Owls were going down with a whimper - until Swans offered them another lifeline

Last updated : 01 May 2021 By C. Morris

Relegation battle will go down to the last day

Sheffield Wednesday’s slim hopes of Championship survival are hanging by a thread but they are not done yet, despite a meek showing in their final home game against Nottingham Forest.

Starting the day 4 points behind Derby County with two games to play, the Owls knew that they needed to better the result of the Rams in order to avoid the drop today. Wednesday kicked off early at home to Forest with away to Swansea later in the day.

The Owls were very tentative I the first half of their game with Kadeem Harris spurning the best opportunities on the left, placing a weak shot straight at Samba in the visitors goal and then allowing a defender to nip in when in a similar position. At the end of the first 45 minutes the hosts gifted their opponents a great chance to take the lead. Westwood chipped a poor pass to Adam Reach on the left touchline but Reach made matters worse with a woefully short header back towards his keeper. Knockaert nipped in for Forest and was bundled to the ground as he tried to nip past the Owls keeper and there was no doubt about the award of a penalty. With what would be the last action of the half, Westwood redeemed himself with a fine save from Grabban’s penalty, low down to his left side.

Having been handed a lifeline the home side started the second half well with Harris twice breaking into the penalty area but Wednesday lacked numbers in the box and Forest were able to snuff out the danger. At the other end Borner presented Chris Hughton’s side with another chance, allowing Grabban to beat Westwood to a short pass back but the striker could only find the side netting from a narrow angle.

Wednesday continued to labour with Paterson making little impression from right-wing back and Harris spurning attacks on his weaker left side. Rhodes replaced Adnre Green who barely got into the game and the former Blackburn striker fluffed a good chance created by Windass. Windass then fired in a good strike at the near post that Samba did well to tip away for a corner, Rhodes heading Bannan’s resulting set piece straight at the keeper.

The home side seemed to lack any urgency to push for a winner in the closing stages despite knowing that a draw would leave them relegated should Derby pick up a point in their game.

Swansea made five changes for their match against the Rams and with a play-off place already secured they had little riding on getting a result. The writing appeared to be on the wall when Lawrence gave Derby the lead early in the second half but two goals in three minutes midway through the half saw Swansea pick up all three points.   

Wednesday travel to Derby next weekend knowing that a win will send the Rams down and could keep themselves up, but their own fate is not in their hands as Rotherham are level on points with the Owls but have two games still to play and also have a better goal difference.