Date:Sunday March 26 2006
25/03/06 - 15:00
The Owls pulled out one of their best performances of the season to collect a vital three points against play-off hopefuls Wolves.
A Deon Burton strike and a brace for Marcus Tudgay were enough for Wednesday, who were made to work hard following Carl Cort's equaliser just after the break.
Owls boss Paul Sturrock kept with the same side that beat Preston North End last week.
Loanee, and former Wolves player Mikkel Bischoff passed a late fitness test to be part of a back three including Graham Coughlan and Peter Gilbert - who played through the pain barrier with tooth ache.
Marcus Tudgay started off just behind strike partner Deon Burton after the pair linked so well in last weekend's encounter with PNE.
The travelling Wednesday army received a boost before kick-off by hearing that favourite Jon-Paul McGovern was included on the bench after being sidelined for most of the season.
Wolves boss Glenn Hoddle stuck with the same side that earned a point at Premiership-bound Reading last week.
Mark Kennedy was recalled to the bench after recovering from an injury.
Wednesday came to Molineux knowing that a tough task lay ahead, and the atmosphere was built up over the PA system and by fans on the two big screens bellowing 'Come on Wolves!'. The addition of 'Hi Ho Silver Lining' was enough to get both sets of fans going before the game had even started.
The three points on offer were as important for Wolves as they were for Wednesday, and it was the hosts who created the first opportunity through Celtic-bound Kenny Miller. Tomasz Frankowski's neat back-heel found Miller unmarked, but some clever goalkeeping by Scott Carson in the Wednesday goal forced the Scot wide.
It didn't get better for the Owls, as Peter Gilbert was forced off through injury after just nine minutes of play. Fit again John Hills came on to replace the former Leicester man.
The on-loan Scott Carson produced the first of a number of fine saves from a low Lee Naylor free-kick. Frankowski was felled at the edge of the box, but the Liverpool stopper was positioned well to make the save look easy.
Sub Hills then went on a run in acres of space down the left wing and could have almost run the ball into the back of the net such was the lack of defending from the hosts, but his cut-back failed to find any Wednesday players and the ball was cleared to safety.
The hosts may have been creating the better chances, but they were only half chances and Wednesday were looking good value for the point at the half hour mark. Yoann Folly was linking up play well, and the front two were working their socks off.
As you would expect from a team with a front line good enough for top flight football, the hosts were still creating chances but were being thwarted by an impressive Carson.
The England under-21 stopped was alert to firstly stop Kenny Miller putting the hosts in the lead after a nead touch from strike partner Frankowski. He then adjusted well to divert a Rohan Ricketts shot wide with his feet.
It was Wednesday who took the lead though, and in fine form. Deon Burton broke free down the left wing and produced an inch perfect pass for Marcus Tudgay to smash in the top corner of the goal and give the Owls a 1-0 lead right on the stroke of half-time.
Paul Sturrock's half time team talk would have been to carry on as they left off and to make sure they kept Wolves out to frustrate the crowd. He would have been seething when the equaliser came just minutes after the restart.
Kenny Miller was taken off at half-time and was replaced by former Newcastle hitman Carl Cort. Former Owl Maurice Ross also came on to replace Edwards.
It was Cort who levelled the score for the hosts on 50 minutes when he headed home Lee Naylor's corner from the left.
The goal gave Wolves the belief they needed to push forward and grab a second for a vital three points. Cort was the centre of attention and he produced a fine save from Carson from another Naylor corner as the hosts begna to pile on the pressure.
Some weeks ago Wednesday may well have buckled under the pressure that the hosts were forcing on them, but they managed to weather the storm thanks to some good defending.
Wednesday hit Glenn Hoddle's men on the break on the 68th minute when an inch perfect cross field ball from Chris Brunt found Burton at the edge of the Wolves box. His neat control aw him pass Gyepes with ease and produce a clinical finish to regain the lead for the Owls.
The hosts were still applying pressure at the other end though, and it was nearly the old legs of veteran Paul Ince that brought a second equaliser. He firstly glanced a Ricketts cross wide of goal, and then saw a powerful low drive well saved by Carson.
The Owls secured their victory with just four minutes left on the clock. Burotn linked well with Tudgay once again and his neat back-heel put the former Derby man through on goal to bag his second of the afternoon. The goal sent the Wednesday fans barmy and the Wolves fans for the exits.
Wednesday managed to pull one of ther best performances of the seaosn out the bag just when they needed it most. With Millwall picking up another surprise victory away at Watford - the win means the five point gap remains the same.
With winnable games against Burnely and Crewe coming up, the Owls need to carry this performance with them - and if they do there should be no problem in survival this season.
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Date:Sunday March 26 2006
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|23. Sheff Wed||18||2||8||8||-9||14|
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