Steven Fletcher’s 95th minute header saw Wednesday to our first home win of the year and three much-needed points in a 1-0 victory over Charlton at Hillsborough tonight.
It also marked just our second success in 12 league games, a first home goal since December 29 and sees us up one place into 12th, eight points from the play-off positions.
Fletcher struck when Liam Palmer’s free kick was headed goalwards by Tom Lees and the striker lunged forward to head home from inside the six-yard box, before racing away to celebrate with the Wednesday bench.
Until then, it had looked like another blank night for the Owls, despite having 24 shots, with eight on target, and forcing 12 corners.
Charlton had begun the game brightly but we soon started to dominate possession, without causing many problems for the visitors’ defence.
The best chance of the first half fell to Fernando Forestieri, the striker miscuing from close range after Connor Wickham’s head down.
Forestieri then missed two more good openings as Wednesday continued to press early in the second half.
However, it was the introduction of Fletcher that added an extra dimension to our previously laboured build-ups and largely weak finishing.
Firstly, he took down a Barry Bannan through ball in style but saw Charlton keeper Dillon Phillips block his effort and the goalie then kept out his header with a flying tipaway save.
Fletcher’s presence also seemed to instil confidence into the rest of the side, Wickham and Lees both going close with headers.
At the other end, Charlton almost grabbed the lead when Kyle Taylor’s cracking 30-yarder came back off the bar and Lees made an excellent block to deny Taylor as he looked certain to score from eight yards out.
Then, just when the game was seemingly petering out into another goalless Wednesday performance at Hillsborough, Fletcher had the last-gasp word with his stooping headed winner to spark off joyous scenes both on and off the field.
Dawson, Palmer, Borner, Lees, Fox, Harris (Fletcher 57), Lee, Bannan, Murphy, Wickham (Nuhiu 75), Forestieri (Da Cruz 79). Unused subs. Wildsmith, Iorfa, Pelupessy, Windass. Att: 21,370.