Tough test ends in a draw
Sheffield Wednesday festive fixtures got underway today with a trip to Blackburn Rovers and the Owls came away with a point after earning a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park.
Tony Pulis made two changes to the team that beat Coventry City last weekend with Moses Odubajo and Joost Van Aken returning to the side, Kadeem Harris and Liam Shaw dropped to the bench.
Blackburn came into the game in inconsistent form having won three, lost three and drawn one in their previous seven games though they had only lost one of their last six at home.
The home side started the game positively with Armstrong firing a shot on target in the first 3 minutes but Westwood saved comfortably. Despite dominating the ball, Rovers were unable to create many chances against a well organised Pulis team and with 5 minutes to go to half-time Wednesday hit their hosts with a sucker punch.
Blackburn failed to deal with a long clearance and Adam Reach picked the ball up 25 yards out and curled a wonderful strike past Kaminski into the far corner.
Wednesday had the chance to double their lead at the start of the second half but Windass had a shot blocked and then skewed wide as the ball came back to him. Reach then put another opportunity off target after good play by Bannan.
Rovers made 3 changes with half an hour to go, including the long awaited return from injury of Bradley Dack, and the substitutes gave them more of an attacking threat. Wednesday survived a scare when Armstrong fired a shot off the post on the turn but with 15 minutes to go the home side found a leveller.
Rothwell picked the ball up midway in the Owls half and breezed past Paterson and Bannan, wrong-footed Lees inside the penalty area and gave Westwood no chance with a low shot inside the post.
Both sides created chances in the closing stages as Windass saw a shot deflected over the bar and Lees saw a header ruled out for offside. At the other end Westwood saved well from Armstrong and the same player flashed a shot wide late on.
The point moves the Owls to within three points of 4th-bottom Rotherham though Wednesday have now played two games more than their near neighbours.