Four-goal Owls close in on play-off places

Wednesday moved to within three points of the play-offs with a deserved 4-2 win over Plymouth at Hillsborough this afternoon.

The visitors twice got back into the game after we had totally dominated the first half but an overall much-improved display sees us now sitting in eighth spot on 40 points and with a big game at seventh-placed Oxford coming up next Saturday.

The Owls were in charge from the first whistle, Jack Hunt hitting the side netting with an early angled effort, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing seeing a curling effort pushed away by Michael Cooper on 16 minutes and the keeper tipping over a Lee Gregory header.

However, Wednesday were not to be denied and took the lead soon afterwards, the dangerous Mendez-Laing sending in a low cross from the right and Sylla Sow sweeping home from eight yards.

Massimo Luongo, back from suspension, was also catching the eye. He found Gregory with an excellent ball, the striker electing to pass rather than shoot from close in and when it rebounded to Gregory his effort hit the outside of the post.

Wednesday continued to press, Barry Bannan dragging a good chance wide from 15 yards, but the second goal we deserved came five minutes from the break when Mendez-Laing raced clear and again cut inside from the left before firing into the far corner in clinical fashion.

The same player saw another effort saved by Cooper before Fisayo Dele-Bashiru fired well over and Bannan failed to connect properly with a header as Wednesday racked up 12 efforts and five on goal in the first 45 minutes, Plymouth failing to manage any efforts either on or off target.

However, the game was back in the balance just a minute into the second half when Adam Randell curled home a 20-yard free kick for Plymouth.

The goal somewhat took the wind out of Wednesday’s sails for a period but, while Plymouth came more into the game in terms of possession, they struggled to create many clear-cut chances and we restored the two-goal advantage 11 minutes from time.

Jack Hunt sent in an excellent cross from the right and there was Sam Hutchinson to head home in emphatic fashion in front of the Kop to make it 3-1.

Hopes of us easing to three points in the closing stages looked to have been dealt a blow five minutes later, Ryan Broom’s header came back off a post, the ball then hitting the diving Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s foot and going up onto the crossbar before finding its way into the net, seemingly via Marvin Johnson.

However, we struck back again within a minute and in some style, sub Josh Windass expertly controlling Liam Palmer’s long ball just inside the penalty area before turning instantly to fire home from 15 yards and seal the three points for the Owls after an entertaining afternoon at S6.

Peacock-Farrell, Palmer, Hutchinson, Johnson, J. Hunt, Dele-Bashiru, Luongo, Bannan (Adeniran 90), Mendez-Laing, Sow (Windass 80), Gregory (Paterson 90). Unused subs. Wildsmith, Brennan, Byers, Berahino. Attendance: 20,872.




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