Positive but frustrating start to New Year for Owls

Last updated : 02 January 2019 By Chris Morris
Wednesday kick off 2019 with a draw
 
Sheffield Wednesday continued their unbeaten run under caretaker manager Lee Bullen by drawing 1-1 with Birmingham City at Hillsborough on New Years Day. It was another positive performance that belied the previous run of just 5 points from 10 games under former manager Jos Luhukay but it could easily have been another victory.
 
With close to 30,000 in attendance to see the game Wednesday started brightly, Reach firing over from a clever Bannan cross and Hector somehow bundling wide when well placed from a corner. Just before the 20-minute mark however the Owls did have the lead. Bannan's deep free-kick was nodded down by Lees and Fletcher let the dropping ball fall across him before firing in to the corner of the net on the turn from 10 yards. 
Marco Matias then forced Blues keeper Camp into a diving save from another Bannan pass and Wednesday deserved the lead they took into half-time.
 
Having offered little in the first 45 minutes Birmingham replaced former Owls winger Jacques Maghoma at half-time and the visitors made a much better start to the second period which was rewarded inside the first 5 minutes. Imposing striker Jutkiewicz pinned down Lees to win the flick on and former Sheffield United forward Che Adams beat Hector to the knockdown and gave Westwood no chance with a strike from close range.
 
Wednesday were rocked for a few minutes following the goal but found their feet again and went on to dominate the last half-hour. Reach, Matias and Fletcher all forced good saves from Camp before another Fletcher strike from a Bannan through ball was beaten away by the experienced keeper. 
 
Birmingham had sporadic breaks to keep their fans interested and Craig Gardner saw his free-kick go wide off the base of the post late on before Wednesday pushed on and went close again as the game came to a close. Substitute Nuhiu did well to bring down a high ball on his chest and take a shot from the edge of the box as the ball dropped but Camp was once again equal to it. The loose ball came back to Nuhiu who saw his second effort blocked near the goal line with the rebound fallowing to Reach who blasted narrowly wide from an acute angle.
 
With Steve Bruce set to take over shortly Wednesday must be grateful to Bullen for steadying the ship over the past couple of weeks and they appear to have more to look forward to now having endured a difficult first half of the season.