Lees lifts Wednesday off the bottom

Last updated : 19 December 2020 By Chris Morris

Owls earn first win under Pulis

Sheffield Wednesday climbed off the foot of the Championship table on Saturday as a second half header from Tom Lees earned them victory over Coventry City at Hillsborough.

The Owls were forced into changes from the side that were defeated at Nottingham Forest in midweek with Moses Odubajo suspended. Liam Palmer came into the starting 11 with Callum Paterson and Keiren Westwood also returning to the side.

Despite their poor run of form Wednesday started well and offered far more of a threat than Coventry in the first half. Bannan fired an early strike way over the bar from distance and Dunkley headed over from a corner. The best two opportunities of the first 45 minutes both fell to Josh Windass. Midway through the half the forward had the ball at his feet inside the penalty area but took a touch too many and his shot was blocked then with 5 minutes to go to the break the ball broke to him after Liam Shaw had advanced into the box but he miscued his strike which went tamely wide of the goal.

Having offered so little in the first half, Coventry began to gain the upper hand at the start of the second 45 minutes. Sheaf saw a strike from distance saved by Westwood and the Owls keeper was forced to tip the ball over the bar when Dunkley inadvertently headed a cross towards his own goal.

At the other end the Owls’ best chances to continued to come the way of Windass, the former Rangers forward hit the target with a low drive from the edge of the penalty area just before the hour mark but Wilson got down well to make the save.

With 25 minutes to go Wednesday took the lead. City defender Ostigard was booked for bringing down Bannan as the Owls midfielder tried to break on goal and from the resulting free-kick the Scottish international picked out Tom Lees at the far post and he planted a firm header past Wilson into the goal.

Wednesday endured a nervous 5-10-minute spell after the goal with Westwood forced into a fine save from a close-range McFadzean header. Godden fired a shot way over the bar with 5 minutes to go and in the last minute of normal time the Owls should have made the game safe when a through ball from Reach put Windass through on goal. Windass had support from Rhodes but chose to shoot himself and his effort went straight at Wilson who didn’t really need to extend himself to make the stop.

Thankfully for the home side the miss did not prove to be costly as Coventry failed to create a chance of note in the 5 minutes of stoppage time. The result is Wednesday’s first win in the 9 games since Tony Pulis took over as manager last month and sees them go above Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship table.

Next up is an away game against Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.