Sheffield Wednesday - Wednesday 0-0 Ipswich
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Wednesday 0 - Ipswich Town 0

Hillsborough, Sheffield

20/09/08 - 3pm

Attendance: 17,198

Wednesday 0-0 Ipswich

Wednesday recovered from their 6-0 drubbing at Reading in midweek to continue their unbeaten run on home soil this season against Jim Magilton's Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Boss Brian Laws was left pleased with the return against the Tractor Boys after insisting his troops' confidence was 'battered' with the heavy defeat at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night, and in debt to 'keeper Lee Grant, who pulled off a number of superb second half saves to earn the Owls a share of the spoils.

Laws made just the one change to his line-up with Steve Watson returning to the Owls' midfield after recovering from injury, with Deon Burton losing out and returning to the bench, with Laws option for a 4-3-3 formation.

There was also the added boost of Francis Jeffers returning to the squad after a lengthy lay-off on the treatment table, and he played ten minutes as a second half substitute against his former club.

Wednesday came flying out of the traps and came a lick of paint away from taking the advantage from a thunderbolt from Marcus Tudgay which came crashing back off the woodwork, Jermaine Johnson failing to make correct contact with the rebound.

And the early effort gave Wednesday renewed confidence in fron of the S6 crowd, Tudgay coming close for a second time in quick succession when he dived to connect with an Etienne Esajas corner but headed the effort just over the bar.

Watson returned and put in arguably a man-of-the-match performance in the centre of midfield alongside James O'Connor, the pair forming an impressive partnership in the centre of the park that's keeping Chelsea loanee Jimmy Smith on the sidelines.

Watson, although not getting any younger, showed his former Premier League class with impressive tackling and passing, with his highlight coming when he charged through the centre of the park before firing a tame effort in to the hands of Ipswich stopper Richard Wright.

Ipswich had former Owl-turned-Blade Alan Quinn in the starting line-up, while Jonathan Stead, another man seen in the red and white from the other side of the city, also started for Magilton's men, with neither making much impat on the match.

Johnson again took on the role of lone striker, though Magilton had clearly educated his men on the tricky attacker, with the Ipswich defence keeping tight to the Jamaican, often giving away free-kicks thanks to his pace and tricky in attack.

And Johnson forced a low save from Wright with a decent effort as Wednesday continue to create the more clear cut chances in front of goal.

But the visitors perhaps had the best chance just minutes later, Quinn getting in to the match for the first time to se his effort brilliantly saved by the fingers of Grant.

Half-Time: Wednesday 0-0 Ipswich

Although Wednesday edged the first half in terms of possession and chances, it was Ipswich who impressed in the second 45 and will have thought themselves unfortunate to come away with all three points as Lee Grant put in arguably his best 45 minutes in a Wednesday shirt.

Chances dried up at both ends although Johnson again weaved his way by two Ipswich defenders with his pace before firing a low effort which was comfortably saved by Wright.

Laws had said prior to the match that his side's confidence had been shattered with the defeat at Reading, especially at the back, and the Owls' defence started to show signs of uncertainty as the game ticked along, with Ipswich gianing the upper hand and looking the more likely to open the scoring.

And it was down to Grant to make the save of the match, from an effort by Quinn, as he superbly leapt to somehow push the Irishman's effort wide of the goal to the applause of the Wednesday fans behind his goal.

The visitors had two further chances to snatch the points, former Plymouth Argyle man David Norris smashing the ball off the woodwork before forcing another top class save from Grant just minutes later.

The arrival of Francis Jeffers with seven minutes to go proved the only positive from the Owls faithful, as the game sizzled out in to Wednesday's first goalless encounter of the campaign.

Full-Time: Wednesday 0-0 Ipswich

Wednesday: Grant, McMahon, Wood, Spurr, Gilbert, McAllister (Jeffers 83), O'Connor, Watson, Esajas (Burton 61), Tudgay, Johnson (Small 80). Unused substitutes: Smith, Clarke.

Ipswich: Richard Wright, Volz, McAuley, David Wright, Naylor, Garvan, Shumulikoski, Quinn, Norris, Walters, Stead (Lisbie 69). Unused substitutes: Supple, Campo, Miller, Haynes.

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 21 2008

Time: 9:23PM


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