Manner of Coventry defeat concerning
Sheffield Wednesday failed to make up any ground in their bid for Championship survival on Wednesday evening as they lost 2-0 to Coventry City in Birmingham.
The Owls included returning midfielder Sam Hutchinson in their starting line up. Keiren Westwood returned in goal, Tom Lees was back at the heart of the defence that also included Liam Palmer and Andre Green started his first league match for the Owls. In-form Youngster Liam Shaw was once again absent with what is said to be a shoulder injury.
A first half severely lacking in quality went by with hardly any goalmouth action of note. Matt Penney saw a shot on target from distance cause more problems than it should have for Wilson in the Coventry goal and at the other end Westwood made a smart save from an Ostigard back post header from a corner.
Just before the hour mark Coventry took the lead when O’Hare picked the ball up in midfield, glided past some weak challenges and slid in Viktor Gyokeres, the striker, on loan from Brighton beat the onrushing Westwood to the ball and slid it past him into the goal.
Westwood and Borner combined to prevent the hosts from doubling their lead with 15 minutes to go when a corner caused more problems but the Sky Blues did seal the points in the last minute when substitute Allen produced a low first time finish from close range.
Perhaps more concerning than the defeat was the manner of the result. The opening goal won’t be one that half of the team will be able to look back on without wincing. Four or five players got close enough to make a challenge on either O’Hare or Gyokeres but none managed to make a meaningful attempt and Westwood will probably feel his decision to come out so quickly was unwise in hindsight.
Other than the early long range effort from Penney, Wednesday failed to test Wilson in the City goal. With the score at 1-0 Windass was felled outside the penalty area when it looked like he might go through on goal, the defender received a yellow card that might well have been red on another day but pointing to that as a defining incident would be detracting away from another display that was way below what should be expected. There was a lack of any real urgency or pressure applied in a bid to get back into the game having fallen behind, emblematic of the fact the Wednesday have failed to pick up a single point when conceding first this season.
Caretaker manager Neil Thompson spoke of fine margins defining games at this level but in reality Wednesday need to do far more to ensure the fine margins fall in their favour. Many more performances like this and the chances of survival will be slim at best.