United will be restored, after all what else is their to do on a Saturday afternoon?