Wednesday 0-1 Wolves
07/03/09 - 3pm
Wednesday's recent poor home form continued with their second defeat in a week as table-topping Wolves left Hillsborough with all three points in a dull encounter.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scored the winner as early as the fifth minute and Mick McCarthy's men closed out the game in a professional manner as the Owls struggled in front of goal.
Owls boss Brian Laws made two changes to the side that lost to Reading in midweek with James O'Connor replacing Darren Potter, who was unable to play due to his loan rules from Wolves, while Richard Hinds was preferred at the back to Mark Beevers.
Akpo Sodje was also included on the Owls bench, along with Frank Simek and Francis Jeffers.
But Wednesday made the worst possible start, when on five minutes Michael Kightly raced down the wing and floated a deep cross which found former Plymouth man Ebanks-Blake unmarked at the back post to head the visitors ahead after just five minutes.
Wednesday struggled in the first half, but some controversial decisions by the officials throughout the match didn't help the Owls' cause.
Wolves, looking to gain promotion automatically this term, didn't sit back on their early breakthrough though and could well have found themselves further ahead had Kightly done better from close range, while George Friend saw his looping header go just over the bar.
But while Wolves were enjoying the early chances, Wednesday always looked capable of creating something at the other end.
Former Wolves man Leon Clarke was getting some banter from the visiting fans, but the in-form frontman was doing well in the battle with the physical Wolves defence, while another former Wolves man in Michael Gray also looked to have something a bit extra about him against his former club.
Jermaine Johnson hardly had a sniff of the ball in the opening 30 minutes, but in the Jamaican, Wednesday can carve a chance out of nothing, and they did just that with their best chance of the game.
A superb ball put the jet-heeled Jamaican through on goal, twisting his way by two visiting defenders and bearing down on goal before firing his shot high and wide to the delight of the visiting fans behind the goal.
Johnson knew he should have done better with the golden opportunity, and he tried to rectify his error minutes later when firing at goal from the edge of the box, only to see his effort drift wide.
The efforts gave Wednesday, and the majority of the crowd, the lift they needed going into half-time, and although Wolves had bossed long spells, Wednesday were certainly not out of the game at the break.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0-1 Wolves
The hosts were forced into a change at half-time, with Clarke going off through an injury to be replaced by Francis Jeffers.
But the changes did little to stop the flow of the game continuing to go in Wolves' favour, although chances remained at a premium with the visitors continuing with their 'professional' approach to the game.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were to forget from the hosts, with Wolves winning the midfield battle and thwarting any kind of threat on Wayne Hennessey's goal.
Changes needed to be made and Laws introduced Sodje for Michael Gray with just under half an hour to go, a timely boost to the pretty flat atmosphere inside S6.
But although the long-term injury-absentee got into the thick of the action and posed more of an aerial threat to the Wolves backline, he failed to find the magic to get Wednesday back on level terms.
Hennessey was a spectator for much of the second period, the only save of note being from a Johnson effort which went straight into the Wolves stopper's arms.
A last throw of the dice saw Luke Boden introduced for James O'Connor, but it was too little too late for the Owls, and it was Wolves who could well have extended their lead and make the last few exchanges slightly more comfortable.
Spurr, one of the plus performances from the match, got back well to divert an effort off the line after Grant had come out to try and clear the danger, as the game drew to a close in disappointing fashion.
Full-Time: Wednesday 0-1 Wolves
Wednesday: Grant, Buxton, Hinds, Wood, Spurr, Johnson, O'Connor (Boden 87), McAllister, Gray (Sodje 69), Clarke (Jeffers 46), Tudgay. Unused subs: Beevers, Simek.
Wolves: Hennessey, Hill, Friend (Stephen Ward 70), Craddock, Edwards, Foley, Kightly (Stearman 85), Berra, Jones, Ebanks-Blake (Keogh 77), Iwelumo. Unused subs: Vokes, Darren Ward
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