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Wednesday 0 - Ipswich Town 1

Hillsborough, Sheffield

Saturday, February 20

Attendance: 21,641

Wednesday 0-1 Ipswich

The 'honeymoon period' is well and truly over for Owls boss Alan Irvine after his men churned out another spineless performance in front of the Wednesday masses when they went down 1-0 to relegation rivals Ipswich Town.

Carlos Edwards' pin-point effort after 15 minutes proved enough for Roy Keane's men, who leapfrogged Wednesday and left Owls fans wondering if their side are up for a relegation dog-fight this term.

Only Crystal Palace's defeat against Coventry City kept Wednesday out of the Championship's bottom three after yet another woeful 90 minutes of football at Hillsborough.

If Tuesday night's defeat against Doncaster Rovers could be put down to the opposition being a good footballing side, then today's loss was purely down to being second best in guts, pride and determination.

The Tractor Boys were poor, but Roy Keane's determined, never-say-die attitude was present in his Town troops as they showed they're well up for a battle against the drop this season, and passed their first test with flying colours.

Just when we thought we'd turned the corner under Irvine, it was back to watching the Wednesday of old, the Wednesday of Brian Laws.

Clueless, woeful, lacklustre, and most worryingly, lacking in confidence and looking like a side already defeated.

The clash was one Wednesday simply must have got something from, a 'relegation six-pointer' if you like, but they left with nothing, and deservedly so.

Irvine made two changes to the side that lost against Doncaster in midweek, one forced, and one not.

The Owls suffered a blow when captain Darren Purse was ruled out through injury, Richard Hinds coming in to replace him, while Irvine opted for a rare start for Etienne Esajas in place of Tom Soares.

New signing Eddie Nolan, who arrived at S6 on loan until the end of the season from Preston, had to settle for a place on the bench, but will no doubt be closer to a starting role next time out.

It was a dull opening, although Wednesday did fire the first dangerous shot on goal when Luke Varney fired a long-range shot which the Ipswich goalkeeper parried.

Varney was one of a few who could come away from the clash with any praise, working tirelessly in attack and having the best of the few chances that the Owls created in front of goal.

The opening 15 minutes had little about it, a true relegation clash with no quality from either side, but it was Town that broke the deadlock after the Wednesday defence totally collapsed.

Tommy Spurr was left marking two men during an Ipswich attack and former Sunderland man Edwards was given the time and space to launch a pin-point effort into the far corner of Lee Grant's goal for the opener.

The heads went down from the Wednesday players, and the visitors received a timely boost following their midweek defeat at lowly Peterborough.

It showed as Ipswich had more of the possession and looked to double their lead, coming close when another former Mackem, Grant Leadbitter sent a volley inches wide of goal.

The tension inside S6 started to grow, with booing ringing around before the half-time whistle had even gone.

But Wednesday did raise their game slightly and came close when Marcus Tudgay saw a shot come crashing back off the crossbar.

Varney then got the right side of his marker and sent a low shot across the face of goal as the Owls enjoyed arguably their best spell of the game as the first-half came to a close.

But the momentum swung back towards the visitors before half-time and Wednesday could count themselves lucky to be trailing by just the one goal when former Owls loanee Daryl Murphy saw a close range effort strike the foot of the post as Ipswich took advantage of more slack Wednesday defending.

The Owls left the pitch to another chorus of booing, and knowing that a vast improvement was needed in the second half.

Half-Time: Wednesday 0-1 Ipswich

Wednesday did raise their game slightly on the resumption and it almost resulted in Michael Gray finding the back of the net from a free-kick, but his effort skimmed the roof of the net.

Ipswich always looked dangerous on the attack and came close to making it 2-0 when Edwards again flashed a shot towards goal but Grant was this time equal to it, tipping it wide for a corner.

When Wednesday needed to stand up and be counted it was the visitors who raised their game on the resumption, sitting back and looking tight as a unit as the lack of creativity from Wednesday gifted the visitors too much possession.

Irvine brought Leon Clarke on just after the hour mark for the ineffective Gray.

