Wednesday up to third after five-goal thumping of Forest Green

Wednesday moved up to third place in division one with a first-half Hillsborough demolition of promoted Forest Green Rovers this afternoon.

The Owls scored four times in the opening 45 minutes, eventually running out 5-0 winners, and now sit on 13 points from six games, just one point behind joint leaders Portsmouth and Ipswich.

We totally dominated the match and, while the half-time statistics showed Forest Green having had just over 50 per cent possession, the one that showed 11 shots and four goals for Wednesday with none of either for the visitors told the real story.

After a lively start from the Owls, we took the lead on 12 minutes when Liam Palmer saw his shot blocked from inside the box but Josh Windass was on hand to turn the loose ball home from 10 yards.

Seven minutes later Windass became provider when Dominic Bernard failed to cut out his 35-yard angled pass and Barry Bannan was on hand to calmly steer the ball past advancing keeper Luke McGee.

Worse followed for Forest Green just after the half-hour as a rampant Owls made it three. Bannan’s excellent free kick from near the halfway line picked out Palmer perfectly and although his first effort was blocked by McGee, Palmer was able to slot home the rebound for his second goal in successive Saturdays.

Unmarked Michael Ihiekwe headed over from a Windass corner as we continued to push forward and it was 4-0 shortly before the interval. This time it was Lee Gregory on the scoresheet, Bannan again involved in the approach work and when the ball broke to Gregory just inside the box he curled it expertly into the corner of the net.

Even then, there was still time for George Byers to see his 15-yard snapshot bounce back off a post and into the arms of a relieved McGee before the break.

We might have had a penalty soon after half time when Liam Palmer went down under a challenge in the box and a fifth goal followed on 56 minutes, Gregory attempting a diving header from a Tyreeq Bakinson cross and the ball seemingly going in off his marker Bernard.

With five goals under our belts, Wednesday’s play began to lack the intensity of the first half before Bannan curled a 25-yard free kick just wide midway through the second period.

Five Wednesday subs in the next 15 minutes, including a first appearance for new signing Mallik Wilks, further disrupted the rhythm and creativity of the first half while Forest Green failed to muster a shot on target throughout the game.

It was left to Wilks to have the last word when his late overhead kick was tipped over the bar by McGee on an afternoon that saw Wednesday stretch our unbeaten home run to 14 games, while also chalking up a sixth win in eight competitive matches this season.

Stockdale, Palmer, Iorfa, Ihiekwe, McGuinness, Johnson (Brown 83), Bakinson (Vaulks 80), Byers, Bannan (Adeniran 69), Windass (Wilks 69), Gregory (Paterson 69). Unused subs: Dawson, J Hunt.


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