Wednesday win over Birmingham return Owls to Playoff places
3pm Saturday 6th February 2016
Wednesday returned from the Midlands with all three-points after a hard fought victory over fellow Championship playoff chasers Birmingham City. Two Gary Hooper goals reversed a Clayton Donaldson opener, but the afternoon did have its down sides for the Owls with Kieran Lee, Kieren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson all picking up worrying injuries.
The games started in thundering fashion with both sides treating the goal and forcing both keepers into routine saves. The tone of the match flipped when a tough looking collision between Owls Hutchinson and Westwood saw both players replaced through necessity by McGugan and Price respectively.
A great chance shirtly after fell to Donaldson after a superb pass put him clear by Toral. But Owls substitute goalkeeper Lewis Price bravely closed down the striker to make a vital save. In first half injury time however it was the home side via Clayton Donaldson who opened the scoring. He slotted home after Michael Morrison had charged down a Tom Lees clearance. The returning defender should have launched the ball into the stands but instead was punished for his indecision.
In windy conditions as the second started the home side may have increased their lead when Ex-Owls winger Jacques Maghoma hesitated and his shot was blocked. He then beat Ross Wallace but Donaldson again found Price in fine form. That proved to be the catalyst for the away side as they seized the game.
Wednesday, nearly drew level when Ross Wallace produced another good shot which was equally well saved by Blues stopper Kuszczak
They were rewarded in the 77th minute when Hooper smashed in the equaliser off the crossbar following neat build up play from Atdhe Nuhiu and Barry Bannan. That leveller didn't stop the Owls as they continued to press and Bannan pinched the ball a fine pass found Forestieri who squared the ball back into the middle for the unmarked Hooper to notch his second goal in three-minutes sparking pandemonium from the travelling support.
The win, see Wednesday co.plete the double over Gary Rowett`s side and more importantly move back into the Championship play-off places.
The big centre forward receives alot of stick from fans both of Wednesday and other clubs but his arrival signalled a change in the tone match. He held the ball up well and linked the likes of Bannan and Forestieri into the game and onto the ball much more. He also changed the City defenders attitude and allowed Wednesday to push on more as the Birmingham City defence back.