Wednesday fail to hold onto lead and have to settle for point

Wednesday’s hopes of staying in the Championship took a setback today when we had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Stoke at Hillsborough.

For eight minutes we were out of the bottom three when Liam Palmer fired us ahead on 68 minutes but we were caught out on the counter, allowing Stoke to equalise soon afterwards.

With most of the results elsewhere not going in our favour we have slipped to one from bottom on 44 points, still only one point from safety but, in reality two, due to our poor goal difference.

There are still eight clubs in the fight to avoid filling the final two relegation places, separated by six points, but with only three games remaining for all of us.

Wednesday began today in barnstorming fashion and could easily have had at least a couple of goal oinside the first 10 minutes.

Palmer had an early effort deflected for a corner and then Ike Ugbo brought a point-blank save out of Daniel Iversen from six yards out after being found by Josh Windass.

Michael Ihiekwe saw his header cleared off the line by Tyrese Campbell before Michael Smith’s fierce shot cannoned back off the crossbar from inside the box.

And, with only nine minutes on the clock, Smith was then harshly judged to have fouled a defender when he headed home at the far post.

Not surprisingly, we couldn’t keep up such a whirlwind start but Stoke posed little threat at the other end before Pol Valentin fired over with half time approaching.

Then, just before the interval, the visitors had their one effort of the half, Ben Wilmot knocking the ball wide after an almighty scramble in the box.

In comparison, Wednesday began the second half in edgy fashion while Stoke showed more aggression and Bae Junho brought a diving save out of James Bedale before Lewis Baker sent a 25-yard free kick just wide.

The Owls, attacking the Kop in the second half, were close to taking the lead on the  hour when Ihiekwe headed wide but we only had another eight minutes to wait for that breakthrough.

Ihiekwe managed to nod a Barry Bannan cross back from the far post and Palmer was there to smash an angled half-volley into the far corner of the net.

Hillsborough was in raptures with Wednesday out of the bottom three at that stage … but the joy was shortlived as Stoke hit back with an equaliser on 76 minutes when Luke Cundle broke clear on the counter and slotted past Beadle.

Our best chance in the closing minutes came when Callum Paterson’s flicked header was cleared from under the crossbar by Josh Laurent, with Ugbo waiting to pounce at the far post, and we were left to reflect on those early chances that could have created a much different final scoreline.

Beadle, Valentin (Musaba 90), Ihiekwe, Famewo, Johnson, Vaulks, Bannan, Palmer (Cadamarteri 90), Windass (Paterson 67), Smith (Gassama 83), Ugbo (Musaba 90). Unused subs: Dawson, B.Diaby, Pedersen, Hendrick. Attendance: 32,041.


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