Cherries beaten by in-form Owls
Sheffield Wednesday closed the gap on their rivals in their bid to avoid relegation from the Championship on Tuesday evening as they recorded a fin 2-1 win at Bournemouth.
The Owls had won three of their last four league games under caretaker manager Neil Thompson and although they hadn’t enjoyed an away win since October they started brightly against their promotion chasing hosts.
Elias Kachunga could have put the visitors in front in the first minute when he latched on to Matt Penney’s neat pass but Begovic made a save with his legs to deny the Owls. Undeterred Wednesday continued to look for an opener and Bannan saw his drive from the edge of the penalty area tipped over the bar by the Cherries keeper.
Wednesday’s play belied their league position and it wasn’t until the 27th minute that the home side were able to fashion a meaningful chance, Danjuma broke into the box but his shot was deflected over the crossbar by a flying block from Hutchinson.
Just as it seemed as though the teams would go into the break level, Wednesday managed to take a deserved lead two minutes before half-time, albeit in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Paterson pounced upon a poor back-pass by the home side and poked a shot that squirmed under the body of Begovic into the home goal.
Such was the lacklustre performance of the home side, manager Jason Tindall made three substitutions at the break and they did start the second half in better fashion. Brooks fired off target on 49 minutes but the away side still offered a threat with Penney shooting wide in response.
Wednesday appeared to have dealt with Bournemouth’s second half changes well but on 64 minutes they handed the initiative to their hosts. Hutchinson misjudged the flight of a ball in behind over his head and compounded the error by bringing down Surridge as the striker closed in on Westwood. Junior Stanislas made no mistake from the penalty spot to level the scores and the home side then had a spell of dominance. Westwood made saves from a deflected strike from Lewis Cook, a near post shot from Brooks and a free-kick from Stanislas.
The Owls had the last laugh however as two substitutes combined to secure a valuable three points in the last minute. Harris produced a fine cross from the right which Rhodes met with an equally impressive powerful header that gave Begovic no chance. Westwood then made a smart save from Mepham in injury time.
Much of the Owls-based talk in the build up to the game surrounded the fact that Wednesday failed to bring in a focal point striker during the winter transfer window that closed on Monday. The Owls went into the game as the lowest scorers in the Championship and hadn’t scored more than one goal in an away league game since the first game of the season but if Rhodes can rediscover some form then they will have a fighting chance of survival this season.
The win moves Wednesday up to 22nd place, 3 points behind 4ht-bottom Birmingham City who have played a game more.