Date:Sunday November 25 2007
Loftus Road, London
24/11/07 - 15:00
Wednesday stretched their unbeaten run to five matches with a stalement in the capital against relegation-troubled Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The 5-0 hammering over Southampton last time out in the league will have given the Owls boss satisfaction but the ability to keep out an impressive Rangers attack will have almost been on a par for the Wednesday gaffer, with his defence looking to have overcome their problems earlier in the season.
Both sides had their chances to win the match with the woodwork coming to the rescue of the two goalkeepers - who were both battling it out for the goalkeeping jersey at Derby not so long ago.
But a share of the spoils on the day was probably the right result, despite Owls' stopper Lee Grant drawing the plaudits and being probably the busier of the two 'keepers at a cold Loftus Road.
Wednesday stuck with the same side that hit Southampton for five, with the exception of Glenn Whelan who missed out with a hip injury, allowing Yoann Folly the chance to impress in the centre of midfield alongside Steve Watson.
And although the R's were in relegation trouble going in to their clash, their newly found riches came in handy to bring Chelsea hot prospect Scott Sinclair in to the team on loan from their neighbours, while former Plymouth midfield man Akos Buszaky, another recent signature, was also in the side.
The Owls were expected to come in to the tie full of confidence following their recent upturn in fortunes and it was the bright orange shirts, led by example by captain Watson, who made the brighter start in the opening stages.
In fact, the hosts must have wondered what hit them as Wednesday dominated the opening exchanges and did everything but score as the hosts weathered the Wednesday storm.
In-form Sodje, who bagged two in the victory over Southampton, was unlucky to hit the bar from a dangerous Yoann Folly corner while R's stopper Lee Camp was in tip-top form to deny the former Port Vale man as Wednesday didn't allow their hosts to come up for breathe.
Marcus Tudgay also came close and Burton O'Brien hit a long-range effort over the bar as Wednesday did everything but score in a superb opening which gave the large, and loud Wednesday following plenty to cheer about early on.
But despite the early pressure from Wednesday it could well have been QPR who fired through the stalemate when former Southampton marksman Dexter Blackstock burst through on goal after a throughball but was intervened at the last minute from a last gasp Jermaine Johnson challenge to the relief of Grant.
The chance lifted the R's fans inside the ground, who hadn't found their voice until minutes later when former Luton man Rowan Vine had the ball in the back of the Wednesday net before the linesman ruled it off for offside.
Rangers were gettign more in to the game, and controlling possession midway through the first half with a number of long ranger efforts failing to trouble Grant, and Wednesday almost hit their hosts with a sucker punch on the counter attack as a superb break from Sodje put Jermaine Johnson through, his pace getting the better of the QPR defence but he fired his shot straight at Camp.
Loanee Sinclair had been relatively quiet for the hosts but he burst in to life just before the break when he went on a dizzy run against Frank Simek, and the Owls defender, who endured a torrid time from the wide man throughout, backed off the jet-heeled winger to allow a snapshot which came crashing back off the woodwork to the relief of the Owls fans housed behind the goal.
And the danger wasn't over there for Wednesday as Grant flapped at a corner minutes later and allowed Mikele Leigertwood a header on goal which came back off the woodwork.
Half-Time: QPR 0-0 Wednesday
The scoreline may not have looked too entertaining for the start of the second half, but all that was missing was a goal, and both sides came out with the intention of bagging all three points at the start of the second 45.
It was Wednesday who had the first attempt on goal, rather fortunately, when Jermaine Johnson sent in a cross for the Owls forwards to attack but he mis-placed his effort and Camp was forced to scramble back to his line and tip the cross-come-shot over the bar.
But Wednesday failed to create any further real clear-cut chances for the remainder of the half, as Rangers enjoyed the majority of the possession and the clearer cut chances, with Grant being by far the busier of the 'keepers after the break.
Sinclair was again the architect for Rangers' first effort of the half as Vine launched a stinging effort at Grant which the Owls stopper sent wide of the goal.
But again the tide turned in the Owls' direction just minutes later as a good move from the visitors saw Burton O'Brien finding himself in plenty of space inside the R's box to line-up an effort which came crashing off the bar to the relief of Lee Camp.
Wednesday made a chance on 56 minutes with Akpo Sodje - who looked the Owls' biggest threat in front of goal - coming off to be replaced by Deon Burton, and from then on Wednesday looked a little lacklustre in the final third.
Grant came to Wednesday's resuce twice in quick succession, both from the impressive Sinclair who continued to cause Simek all kinds of problems down the QPR left.
And at the other end Marcus Tudgay had a superb chance to win the game for Wednesday when he got on the end of a throw-in and turned his marker before thrashing an effort in to the side netting when it would have been wiser to shoot across the face of goal for the on-coming Burton.
Rangers had a number of long-range efforts coming in the final five minutes as Wednesday had to withstand a mini onslaught from the hosts, but withstand it they did to make it five games unbeaten ahead of the derby clash with Barnsley on Tuesday night.
Full-Time: QPR 0-0 Wednesday
Wednesday: Grant; Simek, Hinds, M Johnson, Spurr; J Johnson (Small 80), Folly, Watson, O'Brien; Sodje (Burton 56), Tudgay. Subs: Lunt, Esajas, Beevers
QPR: Camp; Barker, Stewart, Mancienne, Malcolm (Timoska 65); Rowlands, Sinclair, Leigertwood, Buzsaky; Blackstock (Nygaard 81), Vine. Subs: Cole, Bolder, Ainsworth
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Date:Sunday November 25 2007
|Derby County||3||-||2||Sheff Wed|
|11. Sheff Wed||35||11||13||11||-3||46|
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