Below-par Wednesday miss out on chance to go top

Wednesday missed the chance to go to the top of the division one table in a drab goalless draw at Derby today.

The two sides mustered just five shots on target in the entire game, with a largely punchless Wednesday side managing just two of them.

We remain in third place and the best that can be said after the stalemate is that the point takes us to just two behind leaders Plymouth after their defeat on Friday night, while we still trail second-placed Ipswich by one point.

A somewhat understrength Wednesday looked sluggish from the start at Pride Park and rarely strung together any moves of note throughout the game, our only effort on goal in the first half coming from a Michael Smith header on 22 minutes that was easily taken by ex-Owls keeper Joe Wildsmith.

Derby came closest to scoring in what could politely be described as a low-key opening 45 minutes, David Stockdale saving early on from a good close-range chance for former Wednesday loanee David McGoldrick and the same player tested Stockdale five minutes before half time with a 25-yarder that bounced off the chest of the keeper.

We lacked tempo, passing movements and belief in that first half and, unfortunately, any hopes of an improved performance from Wednesday after the break never materialised against a Derby side who also lacked the guile and spark to put us under any concerted periods of pressure.

Their only vaguely threatening spell came early in the second half, Lewis Dobbin heading wide at the far post and then failing to take advantage when Stockdale dropped a cross under pressure in a crowded penalty area.

Wednesday took off Alex Mighten and Michael Smith just before the hour, replacing them with Mallik Wilks and Callum Paterson but there was no improvement in play and our only chance of breaking the deadlock came on 63 minutes when Fisayo Dele-Bashiru wriggled his way through in the penalty area but his shot from 10 yards was blocked by Wildsmith’s outstretched leg.

On the plus side, it was another point which stretches our run to just one league defeat in 11 matches and keeps us very much in the promotion race … but Darren Moore will be well aware that we need to up our performance levels in the weeks ahead to keep up that push for a return to the Championship.

Stockdale, Palmer, Iorfa, McGuinness, James, Vaulks, Dele-Bashiru, Bannan, Johnson, Mighten (Paterson 59), Smith (Wilks 59). Unused subs: Dawson, Brown, Famewo, Bakinson, Hunt. Attendance: 28,192.





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