Wednesday staged a second-half fightback to go back to the top of the division one table with a 5-2 win over MK Dons at Hillsborough this afternoon.
With previous leaders Plymouth held at home in a goalless draw with Fleetwood, we move above them on goal difference and with a game in hand on the West Country side. Ipswich moved back up to third after a win over Forest Green, trailing us by eight points and having played a match more than the Owls.
For Wednesday, the final scoreline looked a long way off after a first-half display which lacked energy and pace and, not surprisingly, we found ourselves trailing 2-1 at the break.
Jonathan Leko fired a tremendous 25-yarder into the top corner of the Kop net after just two minutes to put the visitors in front but Josh Windass responded with a free kick just off target and the same player soon had us back on level terms.
Reece James was the architect with a pinpoint long-range pass which Windass controlled perfectly, before coolly lifting the ball over keeper Jamie Cumming.
Michael Smith headed over from Barry Bannan’s cross when well-placed 10 yards out but MK looked dangerous on the break and we paid for sloppy defending midway through the half, allowing Mohamed Eisa to cut inside on the left and slot the ball into the far corner of the net from inside the box.
Despite being far from at our best, Wednesday continued to create chances, Windass dragging his shot wide and then the outstanding Liam Palmer seeing his effort deflect off a defender and onto the top of the crossbar.
However, we almost paid for more slipshod play just before half time, Will Vaulks losing the ball in midfield and he and his team-mates then relieved to see Sullay Kaikai slice his angled effort into the side netting when he might easily have made it 3-1.
We began the second half in more assertive and aggressive fashion and should have been level within five minutes when Smith sidefooted over the bar from six yards out after Jack Hunt’s miscued shot had landed at his feet.
Then, with 54 minutes gone, we got the vital equaliser from the penalty spot after Tennai Watson handled in the box and Smith stepped up to hammer home the spot kick.
Ten minutes later we were in front for the first time. Smith’s glancing header from a Dennis Adeniran cross was picked up by Marvin Johnson on the left and he pulled the ball back perfectly for sub Lee Gregory to turn home from close range, just three minutes after coming on.
By this time, the largely unconvincing performance of the first 45 minutes was a distant memory and Smith was on the scoresheet again with 17 minutes left, his shot from just inside the box deflecting off Zak Jules and looping over keeper Cumming for a fourth Wednesday goal.
And the second-half fightback was completed on 89 minutes, Johnson’s cross picking out George Byers for the midfielder to send a downward header into the corner of the net to make it 5-2, also stretching our unbeaten league run to 19 games and, most importantly, crowning a victory that takes us back to the top of league one.
Dawson, Hunt (Adeniran 61), Palmer, Iorfa, James, Johnson, Vaulks (Gregory 61), Byers, Bannan (Dele-Bashiru 77), Windass, Smith (Bakinson 90). Unused subs: Stockdale, Flint, Famewo.