A cracking long-range effort from Will Vaulks saw Wednesday take another three points and move up to third in the division one table after a 1-0 win at Port Vale this afternoon.
With the Owls struggling to play their normal short passing football on a heavily sanded pitch, the game was settled just after the hour in spectacular fashion when Mallik Wilks’ shot was blocked and Vaulks seized on the loose ball, curling a 25-yard first-timer into the top corner of the net and following it up with a somersault celebration in front of the 3,500 travelling Wednesday fans.
It takes us into that third place on 23 points, with Ipswich in second on 24 and leaders Plymouth, who we face at Home Park on Tuesday night, a further point clear.
We had an early scare when Gavin Massey saw his deflected cross clip the top of the crossbar but the Owls began to dominate play and went close twice in as many minutes midway through the first half.
First, home keeper Jack Stevens pushed a Barry Bannan 20-yarder over the bar and Ben Heneghan’s strong header from the resulting corner saw Stevens again diving to claw away the effort.
Vale then enjoyed their best spell of the half with their main moment of danger coming when Brad Walker’s shot into the ground from the edge of the box was scrambled away with his legs by David Stockdale.
The second half became increasingly scrappy, with the pitch getting worse as the game wore on and goalscoring opportunities few and far between.
However, it was Wednesday who continued to look the more likely to score with Barry Bannan curling a free kick just wide from the edge of the box.
Then, with 63 minutes gone, came the ‘worldie’ from Vaulks – his first goal for the club – and Wednesday played out the rest of the match with few threats from Vale to extend our recent league form to three wins and a draw from the last four matches.
Stockdale, Palmer, Heneghan, Ihiekwe, James, Johnson, Vaulks, Bannan, Wilks (Paterson 67), Windass (Dele-Bashiru 82), Smith. Unused subs. Dawson, Hunt, Iorfa, Bakinson, Mighten.