Date:Sunday March 16 2008
Ricoh Arena, Coventry
15/03/08 - 15:00
Wednesday boss Brian Laws would have taken the point against the Owls' relegation rivals before the match, and it showed in a lacklustre performance at the Ricoh Arena between two sides who'll need to battle for every point if they're to stay in the Championship this season.
It wasn't pretty, and Chris Coleman may have believed his men merited the three points on the day, but the result no doubt suited the Owls, who are one of the form teams at the bottom of the Championship despite slipping back in to the bottom three on Saturday afternoon.
Lee Grant has been one performer who can come out of the season with good reports, and it was the former Derby stoppers saves that helped the Owls to their crucial point against a side they'll be back up against in the next few weeks.
Owls boss Laws stuck with the same starting eleven that picked up a crucial three points in another relegation six pointer against Colchester in midweek, with Adam Bolder coming back in to the squad after sitting out the last two games through suspension, while Peter Gilbert also returned on the subs bench.
Both sides were desperate for the three points going in to the clash, and it started in frantic fashion but with chances coming few and far between, the Owls and Sky Blues both showing the type of football that suits the bottom end of the division.
Lee Grant was the first goalkeeper to have to make a save, keeping out Jay Tabb just after ten minutes after former Owls loanee Leon Best had done the legwork, while Coventry also had an early shout of a penalty turned away following a foul on Kevin Thornton.
Wednesday, with Deon Burton and Marcus Tudgay in their attack, hardly had a sniff on Kasper Schmeichel's goal - the Manchester City stopper had moved to the Ricoh on loan in midweek - as Coventry started to build the momentum.
A previous clash at the Ricoh between the two sides had seen Wednesday reduced to nine men early on with Wade Small and Chris Brunt both seeing red, and it could have been more of the same as passion boiled over with some of the players on show.
Grant was the start of the show for Wednesday on the day, but he could have easily seen red in the first half after an altercation with Thornton.
Wednesday's only clear cut chance in a lacklustre first period came as the creative Frank Songo'o put in a dangerous low cross for Tudgay to latch on to, but the Sky Blues' number one showed signs of his father, Peter, by coming out to smother any effort from the Owls' forward.
Danny Fox also had a great chance for the Sky Blues just before the break but the Owls went in to the break on level terms, but needed to up their game if they were to take anything other than a point away from the match.
Half-Time: Coventry 0-0 Wednesday
Wednesday fans making the trip to Coventry will have been hoping for more of the same following up upturn of results in recent matches, most recently the 2-1 win at Colchester in midweek which took the Owls out of the bottom three.
But they were desperate for the final whistle for what you could call a 'hard fought' point after Coventry threw everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at the Wednesday defence, which held firm with a little help from Grant in between the sticks.
Michael Mifsud has been an inspiration for the Sky Blues this season and he danced his way by two Wednesday defenders ten minutes after the restart before firing a powerful effort harmlessly in to the side netting.
Scott Dann and Kevin Thornton both had half chances to give Chris Coleman's men the lead but Lee Grant was able to hold on to both efforts, before producing a fine save from Mifsud just minutes later as Coventry upped the tempo.
The Owls were looking pleased with a point but they could well have gone away with all three as Graham Kavanagh produced the only memorable moment in a dire performance, sending a long-range effort just inches over the bar.
But Laws, and the travelling Wednesday faithful, will no doubt be the happier of the two teams with the point, as the Sky Blues gear up for another relegation six pointer at Hillsborough in the reverse fixture in the next few weeks.
Full-Time: Coventry 0-0 Wednesday
Coventry: Schmeichel; Fox; Ward; Hughes; Doyle (Simpson 61); Osbourne; Mifsud; Tabb; Best; Dann; Thornton. Subs (not used): Marshall; Hall; Andrews; Gray.
Wednesday: Grant; Hinds; Kavanagh; Tudgay (Showunmi 77) Burton (Bolder 84); McAllister; Beevers; Wood; Small; Spurr; Songo'o (O'Brien 65). Subs (not used): Burch; Gilbert.
Date:Sunday March 16 2008
|Sheff Wed||2||-||0||Leeds Utd|
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|6. Derby County||29||12||12||5||10||48|
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