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Wednesday 3 - Birmingham 2

Hillsborough, Sheffield

21/8/12 - 7.45pm

Attendance: 25,379

Report: Wednesday 3-2 Birmingham

Wednesday secured their first win of the season with a 3-2 success against Birmingham City at Hillsborough.

New loan signing Rodri grabbed a goal on his debut and further strikes from Reda Johnson and Jermaine Johnson saw the Owls to victory in their first home match of the campaign.

Substitute Nikola Zigic pulled a goal back for Lee Clark's men and Marlon King netted a late consolation penalty but the hosts were worthy winners on the night.

Owls boss Dave Jones, who remains unbeaten since taking over at Hillsborough, made two changes to the side that drew at Derby on Saturday.

Mark Beevers came in to replace the injured Anthony Gardner, while Rodri was handed his debut in place of Nejc Pecnik, who dropped to the bench.

And the Spaniard almost made the dream start to his season in the blue and white stripes. Reda Johnson curled in a low cross from the left and the unmarked 22-year-old had clear site of goal but sliced his effort wide when he should have done better.

Wednesday made a bright start but the Blues had the next chance through Steven Caldwell, although Owls stopper Chris Kirkland matched his effort with a fine save to keep the scores level.

The Owls had pace in abundance down the flanks with Michail Antonio and the impressive Jermaine Johnson, pace that was causing the visitors all kinds of problems.

But it was through a goalkeeping error that Wednesday took the advantage just 13 minutes in.

While Kirkland, a former England stopper, enjoyed a good game for the Owls, youngster Jack Butland, the new kid on the block with Roy Hodgson's side, was having a bit of a nightmare.

Antonio's cross slipped through Butland's hands and Johnson was well-positioned to steer the ball into the empty net and make it two goals in as many games for the Benin defender.

Johnson could have doubled his, and Wednesday's, tally shortly after but he headed a Rhys McCabe header wide as the hosts grew in confidence.

Birmingham had their fair share of the ball but were being reduced to long-range efforts.

In contrast, the Owls were getting good chances - and making them count. With five minutes to go in the first half Reda Johnson played another influential part in a Wednesday goal as he released Rodri down the left and the Barca boy tucked a powerful low finish beneath Butland and into the back of the net.

Half-Time: Wednesday 2-0 Birmingham

The next goal was always going to be crucial and Birmingham posed the bigger threat at the start of the second half as they looked for a way back into the contest.

First, King forced Kirkland into a fine save minutes into the second half and then Chris Burke flashed an effort just wide of goal when he should have done better.

King tested Kirkland again just after the hour mark as Wednesday struggled to settle into a rhythm after the restart and the visitors sniffed an equaliser.

Rodri was replaced by Gary Madine and Wednesday started to threaten at the right end, with the on-song Jermaine Johnson teasing the Birmingham defence and twice coming close to all-but sealing the three points for the Owls.

But instead, the end was to be a tense one as City pulled a goal back through Zigic.

Nathan Redmond's cross caused problems in the Owls defence and Zigic, scorer of the late leveller for Birmingham against Charlton Athletic at the weekend, pounced to halve the deficit.

But Wednesday didn't wilt away, and didn't let the Blues build on their goal.

Instead, the Owls kept possession well and eventually set Jermaine Johnson free on goal. With no Blues defenders able to catch him, the Jamaican slotted a powerful strike beyond Butland to wrap-up the points.

King did manage to pull another goal back from the penalty spot after Reda Johnson fouled Burke in the box, but there wasn't even time to kick-off before the referee called time on proceedings.

Full-Time: Wednesday 3-2 Birmingham

Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, R Johnson, Semedo, Antonio (Maguire 90), J Johnson, O`Grady (Pecnik 81), Rodri (Madine 60), McCabe, Beevers, Llera. Unused substitutes: Bywater, Madine, Mattock, Prutton, Coke.

Birmingham: Butland, Murphy, Caldwell, Davies, Burke, Mullins, King, Ambrose, Elliot (Zigic 46), Redmond, Spector. Unused substitutes: Doyle, Ibanez, Lovenkrands, Morrison, Gomis, Packwood.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 21 2012

Time: 11:37PM

Your Comments

For a couple of minutes, between Hudders' equalizer and Blackpool's second, we were top! Haha. Let's not go all 'don't get carried away just yet, blah blah', let's seize the moment instead. It'll be a tight league this year, methinks, and consistency will be key. We're good 'n fired up for the challenge, I'll guarantee complacency won't ever be an issue and we'll be looking to improve with each game. So why not?
OurMaurice
Draw you're away matches and win your home matches, recipe for success!! I'm sure defensively we need to improve and adapt to the higher level we're playing at but can't complain with 9 goals in 3 games, JJ appears fired up at present and it looks like a nuggett has been unearthed in Rodri, it appears to be an amazing coup to have got him. A solid start is vital otherwise you get stuck at the bottom and struggle all season. I'm sure DJ's unbeaten run will end at some point but lets hope it's in May with promotion already secured!! Seriously, a solid top 10 finish will be fantastic.
sussexowl
well the new welsh lad did a good job last night lol
HorburyOwl
What a fantastic performance last night and a brilliant atmosphere to go with it, Rodri is immense, JJ seems to have hit a purple patch again, McCabe & Semedo seem to have a good understanding, Antonio always looks dangerous going forward, think Kirkland will be key for us this season, Reda can pretty much play where he likes and our defence looks well organised most of the time but would still like to see another CB brought in before the end of the transfer window. Don't think I have ever had or seen as much confidence in a side as I have since DJ took over and I agree with OurMaurice why can't we dream of promotion Southampton did it last season and Norwich the season before that I for one have faith and don't think we have anyone to fear in the division especially at Fortress Hillsborough... (0v0) UTO (0v0)
SWFC Tubes 84
Think we need to cut these goals out thats two per game so far.Great start to the new season and hope this remains FORTRESS HILLSBOROUGH.UTO
ollyowl70
What a great game to watch! I thought Chris O'Grady was immense again last night. The ball really sticks to him. When he works out that Rodri expects him to spin and run for the through ball as soon as he lays it off to him, then the pair will start to properly scare a few defences methinks.
OddOwl
I agree with all your comments it was a fantastic performance against on paper a very strong Birmingham. O'Grady I think has given DJ a problem because I belueve pre season he was not in his first team plans but what a good old fashioned centre forwards performance he has put in so far well done so far Chris. It was definately the best game I have seen JJ play in the blue & white stripes. Samedo - brilliant and what a signing McCabe is dare I say it he reminds me of a young Sheridan !!! Llera Beavers Reda fantastic Rodders had a dream debut but feared for him a couple of times getting close to a second yellow. Antonio worked hard and did not get the breaks last night I think Buxton had a steady game but I am concerned that noticably Derby & Birmingham were getting crosses into the box easily fron the left wing area and lets not forget to mention Kirkland who I thought was a dodgy signing at the time but he has made some top draw saves at vital time over the last 3 games any how a bit long winded but thats my view so far enjoy the City its always been ours lol
andymac-scoresagoal
 

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