Date:Wednesday December 26 2007
Turf Moor, Burnley
26/12/07 - 15:00
Wednesday slipped to within a place of the Championship's bottom three despite picking up a creditable point with a makeshift team at in-form Burnley on Boxing Day.
Two goals in two first half minutes saw both sides pick up a festive point, but Owls boss Brian Laws is sure to be the happier of the two in light of the side he had to field at a chilly Turf Moor.
Michael Johnson's return to Derby County from his loan spell meant youngster Mark Beevers was thrown in at the centre of defence alongside Richard Hinds, while Lee Bullen continued at right-back in place of the injured Frank Simek.
Jermaine Johnson was also missing from action, giving Wade Small the opportunity in his favoured right-wing slot, with Deon Burton returning from injury to partner Marcus Tudgay in attack.
Owen Coyle's spell as Clarets boss had gone as well as could have been expected in his opening few games following the departure of Steve Cotterill, but Burnley had been hit and miss in recent weeks, and were desperate for points on home soil.
The Owls had enjoyed good fortunes at the Lancashire club in recent seasons, but it was the hosts who came closest to opening the scoring after 10 minutes when Steve Caldwell looped a header from a Robbie Blake cross over the bar.
And it was Wednesday who took the advantage on the half hour mark in controversial fashion.
There was no doubt over the tug from Caldwell, but the Burnley players were fuming when Burton stepped up and slotted the ball by stopper Kiraly, who didn't look ready to defend the kick, but the refeee waved away the protests and gave the goal.
They say it's better to do the talking on the pitch, and Burnley certainly did, as they made Wednesday pay just a minute later when Robbie Blake saw his header well saved before former Blades man Akinbiyi arrived to nod the ball in to the back of the net from yards out.
But the two minutes proved to be the most entertaining of the half, and the match, by a fair distance as neither side managed to grab any clear cut chances to take the lead in to the break.
But Laws did have some thinking to do at the break, with Wade Small hacked down minutes before the break and going off injured to be replaced by Yoann Folly.
Half-Time: Burnley 1-1 Wednesday
But the Clarets came out all guns blazing, eager to get their home win under boss Coyle, and forced the Owls defence deep in the opening exchanges of the second half.
Kylr Lafferty, linked with Premierships clubs in the January transfer window, went on a dangerous run down the left before unleashing a powerful low effort which went just by Lee Grant's goal to the relief of the Owls' number one.
And Caldwell got in another dangerous position from a set-piece but again didn't trouble Grant with his header.
Chances for Wednesday were as rare as money to spend in January, with Burton and Tudgay offering little threat to Kiraly's goal in a dour second half.
And Laws took note, introducing 17-year-old striker Luke Boden to the fray to try his arm with the rest of the Wednesday attacking force out through injury.
Steve Watson had the best chance of the second period for the Owls, and the only chance, before being subbed late on, while Burnley had a number of half chances to grab the winner through O'Connor and Clarke Carlisle.
Full-Time: Burnley 1-1 Wednesday
Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Harley, Carlisle, Caldwell, O'Connor, Elliott, Unsworth, Lafferty, Blake, Akinbiyi (Jones 76). Unused substitutes: Jensen, Rodriguez, O'Connor, Jordan.
Wednesday: Grant, Bullen, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr, Small (Folly 43), Whelan, Watson (Esajas 83), O'Brien, Burton (Boden 73), Tudgay. Unused substitutes: Gilbert, Lunt.
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Date:Wednesday December 26 2007
|Sheff Wed||0||-||0||Derby County|
|7. Derby County||7||3||3||1||5||12|
|8. Sheff Wed||7||3||3||1||3||12|
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