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Black Cats Cling On

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It was a positive evening for Wednesday last night against Sunderland, even though the first Championship win eludes them, what we did get was a game for the most part full of endeavour, positive play and commitment which was as close to one of the most entertaining games we’ve had in a long while.

The way the team fought back from an early disappointment after George Honeyman opened the scoring for the visitors, was really pleasing and it was typified by the scorer, David Jones. The Wednesday midfielder had in all honesty a stinker of a first half but his second half performance and goal was much more like it.

Wednesday went into the game with three changes from the starting lineup who drew with QPR last weekend, Glenn Loovens and Sam Hutchinson were both injured so Daniel Pudil deputised for Loovens at centre back, Pudil of course started the game last weekend so it was just a positional change for him, Adam Reach dropping to left back and Almen Abdi made his first league start of the season. David Jones was in for Hutchinson and Jordan Rhodes dropped to the bench with Sam Winnall being rewarded for a good game and goal V the R’s.

From the off it looked like Wednesday were going to suffer the curse of the injured player yet again as Jack Hunt clashed with an opponent going for the ball and it popped the ball! The full back needed attention, but after a lengthy wait he was fit to resume, but almost by the time he did get back into things, the opposition scored.

The Black Cats burst down the Wednesday right, Aiden McGeady the man in possession and Keiren Westwood raced out off his line somewhat out of character, with two defenders getting back behind him the decision seemed odd, but McGeady squared the ball to HONEYMAN who took a touch before lashing the ball home beyond the defence with Westwood still out of his goal. The away side were putting pressure on the ball everytime Wednesday had it, the Owls were rattled, couldn’t keep possession, hurried passes and the visitors as a result looked like they were going to steamroller the Owls.

A near post header from Billy Jones following a Sunderland corner flashed just the right side of the post from a Wednesday point of view as the visitors continued to press. Passes were behind their intended target or just off target altogether and the fans were restless. Jones was getting stick and to be honest, he wasn’t the only culprit of a bad ball, Ross Wallace too was guilty of putting the ball behind its intended target. Slowly but surely though, the tide started to turn after around 15 minutes.. Reach did well down the left to keep the ball in, ping in a cross, Gary Hooper flicked it on and Winnall was there to turn it goalwards but Jason Steele was equal to it. A louder shout from Wallace behind could have meant he had the opportunity instead of Winnall on the stretch but the chance was gone.

The home fans could sense things changing and got behind their charges, Hooper and Winnall’s running and movement was stretching the Sunderland defence BUT with them running out into the channels it left a chasm of space with no one filling it in the centre.

McGeady was becoming less effective, Abdi first and then Hunt a little later just stood him up and in not commiting it was like the former loan Owl ran out of ideas. With the fans more and more behind the side, the lack of a goal still brought frustration and when Jones misplaced another pass, he was the target of that frustration. He can’t have been happy nevermind everyone watching!!

There was a scare as Lewis Grabban headed a corner wide of the mark as a little reminder that Sunderland were more than capable of adding to their tally given the opportunity, Brendan Galloway forced Westwood into a neat save but going into half time it was Wednesday who had been in the ascendancy despite not forcing the equaliser home.

HALF TIME
Wednesday 0 Sunderland 1


The second half began with a change in personnel for the Wednesday, off went Abdi and on came Steven Fletcher to face his former club and the striker was definitely up for the fight, chasing everything in the first few minutes of the half.
However, the interplay from the latter part of the first half was still there from Wednesday, but for an unlucky ricochet off the legs of Wallace, Winnall would have been in after a neat five man build up.

Reach was becoming more prominent in the game and Barry Bannan was looking very hungry, Wednesday were pulling the visiting defence across the pitch, and the gaps were opening up. McGeady tried a few step overs up the other end but Hunt who was clearly battling through the pain, just kept his eyes on the ball and took it off him. It was a lovely bit of defensive play.

Reach was finding so much space, with the Owls playing their narrow style it seemed to suck the Sunderland players inside and it left a HUGE gap for the Wednesday man to stretch his legs into and he did it with alarming regularity from a visitors point of view.

Crosses kept coming in and agonisingly they were headed clear or hacked clear at the last. With half an hour left the tide was constantly blue and white although there was a tinge of frustration at the lack of an equaliser, but the supporters were fully behind the players. And with 20 minutes to go… Wow.. How things changed.

Jones who was arguably lucky to still be on the field after his first half performance had gradually turned things around, making tackles, reading the game much better and intervening when the opposition attacked centrally, took up possession centrally around 25 yards out and… Well.. Top corner. Good night.
What a strike. Fantastic.

Rhodes was kitted up and ready to come on before the goal, and he still did for Winnall who got a resounding positive reaction from the home fans for another performance full of endeavour and movement.

The final 20 minutes were all about Wednesday really, with Reach featuring heavily. A Wallace free kick was headed inches wide by Tom Lees, Reach pinged in a ball towards Rhodes who had no right at all to get across his man but he did and his diving header was just deflected over, the Owls were swarming.

Wednesday were finding pockets of space, Bannan was ghosting in behind and then Hooper almost put the cherry on the cake after a fine move but the striker clattered his effort off the top of the bar. Such a shame. Hooper then sliced a shot wide from near the penalty spot as the Owls continued to push.

It was to be the last chance of a pulsating game which despite the disappointment of not winning, the performance certainly warranted the applause which the players left the field to. More of the same please on Saturday, Wednesday!

Full Time
Wednesday 1 Sunderland 1


Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt (Palmer 84), Jones, Bannan, Winnall (Rhodes 73), Hooper, Lees, Reach, Wallace, Pudil, Adbi (Fletcher 46).
Subs not used: Wildsmith, Fox, Matias, Boyd.

Sunderland: Steele, Jones, Kone, Browning, Galloway, Cattermole, Ndong, Honeyman, McGeady (Khazri 78), Grabban (Gooch 84), Vaughan.
Substitutes: Ruiter, O’Shea, Asoro, Gibson, Matthews.

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Unread article 17/08/2017 at 09:51

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