Wednesday survived heavy second-half Middlesbrough pressure at Hillsborough this evening to chalk up a precious 2-1 win just 24 hours after the shock sacking of Tony Pulis.
It meant a second successive home victory and lifts us to third from bottom, ahead of Rotherham on goal difference and a point clear of Wycombe at the foot of the table. It also leaves us three points from safety and we will move out of the bottom three if we beat Derby in the televised match at Hillsborough on Friday night.
With Neil Thompson in temporary charge and Lee Bullen and Nicky Weaver alongside him on the touchline, we began well and went close within four minutes, Josh Windass set clear by Barry Bannan but shooting across goal and wide of the far post.
Liam Palmer came to the rescue at the other end when he cleared from close in after Marvin Johnson opened us up down the left flank.
Johnson caused us more problems on 25 minutes when his angled effort was blocked by Keiren Westwood but it was Wednesday who took the lead on the half-hour mark.
Palmer picked out Callum Paterson with a through ball and the latter showed excellent control before slotting the ball past Marcus Bettinelli from inside the box.
Five minutes before half time it was 2-0 to Wednesday, Bannan’s excellent low centre finding Liam Shaw on the six-yard line and the youngster, a lifelong Wednesday fan, tucked the ball home in front of an empty Kop for his first-ever goal for the first team.
Boro boss Neil Warnock found himself booked at the end of the first half after an on-pitch argument amongst several players and the visitors were back in the game soon after the restart, Duncan Watmore turning the ball home from 10 yards after some slack marking.
Paterson went close to a third Wednesday goal with 20 minutes left, his close-range flick at the near post from a low Windass cross bringing a diving save out of Bettinelli.
However, that was a rare opening for Wednesday in the second half as Boro pressed for an equaliser, Marcus Tavernier shooting wide when he should have done better and then Johnson’s effort crashing against a post.
We rode our luck at times but a cracking interception from Chey Dunkley in added time thwarted Watmore and so ensured the three points for Wednesday.
Westwood, Palmer, Dunkley, Lees, Odubajo, Shaw, Pelupessy, Bannan, Harris, Paterson (Brown 71), Windass (Penney 83). Subs. Wildsmith, Waldock, Dele-Bashiru, Urhogide, Hunt, Kachunga, Rhodes.