Wednesday coast past Chesterfield
Sheffield Wednesday advanced into the 2nd round of the Carabao Cup with a comprehensive 4-1 win against Chesterfield at Hillsborough on Tuesday.
After a thoroughly flat display in defeat at Preston on Saturday, Carlos Carvalhal came into the game under some pressure and although a win against a League 2 side isn’t going to alleviate all of the concerns the manner of the victory was pleasing.
The Owls made 6 changes to rotate their squad and started brightly, Almen Abdi looking tidy in possession and Barry Bannan getting into far more advanced positions.
Despite the early promise chances came and went and Owls fans would have been fearing the worst when against the run of play Pudil was adjudged to have handled in his own area and Dennis made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Had the Owls gone in a goal down at half-time they might have been deflated but they deservedly managed to turn the game around before the break with 2 goals in quick succession. Hooper scored from close range 2 minutes before the break after good work from Abdi and then in injury time a fine header from Fletcher gave the Owls the advantage they deserved.
The home side continued to dominate after the break but at 2-1 the visitors were still in the game and Wildsmith did well to deny former Owl Chris O’Grady just after the hour mark. The result was finally sealed with 15 minutes to go when man-of-the-match Bannan glided past 2 or 3 challenges but firing in from outside the area.
Hutchinson, on at right-back for the injured Hunt completed the scoring with 7 minutes to go, rounding off a nice move from close range.
Wildsmith was forced off with an injury close to the end and as the Owls has already used 3 subs, Hutchinson picked up the gloves. The former Chelsea man saw the Owls safely through stoppage time with no dramas.
A bigger test will come in the week ahead when QPR and Sunderland visit Hillsborough in the Championship and it will be interesting to see if the Owls can play as positively in the league.