Wednesday moved up into second place in the division one promotion race with a five-goal win over Cambridge at Hillsborough this afternoon.
While we were banging in the goals at S6, Ipswich were held 1-1 by a Lincoln side who played with 10 men for much of the game and our victory takes us two points clear of the Tractor Boys, along with a superior goal difference of five on them. The win also sees us close the gap on leaders Plymouth to four points.
Josh Windass took the goalscoring headlines with a hat-trick in an emphatic success against poor opposition and he set the ball rolling after just seven minutes, latching on to a fine through pass from George Byers and slotting home past keeper Will Mannion.
Michael Smith tested Mannion again soon afterwards with a hooked effort and we doubled our lead on 20 minutes from the penalty spot. Callum Paterson was adjudged to have been brought down by Liam Bennett as he chased a Smith flick-on and Smith sent Mannion the wrong way with the resulting spot kick.
Wednesday were threatening to totally overrun Cambridge at this stage, Smith heading just wide from a Palmer cross and Mannion then saving from Windass after another excellent through ball from Byers, before Mallik Wilks forced another save from the overworked Mannion with an angled 20-yarder.
Cambridge then enjoyed their only real spell of pressure in the closing minutes of the first half, Lewis Simper hitting the bar from the edge of the box and Smith clearing a Greg Taylor header from under the crossbar.
However, any chances of an unlikely revival from the visitors were just about ruled out six minutes into the second half when Wilks’ cross was not cleared properly and Liam Palmer swept the ball home from 12 yards.
It was 4-0 with 20 minutes left, Wilks playing a slide rule ball through to Windass and he fired across the keeper into the far corner of the net.
Marvin Johnson was next to go close for the Owls, firing just over from a Callum Paterson head down and the same pair were involved soon afterwards, Paterson just failing to get a final touch to Johnson’s deflected cross.
A fifth Wednesday goal did arrive on 80 minutes, Windass completing his hat-trick when he drilled the ball into the same corner as for his second goal, following a pull back from Jack Hunt.
There was still time for sub Dennis Adeniran to shoot just wide when he might have passed to Reece James as Wednesday made it 13 league games without defeat, racking up 25 shots in the game and with eight on target.
Dawson, Wilks, Palmer, McGuinness, James, Byers (Hunt 65), Vaulks, Johnson (Famewo 75), Windass (Shipston 84), Paterson (Adeniran 76), Smith (Dele-Bashiru 65). Unused subs: Stockdale, Mighten.