Wednesday took three points in a 3-2 win after a rollercoaster of a match at rain-lashed Accrington this afternoon.
In an action-packed first half, we romped into a three-goal lead inside 23 minutes but a combination of further missed chances and poor defending allowed the home side to get the score back to 3-2 early in the second half.
However, we managed to hold out for the victory, moving up one place to seventh and remain two points adrift of the play-off places and seven behind leaders Plymouth.
The opening minutes set the scene for an eventful first half and it was the home side who almost went ahead early on, Harry Pell firing inches wide from just outside the box, with half the ground thinking the ball had actually crept inside the upright
Almost immediately at the other end, Jack Hunt saw his effort cleared off the line by Harvey Rodgers and, within another minute, Barry Bannan found Callum Paterson in time and space inside the box but he elected to square for Florian Kamberi rather than shoot and although Kamberi netted he was offside.
Wednesday continued to look dangerous in the pouring rain, with Theo Corbeanu causing problems for the home defence, and we broke the deadlock on 13 minutes when Bannan’s corner to the far post was met by Dunkley’s stooping header.
Accrington still looked dangerous at the other end and Bailey Peacock-Farrell did well to push away a near post header from Michael Nottingham.
As the game continued to swing from end to end, another clear Wednesday chance went begging when Massimo Luongo picked out Bannan in the box but he shot wide.
However, we did double our lead on 20 minutes, Corbeanu playing a one-two with Liam Palmer and firing home in style from just inside the penalty area.
Two minutes later we were three-up, Palmer hooking a pass through to Kamberi and he deftly flicked over keeper James Trafford into the far corner of the net.
Then, after 10 minutes of comparative calmness, Accrington brought themselves back into the game when Wednesday hesitated in clearing a corner and Lewis Mansell found the net with an overhead kick.
We should have had a fourth soon afterwards, a poor defensive header gifting Paterson time and space 25 yards from goal but his weak effort in a one-on-one with the keeper was pushed away for a corner.
And on the stroke of half time, another good opening went begging as Dunkley headed off target when well placed from a corner.
It was a similar story at the start of the second half, Paterson shooting across goal and wide from 15 yards, and we paid for those wasted chances soon afterwards when poor defending from Palmer inside the box allowed sub Joel Mumbongo to turn and shoot into the far corner of the net.
The alarm bells were well and truly ringing, especially given our recent history of losing leads, and Peacock-Farrell had to produce an excellent flying save to keep out Pell’s 25-yard free kick.
Accrington continued to press forward without unduly troubling Wednesday and that left them open to our counter attacks.
Bannan’s through ball found sub Lee Gregory but he took the ball too close to Trafford and the chance was gone before the same combination saw Gregory’s dangerous ball across the box just evade Paterson.
Jaden Brown broke clear but saw his effort saved at the near post when he might have shot across goal and, while we had a scare or two at the other end, Accrington failed to create such clearcut openings and the 2,600 travelling fans – making up more than half of the 4,627 crowd – could celebrate holding onto an away lead after recent experiences.
Peacock-Farrell, Brennan, Dunkley, Palmer, Hunt, Dele-Bashiru, Luongo, Bannan, Corbeanu (Brown 64), Paterson, Kamberi (Gregory 64). Unused subs: Wildsmith, Wing, Byers, Windass, Berahino.