Date:Sunday March 7 2010
06//03/10 - 3pm
LEON Clarke celebrated a return to the Owls' first team with a superb double to give Wednesday three crucial points against Nigel Pearson's high-flying Leicester City.
Clarke struck in each half as Wednesday comfortably saw off the threat of a Foxes side that came into the game in top form, having not lost in the Championship in their last eight matches.
Wednesday stopper Lee Grant was in top form to twice deny the visitors, but the Owls were well worthy of their three points - points which were crucial given results elsewhere at the bottom of the division.
Boss Alan Irvine rung the changes following Wednesday's 5-0 thumping at Reading last weekend.
He made four changes for the game, with Jermaine Johnson returning from injury alongside Tommy Miller, while Clarke and skipper Darren Purse also returned to the starting line-up.
There was a home debut for loan defender Eddie Nolan, who's arrived at Hillsborough on loan from Preston North End until the end of the season.
Wednesday were keen to come flying out of the traps following the defeat at Reading last time out and they did just that.
Darren Potter's ball found Clarke in good space inside the box and the former Wolves man fired an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net, giving Leicester stopper Chris Weale no chance six minutes in.
It should have given Wednesday the confidence boost they needed but instead Wednesday sat back and allowed their visitors back into the game.
The visitors started to enjoy more of the ball and they were almost rewarded when Paul Gallagher saw a header drift just over the bar from a Lloyd Dyer cross.
It was an early warning sign for the Owls and Leicester came even closer to getting on level terms soon after.
Sunderland loanee Martin Waghorn found space inside the Owls box to drill a low effort which was destined for the bottom corner before Grant pushed the ball wide in fine style for a corner.
It was a superb save by the Owls' number one and one which kept them in the game.
At the other end the Leicester stopper Weale was withdrawn for what looked like a facial injury, Conrad Logan coming on to replace him inbetween the sticks.
Wednesday would have been expected to test Logan early on but the Foxes' number two was pretty much a spectator for the remainder of the first half as neither side looked like adding further goals.
Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Leicester
Irvine had to change his side at the resumption, Tommy Spurr suffering from delayed concussion following a first-half challenge, Frank Simek coming on to replace him at right-back, with Nolan switching to left-back.
Wednesday came out in the second half looking to add a second to their total and they came close when Johnson sped forward but sent his long-range effort straight into the arms of Logan.
The Owls' Jamaican winger, although not fully fit, was a welcome return and showed the Wednesdayites just what they'd been missing since his injury.
His pace continued to cause the Leicester defence problems and he almost gifted the Owls' strikers a second with a dangerous cross across the face of goal which nobody could get on the end of.
Johnson was at the centre of the play again when Wednesday finally did grab a deserved second.
Marcus Tudgay sent a long, calculated ball forward for Johnson, who lashed a cross across the face of goal and this time Clarke was well positioned to drill home a close-range effort in front of the Kop on the hour mark.
Leicester upped their game for a way back into the contest and Dyer flashed an effort which Grant superbly tipped over the bar not long after Clarke's second.
A tired Johnson was replaced by Leicester-born Luke Varney with 20 minutes to go, but Wednesday always looked comfortable on their victory.
Eddie Nolan did have to produce a fine last-gasp challenge on the lively Waghorn, but it was all the visitors had to show in the closing stages.
Full-Time: Wednesday 2-0 Leicester
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Date:Sunday March 7 2010
|Derby County||3||-||2||Sheff Wed|
|10. Sheff Wed||34||11||13||10||-2||46|
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