Wednesday turned the formbook upside down and kept our faint hopes of Championship survival alive as Jordan Rhodes bagged a brace in a 2-1 win at Barnsley today.
We went into the derby clash with just one point from our previous eight games while Barnsley had taken 28 out of their last 30 points played for but it was the Owls who emerged winners after showing some of the energy, fight and commitment lacking for much of the season.
The victory leaves us six points from safety with nine games to play and, while staying up still looks unlikely, it will hopefully give us some confidence and impetus when the Championship returns after the international break, with our next game at promotion-chasing Watford in a fortnight’s time.
We lost keeper Keiren Westwood after injury in the warm-up at Barnsley and the home side were fast out of the traps, missing a clear chance to take the lead in the opening minutes when the unmarked Michael Sollbaeur fired over the bar from close-in at the far post from a corner.
However, Wednesday weathered the early storm and we had a good opening of our own on 20 minutes. Jordan Rhodes chased a through pass from Julian Borner, home keeper Brad Collins missed the ball as he came out his box to clear but Rhodes’ angled right-footer was just wide of the goal when a left-foot effort might have found the target.
Undeterred, Rhodes was not to be denied seven minutes from half-time when Wednesday took the lead in style. A neat flick from Josh Windass found Barry Bannan down the left and when he sent in an excellent cross, Rhodes lost his marker to head powerfully past Collins.
The scoreline got even better for Wednesday on 53 minutes when Windass broke clear down the right and unselfishly squared the ball across goal for Rhodes to convert from six yards.
Barnsley exerted more pressure as the half wore on, without causing many scares, but they were back in the game 12 minutes from time when the ball dropped to Carlton Morris in the box and his shot took a big deflection off Tom Lees to find the net.
That led to a nervy finale for Wednesday as we chased a first win for boss Darren Moore but we held firm to give that glimmer of hope in our fight to avoid relegation.
Wildsmith, Palmer, Lees, Urhoghide, Börner, Paterson, Reach, Bannan, Pelupessy, Windass (Green 84), Rhodes. Unused subs. Jackson, Brennan, Galvin, Penney, Hunt, Brown, Harris, Kachunga.