Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Tuesday, 6th Mar 2018 20:45
Town’s game against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough remains 0-0 at half-time.
Boss Mick McCarthy made two changes from the team which beat Preston 1-0 the weekend before last with Jordan Spence and Luke Hyam both returning to the line-up.
Spence took over from Dominic Iorfa, who dropped to the bench, at right wing-back with Hyam forming a central midfield trio with Cole Skuse, who was playing his 200th game for the Blues, and Callum Connolly.
Mustapha Carayol started behind Martyn Waghorn with Joe Garner, who has been nursing a number of knocks, among the subs.
Wednesday made six changes from the team which lost 4-0 at Bristol City on Saturday. David Jones, former Blue Jordan Rhodes, Jacob Butterfield, Glenn Loovens, Tom Lees, who was making his 150th appearance for the Owls, and George Boyd replaced Daniel Pudil, Frederico Venancio, Joey Pelupessy and Lucas Joao, who were all on the bench, and Sean Clare and Jack Stobbs, who were left out of the 18.
In addition to former Blues striker Rhodes, Morgan Fox, a one-time Town academy schoolboy, was in the Owls’ starting line-up.
The game started scruffily with neither side threatening in the opening 10 minutes. However, on 11, Carayol and Knudsen exchanged passes on the Blues left and the Danish international sent over a cross which Owls keeper Joe Wildsmith just about managed to paw away ahead of two Blues players at the far post.
As the game passed the quarter-hour mark Wednesday were having most of the ball but without getting into the final third, while the Blues were looking a threat on the break.
On 16 Carayol turned his man just inside the Owls’ half and burst away at pace before feeding Waghorn out to the right. The former Sunderland man cut in but scuffed his shot wide.
In the 23rd minute Adam Reach screwed a freekick from distance well wide after Blues skipper Chambers had harshly been penalised for a foul on Rhodes.
Two minutes later, Carayol made way having picked up a niggle and Freddie Sears took over.
Soon after, Town suddenly found themselves under pressure and in the 27th minute the Owls should have gone in front.
Adam Webster’s defensive header inadvertently looped up to his right and fell perfectly for Atdhe Nuhui, whose well-struck volley was somehow blocked at virtually point blank by Bartosz Bialkowski. It was a stop right up there with the Polish keeper’s best for the Blues.
On 33 Rhodes could only flick on Waghorn’s freekick from the right but fortunately for him the ball flew straight to his keeper Wildsmith.
It was Wednesday by now pinned back in their area with a subsequent Waghorn freekick from the left knocked back across goal and then cleared as was a Knudsen cross from the left moments afterwards.
On 38, following another corner, Cameron Carter-Vickers struck a powerful low effort which flew just past Wildsmith’s left post.
As the half moved into its final five minutes, the home side broke swiftly, Jacob Butterfield finding Nuhiu on the left of the area but the Kosovan international’s strike was blocked by Chambers.
Just before the break, Sears teed-up Connolly on the edge of the box but the on-loan Everton man’s powerful strike was blocked.
Moments before the whistle, a poor Liam Palmer ball in from the left found only a Town player, prompting boos from the home supporters as their team left the field.
The Blues had shaded a first half of few real chances, although Nuhiu’s volley so brilliantly saved by Bialkowski was the period’s clearest opportunity.
Carayol had shown a glimpse or two of his Preston form prior to being replaced, but had been on the periphery when replaced by Sears, who made more of an impact.
If Town play similarly in the second half Mick McCarthy’s unbeaten record as a manager at Hillsborough - as well as the Blues’ eight-game run without a defeat - seems likely to continue.
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Palmer, Lees, Loovens (c), Fox, Boyd, Jones, Butterfield, Reach, Rhodes, Nuhiu. Subs: Dawson, Joao, Pelupessy, Pudil, Preston, Abdi, Venancio.
Town: Bialkowski, Carter-Vickers, Chambers (c), Webster, Spence, Skuse, Connolly, Hyam, Knudsen, Carayol (Sears 25), Waghorn. Subs: M Crowe, Iorfa, Celina, Garner, Ward, Gleeson. Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).
Photo: Action Images
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