Liam Palmer’s first Wednesday goal for 10 years saw us to a much-needed 1-0 win over Preston at Hillsborough this afternoon.
It was also a fourth successive Championship home victory, leaving us still in 23rd place but now only four points from the safety zone. Bottom club Wycombe trail us by seven points, with a game in hand, while Rotherham sit one point ahead and one place above Wednesday and having played a game less.
Forest are the first side outside of the relegation places, four points clear of us but we have played a match fewer.
The all-important goal came just before the break when Tom Lees flicked on a long throw from Callum Paterson at the near post, Elias Kachunga headed it back across goal and Liam Palmer sidefooted home in front of the Kop from six yards for his first competitive goal for Wednesday since his maiden strike against MK Dons in September 2011.
Overall. it was hardly five-star entertainment against mid-table Preston but we started the game in promising fashion, Barry Bannan firing well over the top from long range and Paterson going close from the edge of the box.
The visitors began to dominate possession as the half wore on and Keiren Westwood spilled a 25-yarder from Ben Whiteman before Palmer struck almost on the half-time whistle.
Preston continued to have the better of the chances in the first part of the second half, Westwood saving full length from Brad Potts and then Whiteman blazed over the bar from 10 yards.
Wednesday hit back with Palmer’s cross failing to find Kachunga and then Preston keeper Daniel Iversen pulled off a briliant tipover save from Bannan’s 20-yarder that looked destined for the top corner.
Scott Sincalir missed a clear chance for the visitors, heading wide when well placed but Wednesday, with the central defensive trio of Tom Lees, Sam Hutchinson and Osaze Urhoghide holding firm, saw out the remaining 15 minutes to ensure another valuable three points and complete a fourth league win in a row for the first time in five years.
Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Urhoghide, Penney, Pelupessy, Hutchinson, Bannan, Reach (Luongo 80), Kachunga (Windass 71) , Paterson (Rhodes 83). Unused subs: Wildsmith, Borner, Dele-Bashiru, Green, Harris, Marriott.