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The Goalden Touch Returns As Forest Are Beaten

The Goalden Touch Returns As Forest Are Beaten

Finally, the home win we’ve all been waiting for and evidence again of what Wednesday are capable of. Three goals, three points and a confident win which extends the unbeaten run to five League games ahead of another home game on Tuesday night. Gary Hooper, opened the scoring for the Wednesday before Ben Osborn restored parity for Nottingham Forest, but a resilient Owl’s side then took the lead through Steven Fletcher before a comeback goal from Kieran Lee brought the deserved win.

Ahead of kick off the news of Lee’s return to the side raised eyebrows after it seemed he wasn’t quite as close to a first team comeback and the positivity continued as everyone was eager to see the debut of Joost Van Aken in a Wednessday shirt. Although Jacob Butterfield had to be satisfied with a place on the bench.

From the off The Owls were on it, very aggressive in terms of closing down the spaces and in possession the movement and passing was VERY positive and within a couple of minutes the first chance flashed just wide. Adam Reach started the move which involved Hooper and David Jones who spread play wide to Jack Hunt, his one-two with Ross Wallace resulted in a cross from the full back and Hooper got to the ball before his marker but the effort was just off target. The home fans were very happy with the start and rightly so.

The movement of Lee just pushed the whole team 10 yards further up the field and Forest struggled to deal with the forward motion and closing down of the Owls. Wallace hit a cross to the back post which was hit first time by Steven Fletcher, but the Scottish international’s volley was diverted for a corner by Jordan Smith. Lee took the resulting corner which after momentarily bobbling around Van Aken lashed a shot at goal but Smith saved.

Wednesday continued to push, it was incessant as Van Aken started a forward move which was swept across to the right where Hunt again put in the delivery and Lee met it but his header went wide. But again a really positive, confident move which could have bore fruit. Hooper lashed over after a fantastic run from Reach. The confidence was oozing from every player in blue and white as Van Aken raked a wonderful crossfield ball almost 70 yards into the path of Hunt who won another Wednesday corner. However, the visitors weren’t to be denied any chances as Tendayi Darikwa pushed forward from right back and linked with Ben Brereton whose cross was just pushed wide by Jason Cummings.

Wednesday’s persistence finally broke the Forest resolve after 23 minutes however, when a shanked clearance from Smith fell to Barry Bannan, he fed HOOPER and the striker did the rest sidefooting home. The tactical positioning of the Owls, putting Wallace out on the touchline and keeping him there was widening the pitch and giving Wednesday an out ball all the time, it seemed only a matter of minutes before the exploit would be used again. But what happened seven minutes later was something that no one could see coming, as OSBORN skipped across the edge of the box past a lunging tackle from Van Aken and smashing low under Keiren Westwood to equalise.

Forest then made a tactical change, off went Zach Clough and on came Andreas Bouchalakis and they pushed Fox out wide blocking off Wallace and slowed things right down. It stifled Wednesday and the visitors grew in confidence. Bouchalakis blasted a drive at goal which Westwood was right down the barrel of to save, before Brereton lashed a chance off target as he was gifted acres of space down the Wednesday left.

Going into half time the Owls will no doubt have been ruing the early missed opportunities, but also pleased with much of the first half performance.

Half Time
Wednesday 1 Forest 1


As the second half started the visitors were trying to force the issue again down the left where they’d had joy towards the end of the first 45 before the Owls tried their luck down the right. Wallace finding space to line up a shot but he completely skewed it high and wide from a good position inside the right corner of the penalty area.

Forest had a chance when Brereton again ghosted in, this time down the right shooting and beating Westwood but Tom Lees was perfectly placed to head away the goal bound shot. Before the Owl’s skipper up the other end headed a corner straight at Smith in the Forest goal. But the next corner was to finally bring the second goal for Wednesday, it was swung in by Lee and it dropped straight onto the head of FLETCHER who found space to powerfully head home. It almost ended Forest’s hopes of taking anything from the game and at that point they would have felt a little hard done by.

It would be the last real involvement for Fletcher who was replaced by George Boyd with Wednesday packing out midfield and leaving Hooper up front, however rather than resting on that a third goal was just around the corner.

Hunt piled down the right in now customary style, pinging the ball into the box where Darikwa couldn’t clear as his attempt hit Joe Worrall and there was LEE smashing home from deep inside the Forest area. It was a lovely moment for the midfielder who was naturally ecstatic to be back on the score sheet on his return to the team.

There was a moment of handbags shortly after when Fox and Wallace had an exchange of words and with the Scot still clearly frustrated, hacked at Osborn and was rightly cautioned. There was a little melee as the visitors wanted a red card, but in reality it wasn’t coming.

Butterfield made his debut, coming on for Lee and within minutes of his introduction we got an indication of his ability as he powerfully drove forward with the ball and created space to shoot, but he didn’t get his shot away.

The Owls saw out the remaining ten minutes or so without real danger, in the end it was a performance which brought a deserved victory. A start at breakneck speed before a solid, tactical finish in which we really made our own luck. A good three points. Bring on Brentford.

Full Time
Wednesday 3 Forest 1


Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Lees (C), van Aken, Reach, Wallace, Jones, Lee (Butterfield 75), Bannan, Fletcher (Boyd 69), Hooper (Rhodes 77)
Forest: Smith, Darikwa, Worrall (C), Hobbs, Fox, McKay, Bridcutt, Osborn, Clough (Bouchalakis 37), Brereton (Dowell 64), Cummings (Murphy 64)

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Unread article 10/09/2017 at 13:44

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