Owls go top but ‘lose ground’ in automatic promotion chase

Wednesday went back to the top of the division one table but effectively lost ground in the automatic promotion battle after a 1-1 draw at home to Lincoln this afternoon.

It means we have taken just three points from our last five games and while a point was enough to overtake leaders Plymouth – who are in EFL Cup final action tomorrow – we are only separated by goal difference on 80 points and they now have a game in hand on us.

Ipswich, 2-0 winners at Derby today, move to within two points of us and have played a game fewer, while fourth-placed Barnsley trail Wednesday by five points but with a match in hand, after beating Morecambe 5-0.

With Plymouth and Ipswich both having a game in hand, today’s results also take automatic promotion out of our hands at this stage.

We began the game with Lincoln in aggressive fashion and went ahead on 12 minutes when Michael Smith headed home from Will Vaulks’ cross.

Lee Gregory shot into the side netting as we continued to make the early running but Lincoln levelled on 28 minutes, David Stockdale only pushing out a low long-ranger from Harry Boyes and Daniel Mandroiu tucked away the loose ball.

Wednesday dominated play after the break, Smith sending an angled effort past onrushing keeper Carl Rushworth but also off target before Aden Flint beat Rushworth to a Vaulks free kick at the near post but saw his header go narrowly wide.

We continued to press for a winner without looking totally convincing but almost broke the deadlock in the last of eight added minutes, Smith’s header being cleared off the line by Adam Jackson to deny us a winner.

Stockdale, Palmer, Iorfa (Wilks 60), Flint, Famewo, Johnson, Vaulks, James (Adeniran 82), Bannan, Gregory, Smith. Subs: Dawson, Brown, Dele-Bashiru, Bakinson, Shipston.

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