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Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 16th Sep 2023 16:09

Conor Chaplin’s third goal of the season has given Town a 1-0 half-time lead over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Town made one change from the team which beat Cardiff 3-2 at Portman Road a fortnight ago with Freddie Ladapo coming into the XI for George Hirst.

Former Owls academy youngster Hirst suffered a recurrence of his adductor injury against the Bluebirds but returned to training this week and was on the bench.

Wes Burns was OK to start in his right-sided role, despite picking up a hamstring problem while away with Wales.

For the Owls, key midfielder man Barry Bannan was absent from the 20-man squad, while Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick made his debut having joined on loan from Newcastle, while John Buckley, another new loanee from Blackburn, was among the subs.

Former Blues loan defender Dominic Iorfa started and one-time loan midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson was on the bench.

Town threatened within the first minute after Burns was sent away on the right and cut back to Ladapo but the striker rather scuffed his effort and Hendrick was able to clear ahead of the lurking Nathan Broadhead.

The early stages were scruffy with neither side able to take charge and with Wednesday giving Town little time on the ball in their own half.

On 10, skipper Sam Morsy was shown the game’s first yellow card for putting his body in between himself and Juan Delgado, who went to ground rather dramatically holding his face.

Moments later, Wednesday’s Akin Famewo joined him in the book for kicking the ball away to slow Town down at a throw-in.

The Blues began to get their passing going and in the 15th minute should have gone ahead following a slick move down the right which had originated with keeper Vaclav Hladky playing it out to his centre-halves.

Conor Chaplin sent Burns away and the Welshman cut back to Ladapo in space in the area but the former Rotherham man’s effort was blocked by advancing keeper Devis Vasquez.

On 29, Wednesday were forced into a change when Iorfa took to the turf with a knock having done the same earlier in the half. Di’Shon Bernard, who worked with Town boss Kieran McKenna at Manchester United, took over.

The game, which had become increasingly stop-start mainly due Wednesday players requiring treatment, was held up again three minutes later when Famewo landed awkwardly following an aerial tussle with Ladapo in the centre circle.

The Blues had broken following the clash - with home fans angry that the game hadn’t been stopped - but Broadhead had been dispossessed as he reached the edge of the box.

Town had another great chance to go ahead in the 36th minute when Burns was sent away down the right via a typically incisive Broadhead pass. This time, the Wales international opted to shoot and his effort was blocked by Vasquez. However, it looped out to Chaplin just inside the box but last season’s top scorer’s volley screwed away from goal and wide.

On 42, Burns was booked for a late challenge on Delgado with the Owls fans calling for more than just a yellow card. George Byers floated in the free-kick from the left and Michael Smith, a regular scorer against the Blues over the years with the Owls and Rotherham, flicked a looping header well over.

Three minutes later, Town took the lead. Ex-Wednesday midfielder Massimo Luongo sent away Leif Davis, who had previously had a quiet half, down the left and the former Leeds man took it on into the box and cut back to Chaplin, who slammed a low shot through a crowd of Owls defenders in the six-yard box and into the net.

The 2,000-plus Town fans celebrated wildly at one end, while Chaplin appeared to imitate painting a post at the other having scored his third goal of the season.

After the fourth official had indicated six additional minutes, the game was held up again for an injury to Davis, who after lengthy treatment was helped from the pitch with what looked to be a right ankle problem and was replaced by Brandon Williams.

Davis made his way round the perimeter in front of the applauding Town fans towards the bench supported by two of club staff, putting no weight on his injured leg.

Just before the whistle after what turned out to be 11 additional minutes, Josh Windass smashed a free-kick into the Town wall.

The Blues thorough deserved their lead after creating all the half’s chances. Town would have been disappointed not to have been in the lead prior to Chaplin’s goal with Ladapo and Burns both having had excellent earlier opportunities.

Wednesday had sought to upset Town’s rhythm and control by trying to make the game as stop-start as possible, while never seriously able to threaten themselves.

A second Blues goal ought to be enough to seal a third away win on the trot from the start of the Championship season.

Sheffield Wednesday: Vasquez, Paterson, Palmer (c), Iorfa (Bernard 29), Famewo, Delgado, Byers, Hendrick, Windass, Gregory, Smith. Subs: Dawson, Valentin, Ihiekwe, James, Buckley, Bakinson, Musaba, Fletcher.

Town: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis (Williams 45), Morsy (c), Luongo, Burns, Chaplin, Broadhead, Ladapo. Subs: Ball, Evans, Taylor, Hutchinson, Jackson, Scarlett, Hirst. Referee: James Linington (Newport, Isle of Wight).

Photo: Matchday Images and Action Images

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