Wednesday playoff challenge dented by Preston
3pm Saturday 20th February 2016
Wednesday slipped back to sixth and missed a chance to close the gap on the automatic promotion places with a narrow and disappointing loss at Deepdale to form team Preston North End.
The win moves the Lilywhites up into the Championship top 10 and easily makes them the best performing team out of last season's promoted teams.
Preston started the brighter ans had the games first goalscoring chance when Greg Cunningham's left-wing cross picked out fellow full-back Calum Woods, who struck just wide from 12 yards, a warning shot.
North End continued to press and Garner fired a long range shot at Westwood. Next up, Reach struck a 20 yard shot just over as Wednesday failed to mount a serious challenge going forward. Owls keeper Kieren Westwood was called into action again as he saved low to his right to save Garner's header from Paul Gallagher's free-kick.
Tom Clarke was next on 31 minutes but he thrashed the ball wide when unmarked from eight yards. Finally the Owls created something just before half time as a Barry Bannan free-kick, but Tom Lees could not get enough on his header from six yards out.
Preston picked up where they left off from the first half and Woods' cross from the right finally fell to Alan Browne fired over from the left edge of the area. Wednesday looked a bit more lively and Hooper fired a low ball across the six-yard box that nobody was there to meet. Ross Wallace layer in a cleaver free-kick and the ball fell to Pudil who blasted high into the Owls vast travelling support.
The talking point of thatch was on 66 minutes when Owls top scorer Fernando Forestieri received a his second yellow for handling the ball despite there being Wednesday players over. Minutes later Woods' left-wing cross found Garner at the far post and his bullet header from six yards gave Westwood no chance and despite the Owls throwing on Joao, Matias and McGugan to attack. They couldn't break the Lilywhites backline with Joao denied by Clarkes last ditch challenge as the game ebbed away.
Kept the Owls in the game on a few occasions proving that he is back to his best and still easily among the best keepers in the English game. Unfortunately, he conceded the only goal of the game in the second half but no fault could be laid at his door for Garners headed goal.