SHEFFIELD Wednesday pulled off a cracking away win in their battle to avoid relegation when Conor Wickham’s second half goal beat promotion-chasing Leicester City. .
Wednesday were given splendid backing by their sell-out 3,200 followingWednesday were fielding a similar formation to one they used at Watford, 4-3-3, but when the home side were pressing forward the wide men, Helan and Antonio, were dropping back to help out.
Antonio however was going in the opposite direction when he found space on the right to cross firmly to the far post where Lita could not control his header enough to keep it on target and the chance went wide.
Leicester had Marshall on the right wing and Kane on the opposite flank and Nugent and Wood up front in a 4-4-2.
The Foxes did not look like a side challenging for promotion, giving the ball away too much and being matched by the Owls, who looked steady even if they weren’t getting forward as much as they would like.
A good ball from Antonio from the right sent Johnson soaring into a downward header, but the ball was cleared and in what was not really a clear chance.
A quick attack by Leicester ended with Kirkland being hurt when he blocked an opponent. The keeper was always favourite for getting the ball.
Helan found Antonio on the left and again the forward struck a nice cross. Lita pulled away from his marker on the far post to get in a downward header but it went straight at the keeper.
It was a clear-cut opportunity for De Laet when he surged forward to get a lucky bounce off Gardner and ran into space inside the box to hit a powerful shot that was beaten away by Kirkland.
Wednesday had not been as dominate a force as they were at Watford in midweek, yet were still well in the game against a Leicester side who were not hitting any heights after their run of only five points from the previous six games. Whenever the home team swung a corner or a high cross into the box, Kirkland’s catching was faultless.
Marshall whipped in a teasing ball, there was plenty of movement in the box and defenders and forwards all missed the ball as it carried on across goal. Just after that another fine ball from Marshall allowed Kane to sneak in between defenders to get a free header, seven yards out.
Fortunately for Wednesday, the forward sent it over the bar. Two minutes later, the Owls fashioned one of the best chances yet. Lita played a lovely little ball inside of a defender to put Antonio through around 12 yards out and just to the right of goal.
It had been a surprise when Reda Johnson played after injury so it was not such a surprise when he was taken off in the 59th minute, perhaps feeling the pace, and replaced by Wickham. Helan went to left back and Wickham took his place on the left side of the front three.
Within two minutes, the home side made their own change, looking for extra attacking impetus, by bringing on Knockaert to replace the lanky Kane.
Leicester made a half chance through Marshall as he took a Wood knock down and off balance volleyed way over the bar from 14 yards, but in the 69th minute WICKHAM showed everyone how it should be done when he scored his first goal for the Owls in what was scheduled to be his final appearance of his loan spell unless the deal is extended.
A cross by Buxton on the right, was helped on by Antonio to the young striker who was waiting on the left hand corner of the six yard box, striking a volley so sweetly that although Schmeichel was at his near post and seemed to have it covered, he was beaten by the sheer power, despite getting a touch as the ball flew in to the top of the net.
As Leicester swept forward, Lita was replaced by Semedo to stiffen the Owls defending. They had a let off when a header by King from Leicester corner took a deflection before hitting a post and going behind but Wednesday hung on to claim victory.