Wed, Aug

"It was a good time for me and Sheffield (Wednesday)," said 20-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international Kenwyne Jones. "They moved up the (League One) table and are now in a play-off place and I have made a name for myself and a lot more people have heard about me."

Jones missed the chance to write his name in Sheffield Wednesday folklore as he failed to score in a seventh successive league match but still helped Wednesday to a 1-1 tie away to Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

His spell at Wednesday, which saw Jones bag seven goals from as many matches, ended in typically exciting fashion.

In the last minute of stoppage time, the "Owls" piled into the Bournemouth penalty box for a corner kick with even Wednesday goalkeeper David Lucas joining his outfield colleagues for a final attempt at an equaliser.

It duly came off the head of left back Paul Heckinbottom to spark scenes of pandemonium at the Fitness First Stadium.

Heckinbottom was cautioned for his excessive celebrating with the travelling fans and will be suspended for Wednesday's next fixture. But it was the gloating of one exuberant visiting fan that caused chaos.

He stormed the playing field and ran in front of the Bournemouth supporters with clenched fists. Never was a man so happy to be collared and ejected by the match stewards. Because near 50 Bournemouth supporters jumped the barricade separating the stands from the pitch to get him first.

And, as Jones and company waited, police rushed to the aid of the stewards in averting a riot before the remaining seconds of the game was played.

Jones has never experienced anything as intense as his time at Wednesday and he leaves with fond memories.

"It is the most exciting atmosphere I have ever experienced as a player easily," he told the Express. "The (2001) Under-17 World Cup was great for me then but not even that can compare with the atmosphere every week at Sheffield."

Wednesday, once a regular English top flight club, still boast regular attendances exceeding 20,000 patrons, which makes them the best supported team outside the Premiership- even Premier League clubs like Portsmouth, Blackburn and Fulham often fail to match their gates.

The standard of football in League One, though, is a long way from premier quality.

For much of the first half, the game more closely mirrored a kickboxing contest.

Players shoulder charged with impunity and flew into tackles with studs showing to compensate for heavy touches on the ball.

Jones learned quickly and showed growing appreciation for the use of arms, elbows and shoulders as well as his booming shot and long strides.

Yet the British clubs at this level do not flex their muscles for nothing.

As Wednesday players lost initiative to their more physical hosts, Bournemouth struck with a superb goal in the 12th minute.

Giant Bournemouth captain and striker Steve Fletcher released winger Wade Elliot and then headed his resulting cross into the path of onrushing midfielder Garreth O' Connor whose fine low volley into the far corner capped a top drawer item.

Wednesday emerged as a changed team after the halftime interval though.

Jones threatened throughout from crossballs in the first half but manager Paul Sturrock left him with little doubt about his shortcomings.

"He told me I needed to provide the team with more options up front," said Jones, "and I think I did that in the second half."

Wednesday took charge from the off with Jones showing more desire to get involved in their link up play.

His first sniff at goal came in the 49th minute when he spun his marker from 20 yards and missed the near post by inches with a fierce left foot strike.

Five minutes later, Jones was a fraction away from the far corner with a firm header while he also created chances for his strike partner.

Heckingbottom stole the headlines with a last gasp equaliser but Jones' worth was not lost on his teammates or manager who are sad to see him leave. He rejoined Premier League team, Southampton,yesterday.

"He is very naive as a centre forward," Sturrock told the Express, after the match. "He does not know the runs and does not contribute to the game enough. He will have to work really hard to make it as a forward."

"But he has done a fantastic job for us and showed really good qualities as a boxman and a finisher."

Sturrock believes that Jones, who starts in midfield for Trinidad and Tobago, must play upfront as often as possible to aid his development.

Jones would like a more offensive assignment for his country but, first, he must convince Southampton manager Harry Redknapp.

It is likely that Southampton would loan him to a League Championship team to further monitor his development although Jones is anxious to make his Premiership debut.

"I know that I still have a lot to learn," he said. "My goal is to try my best to develop myself further and to get into the (Southampton) team this season. I will also do my best to help Trinidad and Tobago qualify for the World Cup."

Wednesday, he hopes, was only the beginning.