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Well That Was…n't Interesting

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Well, that was a damp squib of an opening weekend for the Wednesday in the Championship… The Owls succumbed to defeat at the hands of Preston North End in a less than inspiring encounter at Deepdale on Saturday, a solitary goal was enough to give the hosts the three points and it came courtesy of a penalty from Daniel Johnson who stroked home late in the second half.

The starting eleven for the Owls featured George Boyd, making his competitive debut for the club and Jordan Rhodes making his competitive debut as a fully fledged Owl.

Right from the first kick of the game it was a scrappy affair, neither side got the ball down and played but as time wore on it was the home side who were getting to grips with the game. Wednesday’s passing was erratic, they were trying to close down the spaces when the home side had the ball but were caught chasing the ball and/or ball watching at times. Neither ‘keeper was tested as we got to the halfway mark in the first half which was less than inspiring. But then there was a flashpoint as Ben Pearson, the man who Wednesday fans find easy to hate, got a little mardy after not being awarded a free kick as Adam Reach tussled with him, the ball got away and Jordan Rhodes took possession but Pearson steamed into him two footed. It brought a little handbag swinging session before play restarted and Barry Bannan swung in a free kick which was just too far ahead of Rhodes’ head.

Sam Hutchinson was penalized for a kick on Johnson, the resulting free kick curled wide with Keiren Westwood having it covered. Boyd caught Greg Cunningham and he was spoken to as the tetchy nature of the game continued.
Fernando Forestieri was booked for catching Darnell Fisher on the touchline as he attempted to play the ball down the line, with the home players wanting him sent off.

Going into half time the home side were on top, they will have gone in feeling happier than Wednesday that’s for sure…

Half Time
Preston 0 Wednesday 0


Wednesday started the second half at a quicker pace, Forestieri was hauled over by his shirt, nothing was given by the officials and Carlos Carvalhal was apoplectic on the touchline. The away supporters turned up the volume as the urgency from their charges was evident, but it didn’t last for long in truth.

Gary Hooper came on for Rhodes just before the hour mark and Hooper’s introduction was to be ragged around by Cunningham before the kick was taken, the striker tried to shrug him off and again… Handbags. The resulting free kick was flicked away by Tommy Spurr for the home side, the ball was pinged back into the box but the home side broke at pace and Sean Maguire fired way wide. The PNE debutant impressed, tricky, pacey and certainly liked to fire a shot off.

Jack Hunt and Boyd were caught chasing the ball and Callum Robinson got in round the back, Hutchinson raced back as Tom Lees faced up to the winger, Hutchinson prodded the ball away and it flashed just wide of his own goal!

Boyd was replaced by Ross Wallace who got a little chorus of boos from the home side and his first touch brought a shot, he cut inside from the left before flashing a shot just over the top.

Up the other end it was former Owl, Spurr, who almost broke the deadlock as he looped a header over the despairing dive of Westwood but it cannoned off the bar. Robinson smashed a shot goalwards which it looked like Westwood saved, but a goal kick was given as the home side pressed forward.

Jordan Hugill, on as a sub for the home side created the moment which won the game with just over ten minutes remaining, he bundled his way through into the box where Lees slid in, the referee clearly thought he’d played the man and awarded a pen. Later it transpired Lee had touched the ball, but of course that changes nothing.

Up stepped Johnson who stroked the ball to Westwood’s left and into the net.

The home side’s tails were up and Hugill almost doubled their lead after beating Glenn Loovens and Lees before chipping Westwood and nodding in.. But play was brought back for what looked like a foul. (At the time I thought it wasn’t a foul and nothing later convinced me otherwise tbh)

Wednesday had a final chance with a late free kick but it was to be struck at the wall and despite five minutes of stoppage time, nothing of note was mustered by the Owls. The final whistle was met with howls of derision from the away end.
It wasn’t attractive. It wasn’t inspiring. Oh dear.

Next up, Chesterfield in the League Cup on Tuesday before QPR head to Hillsborough for the first home league game of the season, then Sunderland the following Wednesday evening. Three games at home. Things need sorting and FAST.

Full time
Preston 1 Wednesday 0


PNE: Maxwell, Fisher, Cunningham, Pearson, Huntington, Spurr, Barkhuizen, Browne (Hugill, 67), Maguire (Gallagher, 74), Johnson, Robinson. Subs not used: Rudd, Vermijl, Horgan, Davies, May.

Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Rhodes (Hooper, 57), Bannan, Loovens, Lees, Reach, Boyd (Wallace, 67), Hutchinson (Jones, 69), Pudil, Forestieri. Subs not used: Wildsmith, Fox, Fletcher, Nuhiu.

Attendance: 18,267 (5,489 Wednesday fans)

Discuss the game if you haven’t already on our forum… HERE…  

Unread article 06/08/2017 at 19:56

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