Hooper’s double spurs Owls revival

Wednesday moved back to within four points of the play-off places after a convincing 3-0 win over Leeds at Hillsborough.

Following the S6 derby defeat last weekend and the midweek reverse at Birmingham, we began the game tentatively and the visitors went close on more than one occasion in the early stages.

However, Wednesday gradually began to get a grip on the game and took the lead on 25 minutes when Tom Lees headed across the Leeds penalty box and Gary Hooper turned the ball home from close range.

That sparked off a period of excellent play from Wednesday, Kieran Lee finishing off a slick move with an excellent finish that was wrongly ruled offside and then Steven Fletcher somehow heading wide from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

However, we got the second goal our pressure deserved just before the break when Fletcher headed back across goal from Liam Palmer’s cross and Hooper was on hand to head home.

Leeds threatened at the start of the second half and Pierre-Michel Lasogga hit an upright after a miskick by Joost van Aken while Kieran Lee cleared Pontus Jansson’s header off the line.

Wednesday retaliated with Hooper twice going close to his third, Ross Wallace being foiled by Felix Wiedwalk and Barry Bannan hitting an upright, before Lee sealed the points with a cracking first time effort from 25  yards that flew past Wiedwalk and nestled in the bottom corner of the goal.

All that was left was for Hooper to complete his hat-trick but it was not to be, his injury time effort being tipped onto the bar by Wiedwalk.

Victory leaves us on 16 points, four away from fourth-placed Bristol City and eight behind leaders Cardiff.

Wildsmith, Hunt (Palmer 30), Lees, van Aken, Reach, Lee, Bannan (Butterfield 86), Jones, Wallace, Fletcher (Rhodes 90), Hooper.