Wednesday slam four past midtable Brentford
3pm Saturday 13th February 2016
Wednesday slammed four goals as they brushed aside mid table Brentford to secure their playoff space by five points over seventh place, all whilst becoming the League's top scorers.
Goals from Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Kieran Lee and Lucas Joao ensured the Owls enjoyed a comfortable afternoon at Hillsborough, that saw them move into fifth place and close the gap on the automatic promotion places in the Championship.
The game started with both sides sparring as if it was a Boxing match, until a long ball towards Gary Hooper was seized upon and as the Owls forward looked to run through on goal. Yoann Barbet pulled him down as Hooper approached the penalty area, the resulting free kick was sent wide by Ross Wallace. But, that moment allowed Wednesday to control the game for thereon out. It wasn't too long before the hosts took the lead thanks to a Fernando Forestieri header for his 12th goal of the season after a deflected Daniel Pudil cross allowed the Italian wizard to glance his header past Button in the Bees goal.
As Hillsborough took a moment to pay respects to lifelong Owls fan Darren Haigh, Kieren Westwood launched a long ball forward that fell perfectly for in-form Gary Hooper who struck a powerful half-volley past David Button to double the Owls lead. That goal resulted in Hooper winning his second Sky Sports goal of the day in as many weeks and perfectly rounded off the respects for Darren as he looked down upon Hillsborough.
The first half goals weren't over, as Kieran Lee slotted in a third from close range before the break after Hooper bravely won a header to layoff to the Owls energetic midfielder.
With the game seemingly won, Wednesday played out a calmer second half with Brentford having a few chances to score. Aiden McGeady a second half replacement for Atdhe Nuhiu too went close before. Forestieri tested Button as Wednesday sought a fourth. That goal duly arrived, and was a welcome return to the score sheet from Portuguese international Lucas Joao who fired in a fourth late on, following a superb through ball from Jack Hunt.
Wednesday have now earned more points than any other team from their past 10 Championship games, having taken 23 out of a possible 30 over that period, and have moved up to the division's top scorers as Carlos Carvalhal's side move ever closer to the automatic promotion places.
A week after the former Norwich City striker secured all three-points at St Andrews, the on-form striker was involved in much of what Wednesday did well going forward. He forced a foul from Barbet that the Bees player saw red for and slammed home a brilliant half-volley before setting up Lee for the Owls third. Hooper is proving the early doubters wrong, and he has now scored more goals than the whole of his former side Norwich in 2016 combined.