Paterson & Shaw seal Wednesday win
Sheffield Wednesday brought a turbulent 2020 to an end with a home win against Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough on Tuesday evening.
Having terminated the contract of manager Tony Pulis late last night, Wednesday were led by caretaker manager Neil Thompson and he adopted a 3-5-2 formation With Paterson playing a supporting attacking role behind Windass.
Wednesday started the game well and looked to be on the front foot much more than they previously had done under Pulis. An through ball from Bannan played in Windass down the Wednesday left and the former Ranger forward fired a low drive across goal but just wide inside the opening five minutes.
The visitors found a foothold in the game after the first 15 minutes or so and Assombalonga missed the target with a couple of half chances while Marvin Johnson forced Westwood into a good save at the near post.
On the half-hour mark the hosts took the lead, another ball down Middlesbrough's right-side, this time from Palmer, found Paterson and he made his way into the penalty area before sliding the ball into the goal past the advancing keeper.
Ten minutes later, Wednesday doubled their lead when Bannan got into a good position on the left-hand side and his fine low cross was turned home with an assured finish by young midfielder Liam Shaw for his first senior goal. This was the first time Wednesday had found the net twice in any game at Hillsborough in 2020, never mind two goals in the same half!
Smarting from their first half showing, Middlesbrough started the second half in more determined fashion and were able to reduce the deficit within 5 minutes. Morsy was able to hold off Paterson near the goal line and he cut the ball back for Watmore to slide in a close range finish.
With home wins for Wednesday few and far between, the appeared to become understandably nervous and 'Boro enjoyed more of the ball as the Owls began to give away free kicks in dangerous positions around their own box. Despite the increased pressure, Westwood was largely untroubled for the next 20 minutes and Wednesday created a chance on the break with 20 minutes to go when Paterson diverted a low cross from Windass goalwards but Bettinelli got down to turn the ball around the post.
With 15 minutes to go Johnson struck the near post with a fierce shot from the Owls right hand side but although Middlsbrough continued to press they were unable to find a way through and the post-Pulis era at Hillsborough was started with a win.
Wednesday face a crunch game against fellow strugglers Derby County at Hillsborough on New Years Day and it remains to be seen whether the Owls will have a new manager by then.