Entertaining game ends all square at Carrow Road
Sheffield Wednesday had to settle for a point at Championship front runners Norwich City on Friday evening as a game full of quality and controversy ended 2-2.
Wednesday were dealt a blow before kick-off when goalkeeper Keiren Westwood was ruled out by an ankle injury sustained in the warm up. Cameron Dawson stepped into his place and was involved in the first big talking point of the game early on.
Within the first 15 minutes the young keeper rushed out of his penalty area to cut out a long Norwich clearance but then changed his mind and tried to backtrack into the box to pick the ball up. As Norwich players closed him down Dawson picked up the ball just outside the area, with the referee deciding the offence only worthy of a booking.
The resulting free-kick was well saved by Dawson but he could do nothing to deny Norwich the lead on 19 minutes. Stiepermann received the ball on the edge of the penalty area from Hernandez and as the Owls were slow to close him down he struck a low shot that beat Dawson with the keeper perhaps unsighted.
Having started well the visitors would have been disappointed to fall behind but just after the half-hour they responded in spectacular fashion. Fernando Forestieri picked the ball up midway inside the Norwich half, jinked himself into half a yard of space and unleashed an unstoppable strike the curled delightfully into the top corner of the Norwich goal.
The Owls started the second half on top and Forestieri was denied another fine goal by a diving Tim Krul save before the away side went in front in controversial fashion. A teasing cross by Liam Palmer found its way to the back post where Fletcher met it on the stretch. Krul got down well to save initially but the loose ball fell between Fletcher and the keeper with the Owls striker bundling the ball in to the goal having got a touch with his arm.
Chances continued to come at both ends, Stiepermann firing wide and McLean heading a good chance off target for the hosts and Krul saving well from Fletcher at the other end. Forestieri curled another fine strike just wide before being substituted having had what must surely have been his best performance of the season.
Just as it seemed Wednesday were heading for a well earned victory the referee somehow managed to find 5 minutes of injury time for the hosts. Having seen that out he then awarded the Canaries a free-kick on the edge of the area in the 6th minute of stoppage time. Vrancic appeared to throw himself into the challenge of Matias to win the set-piece and then stepped up to curl a fine strike over the wall and into the goal with the last kick of the game to the relief of the home fans.
It may have been a disappointing end to the game for Steve Bruce's side but they can take plenty of confidence from what was an impressive display despite having a number of key players missing.
Next up for Wednesday is a home game against play-off hopefuls Bristol City on Easter Monday.