FT: Middlesbrough 1 Owls 1

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Wednesday must have been prepared to come under threat from Boro’s attacking armoury today but it was left back George Friend who posed early danger and missed two chances.

The defender, breaking forward, twice shot off target and was joined in forays by wingers Adomah and Carayol plus Jutkiewicz, the central striker in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

It was not the easiest occasions for Spence to make his debut after he signed today on a month’s loan from West Ham, he gave the ball away in a moment of hesitancy and Jutkiewicz fired over the top from 18 yards.

But in a stadium with many empty seats in home areas, the 2,000 filling the away corner were in good voice and were willing their team to score when Reda Johnson almost connected cleanly with a corner by Helan and the left winger saw a driven cross by him narrowly miss the head of Antonio as the threw himself forward at the near post.

Spence forced one of several early corners for the Owls. Wednesday had already hinted that, predictably, they could be a danger at set pieces - and a corner gave them the lead in the 34th minute.

Helan played it precisely into the middle, Gardner headed towards goal and ANTONIO spun to lash his first goal of the season into the roof of the net.

Gardner was on the deck and needing prolonged attention. He was carried off in the 39th minute, and replaced by Llera, whose name was sung exhuberantly by Owls fans.

The goal had given Antonio extra confidence and he shot powerfully from 30 yards; the ball flew just past the far angle. Leadbitter hit the target from 25 yards but Kirkland was right behind the shot.

Wednesday had a golden chance in the first of three first-half added minutes. JJ supplied Antonio, he beat a man to reach the byline on the right and pull the ball back to Palmer. It seemed that the midfielder was sure to score from close range, but somehow Boro managed to deflect his effort.

HALF-TIME

Middlesbrough........0

Wednesday............ 1

Llera, on for Gardner, had not been on the team-sheet handed to the press but it was said at half time that the subs should have included him and not Lavery.

The other centre back, Zayatte, was beaten by a fine run from Jutkiewicz down the left as the striker set up the equaliser in the 49th minute with a low ball that gave the untracked CARAYOL a tap-in.

A loose header by Prutton towards his own goal maybe betrayed edginess in Wednesday, with Boro and home fans roused by their goal. Llera came to the rescue with a tackle on Adomah, who would have been clean through.

The sight of Antonio limping did nothing to soothe any Owls concern, After a spot of treatment, he carried on.

But Boro were going for it now. A great ball by Leadbitter found Jutkiewicz and he got away from Zayatte to hit a superb strike; Fortunately for Wednesday, it came back off the bar.

The striker was denied a goal when Zayatte and Kirkland converged on him and the ball was forced for a corner, with a penalty appeal by Jutkiewicz ignored.

Maybe because Wednesday were beginning to be over-run, Semedo was sent on to stiffen the middle of the park, and JJ was taken off, after having a fairly quiet game. The change, in the 61st minute, was unpopular among some of the away fans.

Kirkland was wrongfooted by a big deflection on a 32-yard free kick by Leadbitter but managed to scramble and hold the ball. It was a tense period for Wednesday

Boro sent on Emnes in midfield and Halliday to the right wing and kept coming forward. Halliday forced a terrific block by Kirkland at his near post.

Boro who went close when Adomah jabbed a sharp chance past the near post, and Kirkland made a good stop from an Emnes shot.

The Owls’ main hope of a goal would lie in a set piece, but when at last they won a free kick, Helan’s delivery cleared the heads at the far post.

Seven minutes of extra time reflected many stoppages and in the second of them Wednesday should scored. Antonio got away on the break and shot tamely at Steele when Nuhiu was waiting in the middle. But a hard-earned point was the reward for a battling performance.