Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 16th Apr 2016 16:00
Fernando Forestieri’s 42nd minute goal has given Sheffield Wednesday a 1-0 half-time lead over the Blues at Hillsborough.
The Town starting line-up featured five changes with David McGoldrick making his first start since October, while Kevin Bru, Jonathan Douglas, Liam Feeney and Tommy Smith also returned to the team.
Luke Varney (hamstring) and Cole Skuse dropped out through injury, Luke Hyam due to suspension, while Ben Pringle moved to the bench and Ainsley Maitland-Niles was left out of the 18.
Andre Dozzell was amongst the senior subs for a second time, alongside fellow youngsters Adam McDonnell and Myles Kenlock.
The Blues, wearing their orange third kit, started in a 4-4-2 system with Feeney on the left and Kevin Foley on the right, Bru and Douglas in the middle and McGoldrick and Freddie Sears up front.
Town threatened for the first time in the third minute when Sears escaped down the left but his low cross was cut out.
The former Colchester man came close to opening the scoring a minute later when he was sent away on the left following a quickly taken freekick - too quickly according to the home players - but Wednesday keeper Keiren Westwood diverted his shot from a tight angle wide.
The Owls’ first chance came from a ninth minute Ross Wallace corner on the right but Daniel Pudil headed well over.
The Blues were having the better of the opening spell and on 11 McGoldrick, who spent time on loan at Hillsborough in 2011, turned a shot a couple of yards wide of Westwood’s right post.
The Wednesday keeper came close to creating a goal in the 17th minute when his long kick deceived Christophe Berra, allowing Kieran Lee to take the ball down and find Lucas Joao, who broke into the box and hit a low shot across Bartosz Bialkowski but wide of his right post.
Three minutes later, with the Owls now on top, Joao was sent away through on goal on the left by Pudil but was thwarted by the advancing Bialkowski.
On 28 Wednesday skipper Glenn Loovens headed wide from another Wallace right-sided corner.
Three minutes later, the Owls broke down the left and Wallace whipped over a dangerous ball which Bialkowski punched against Bru at the edge of the box with the ball falling to the Mauritius international rather than a home player. After his initial clearance had cannoned back into the area, Bru eventually saw the ball out for a goalkick.
Barry Bannan scraped a shot wide in the 38th minute after good work from Joao on the right with Wednesday still in charge and with Town rarely getting into the final third.
Three minutes later the home side came even closer when a dangerous ball from the right appeared to catch both Blues skipper Luke Chambers and Fernando Forestieri as it flew across the six-yard area before being claimed by a grateful Bialkowski.
But a minute later the Owls went in front. Wallace crossed from the left, Berra’s stooping header hit Joao and fell to Forestieri, who smashed the loose ball past Bialkowski from 10 yards.
Neither side threatened again before the break with the Owls going in deservedly in front.
Having made a bright start with Sears having had a couple of opportunities, the Blues had allowed the home side to get on top and Wednesday might have gone in front prior to Forestieri’s goal with Bialkowski doing well to save from Joao when the Portuguese striker was through on goal.
Town have a lot of work to do in the second half to claim the win which would reignite their play-off hopes.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Loovens, Lees, Pudil, Wallace, Bannan, Lopez, Lee, Joao, Forestieri. Subs: Wildsmith, Sasso, Bennett, McGugan, Matias, Hooper, Nuhiu.
Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Douglas, Bru, Foley, Feeney, Sears, McGoldrick. Subs: Gerken, Digby, Kenlock, McDonnell, Dozzell, Pringle, Pitman. Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).
Photo: Action Images
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