Wednesday moved into fourth place in the division one table with a 1-0 win over relegated Crewe at Hillsborough this evening.
It was a spluttering performance but the points were secured with Lee Gregory’s penalty early in the second half, taking us above Plymouth on goals scored, and still with a game in hand on them.
We now have 79 points from 43 games, with an excellent chance of making the play-offs, with Wycombe in sixth (77 points from 44) Sunderland seventh (77 from 43) and Oxford in eighth (75 from 44).
Above us, second-placed Rotherham (83 from 43) lost at Burton tonight and MK Dons in third (83 from 44) were beaten at Oxford, so this also leaves us still with an outside chance of an automatic promotion place.
Wednesday could and should have been ahead early on against Crewe as we squandered openings.
The first and best of these came on six minutes when Jack Hunt set up Saido Berahino from Barry Bannan’s cross to the far post but the striker managed to lift it over the bar from six yards.
Minutes later Nathaniel Mendez-Laing cut in and tested keeper Dave Richards, Berahino failing to convert the rebound.
Richards was in action again, pushing away a 20-yarder from George Byers, and then Gregory failed to get a shot away in the box from Callum Paterson’s nod down.
Paterson went close with a fierce snapshot midway through the half while Crewe managed just one shot on target in the first half, Bailey Peacock-Farrell turning aside Callum Ainsley’s 25-yarder
We continued to dominate without finding that cutting edge at the start of the second half but finally got the breakthrough on 53 minutes,
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was brought down by Scott Kashket in the box and Gregory stepped up to send Richards the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Jordan Storey went close to doubling the lead soon afterwards with a downward header saved by Richards and Paterson missed a great chance 20 minutes from time when he failed to connect with Marvin Johnson’s cross from inside the six-yard box.
That led to a typically nervy closing spell, with Crewe pushing forward, but we held on for another three crucial points to continue our bid for an immediate return to the Championship.
Peacock-Farrell, Hunt, Palmer, Storey, Johnson, Mendez-Laing (Dunkley 82), Byers, Bannan, Paterson, Berahino (Kamberi 82), Gregory (Luongo 62). Unused subs. Wildsmith, Gibson, Shodipo, Dele-Bashiru.