With Tudgay pushed out to the right, Clarke took a role alongside Varney in attack and he offered some brief hope with a burst into the box only to see his effort thwarted by the Ipswich stopper.

But brief it was, and the Owls failed to trouble the Ipswich goal for the rest of the game, something which left Wednesdayites streaming out of Hillsborough well before the final whistle.

Sean McAllister, too, offered some signs of improvement, but his introduction for the poor Esajas was too little, too late.

Gareth McAuley could well have sealed the game for the visitors but he saw his header ruled out for offside with five minutes remaining.

It wasn't needed though, as Town comfortably held on for three crucial points in the battle against the drop.

Full-Time: Wednesday 0-1 Ipswich




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 20 2010

Time: 7:24PM

Your Comments

Nick you asked us to get behind the team after the Doncaster result....well we did and were rewarded with possibly the worst performance of the season. This squad of players, Grant apart, don't give a toss about Sheffield Wednesday or its fantastic supporters. They are an absolute disgrace to the shirt. An embarrassment to watch. Can't see where our next points are going to come from.
CLIFFANDJ
I think Irvine should read these messages to the players and make them Łucking realise just wot they are putting us through and just who is paying their wages,me personally i wouldnt pay em.
ollyowl70
We were rubbish. Couldn't string two passes together.
S12 OWL
i just want to say thanks to brian laws he spent what little money we had on s**t developed a style of football that is better suited to league 2 and left us on the verge of relegation now landed a good job in the premier league i personally hope you fail big time TO**ER!
bradford_owl
thats the 3rd game ive been to this season thats made me embarrassed to be a owl!!!!! id put grey left back drop spurr, swap beevers for nolan, soares for esajas, mcallister for potter, clarke for tudgay!!!! theres gotta be a change he cant keep faith with tudgay, hes been very very poor over recent games and spurr and beevers were diabolical yesterday!!!!!!
supersibon
the reason esajas plyed is because soares was crap against donny clarke is just not good enough if hes not offside hes on his a*se what about modest or olivier from the acadamy or is it too soon
bradford_owl
agreed, soares didnt look interested tuesday night at all and lets face it, could giving the academy lads a chance be any worse than sticking with the tripe thats in the first 11 at the minute??? no in my opinion!!!! none of those players deserve to be paid!!!!!!!
supersibon
The thing is that the remaining 14 games we have left to play, we only picked up 8 points from reverse fixtures early on in the season.
ecco owl
get rocky n the boys playing get some young grit in there who will battle for every ball n challenge.
ollyowl70
100% agree ollyowl
bradford_owl
i think we would get demolished if we put our young players into a relegation scrap.
ozzietheowl
In defence of Tommy Spurr, and the defence, as far as the one goal we conceded on Saturday. The blame lay in the lack of cover from midfield, not in the poverty of defending. Where was the left midfielder when he should have been covering the full back's overlapping run. Poor Tommy didn't know whether to go with the runner or go to the ball. In the end his hesitation gave an international player enough space to put in a quality shot into the top corner. We have bashed our defenders but we only conceded one (admittedly against a *****-poor team) and Football is a team game. If we want to win we have to play as a team and that means all of us, players, manager, chairman and supporters. C'mon Wednesday!
robc
sorry robc, but there is no defending tommy spurr, hes been garbage for the past few games!!! but i agree its a team game and he didnt have the best players playing infront of him satrday, if it wasnt grey(who IS NOT a winger mr irvine) then it was esajas who if he gets a new contract it will be a miracle. needs to be a huge clear-out in the summer!!! doubt we will survive the drop aswell.
supersibon
Watch the goal back on the bbc site, then tell me it was Tommy's fault. I agree that he hasn't had a great season, to be honest he lacks the pace to be a good fullback. I still maintain that the SINGLE goal that we conceded was the fault of the midfield. What is more worrying is the disturbing lack of firepower up front. Please Mr I, in the summer, find us a goalscorer (would love one now but am not gettng my hopes up).
robc
 

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