Sheffield Wednesday slump to Huddersfield home defeat

Sheffield Wednesday: Owls news, reports and more.
Sheffield Wednesday: Owls news, reports and more.
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SHEFFIELD Wednesday suffered their first home defeat since February as they were beaten 3-1 by Huddersfield Town in an enthralling and feisty Yorkshire derby, writes Dom Howson.

The Owls had handed midfielder Ross Barkley his first start tonight, against Huddersfield Town at Hillsborough, as they attempted to launch a run of good form.

Dave Jones also gave a home debut to Mattock, Martin Taylor and Jay Bothroyd.

Terriers were without ex-Barnsley player Adam Hammill.

The Owls almost opened the scoring after four minutes but Martin Taylor’s header from Barkley’s corner rebounded off the crossbar and bounced to safety.

Huddersfield then grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.

Out of nothing, James Vaughan turned smartly on the edge of the penalty area after 14 minutes and unleashed a superb half volley which cannoned against the woodwork.

Huddersfield recycled possession and Jack Hunt tricked his way past Jermaine Johnson, who upended the former Chesterfield loanee in the box.

The referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot but Oliver Norwood’s penalty was brilliantly kept out by Chris Kirkland, making his 200th career league appearance.

However, Norwood made no mistake from the rebound.

And the visitors doubled their advantage three minutes later after another free-flowing move, with Lee Novak nodding in Danny Ward’s cross.

Danny Ward robbed Michail Antonio of possession on half way and drove powerfully forward before firing a fierce shot over the top.

Wednesday looked out of sorts but nearly reduced the deficit just after the half hour mark as Reda Johnson rose unmarked to meet Barkley’s corner but the left-back, one of three changes made by manager Jones, headed inches wide.

Moments later, Michail Antonio tested the reflexes of Alex Smithies from long range but the Terriers goalkeeper was equal to it and pushed the drive out for a corner.

The Owls pressure paid off in the 36th minute when Reda Johnson bundled home Antonio’s long throw.

It got even better for the hosts a minute later as Joel Lynch was dismissed for a late lunge on the lively Antonio.

Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson, who had a loan spell at Hillsborough, was furious with the decision and the referee gave him a serious ticking off but opted not to send him to the stands.

Having been reduced to 10-men, Grayson sacrificed goal-scorer Novak and brought on Anthony Gerrard to tighten up his back four.

Peter Clarke, Anthony Gerrard, Mattock and Bothroyd were all shown yellow cards before the interval as the game threatened to boil over.

In a bad tempered encounter, Mattock, on the stroke of half time, was dismissed for a second bookable offence after he hauled down Ward.

TEAMS

OWLS: Kirkland, Mattock, Taylor, Beevers, R Johnson, Antonio, Semedo, Barkley, Madine, Bothroyd. Subs: Bywater, O’Grady, Rodri, McCabe, Pecnik, Jones, Llera.

TERRIERS: Smithies, Hunt, Clarke, Lynch, Dixon, Novak, Norwood, Clayton, Southern, Ward, Vaughan. Subs: Bennett, Woods, Gerrard, Scannell, Arfield, Lee, Spencer.

Ref: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).

Read Paul Thompson’s analysis in Thursday’s Star