Wednesday stretched our lead over third-placed Ipswich to seven points at the top of the division one table after a scrappy 1-0 win over Fleetwood at Hillsborough this afternoon.
The victory cements our second place in the table on 58 points, still three behind leaders Plymouth but with a game in hand on them, and now seven clear of Ipswich, the Tractor Boys losing at Oxford while Plymouth won at home to Cheltenham.
We also go into Tuesday evening’s match at Cheltenham, our game in hand on Plymouth, knowing that another win would take us top of the table on goal difference.
The opening minutes this afternoon saw Fleetwood looking the more creative side, without troubling Cameron Dawson, but it was Wednesday who went ahead on 17 minutes with a well-constructed goal.
Liam Palmer was the architect, driving forward in the Fleetwood half before releasing Josh Windass down the right flank, his low cross then found Marvin Johnson at the far post and he fired into the roof of the net from close range.
The impetus of the goal saw us begin to pose more attacking threats and we could easily have doubled the lead on 33 minutes, Windass sending in another low cross from the right, this time to the near post, but Lee Gregory knocked the ball wide from six yards.
Soon afterwards, Dominic Iorfa sent in a fierce effort through a crowded penalty area but keeper Jay Lynch got down well to save.
At the other end, Fleetwood continued to cause the occasional scare, with Wednesday showing some defensive hesitancy.
Fleetwood managed their first shot on goal on the hour, Dawson saving Danny Andrew’s low free kick, while the Owls struggled to get an attempt on target during the second period.
Windass fired over, Callum Paterson headed just wide and Gregory couldn’t outpace the Fleetwood defence after a flick-on from Paterson.
We began defending deeper and deeper as the game wore on and Fleetwood went close to grabbing a late equaliser.
Dawson produced an excellent stop to foil Ged Garner from point-blank range and Paddy Lane fired over the top when well-placed.
Then Wednesday had the chance to make it 2-0 with the last kick of the game but Gregory fired his penalty high into the Kop after being brought down by keeper Lynch.
It certainly wasn’t a classic … but it was another three points, another clean sheet and five wins on the bounce to stretch our unbeaten league run to 15 games.
Dawson, Hunt, Palmer, Iorfa, Famewo, Johnson, Vaulks, Adeniran (Bakinson 86), Windass (Dele-Bashiru 86), Gregory, Smith (Paterson 69). Unused subs: Stockdale, Shipton, Wilks, Brown, Bakinson. Attendance: 23, 230.