MATCH REPORT: Burnley 3 Sheffield Wednesday 3

Double up: Chris O'Grady scores his second equaliser.                                          Picture: steve ellis
Double up: Chris O'Grady scores his second equaliser. Picture: steve ellis
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WEDNESDAY stopped the rot by fighting back three times at Turf Moor last night and earning a deserved point after their six-match losing run.

Not even a hat-trick by the country’s leading scorer Charlie Austin could deny the Owls a just reward in a thrilling, end-to-end contest.

There could have been even more goals as both sides made chances and the keepers pulled off saves.

But two clinically taken efforts by Chris O’Grady and a brilliant late strike by Michail Antonio counted, with Wednesday going behind three times but also twice equalising a minute after Austin struck.

It was a night of wonderful entertainment for the neutral - and Wednesday had the better opportunities in the second half.”

Two teams who had a reputation for conceding goals each had two close calls inside the first five minutes.

For the Owls, Chris O’Grady delicately headed the ball past his marker and would have set up a chance for Nejc Pecnik, but for sound defending, and a 30-yard strike by Jose Semedo was saved with difficulty by ex-Wednesday keeper Lee Grant.

Burnley striker Martin Paterson was denied a shot at goal by a fine block from Jermaine Johnson in the box, and left winger Junior Stanislas was halted by a terrific tackle from Jay Bothroyd in a similar position.

Bothroyd, a lone striker at Molineux last Saturday, was playing more on the right this time, with O’Grady in the middle and Antonio switching to the left.

A header by Pecnik created a chance for the winger in the 12th minute but he fired over the top from eight yards as he shot on the turn.

Then Paterson curled one just past Chris Kirkland’s left-hand post from 25 yards.

But there was no stopping Austin in the 22nd minute. A great ball by right back Kieran Trippier cleared Martin Taylor in the middle and brought an excellent downward header by Austin as he outjumped Johnson to notch his 12th goal of the season.

But Wednesday had played a full part in this lively start and deserved their equaliser with a cross and header of matching quality: Antonio delivered the ball from the left, and O’Grady jumped to direct the ball into Grant’s bottom left-hand corner.

Four minutes after that Grant touched a long-range drive by Ross Barkley around a post, and in the 28th minute the Owls went close to earning a penalty: Barkley, running on to a superb ball from Pecnik, got there a fraction before Grant and touched the ball past him. A touch by the keeper on the midfielder, and it would have been a spot kick.

But Barkley stayed on his feet and tried an ambitious shot from a narrow angle which hit the side netting when a ball inside to Pecnik would have been a better option.

Antonio too made the wrong decision in a break where he tried to go it alone through the middle and fell down when O’Grady and Pecnik were unmarked to his left.

Wednesday would regret that lack of ruthlessness as they fell behind again in the 38th minute to the same Clarets double act that fashioned the opener.

Trippier crossed the ball from the right, Johnson missed it, and Austin was behind him to put away a free heqader from close range.

Four minutes after that Kirkland made a good stop from a powerful header by David Edgar from a corner.

Cheers from both sets of fans for their teams at half time came in recognition of an end-to-end first 45 minutes.

The Owls started the second half with Rhys McCabe on instead of Pecnik.

Their marking was not the best when from a corner early in the second half the ball was played back into their box and deflected wide - a half chance for Burnley.

A couple of minutes later, Antonio knocked the ball inside to Bothroyd and he unleashed a left-foot, 25-yard drive of such power that Grant was grateful to turn it for a corner.

A superb ball inside the full back by Mattock to Antonio came to nothing after the winger’s cross was cut out at the near post.

After Johnson sliced a clearance for a corner, again the Owls’ marking on a short kick was found wanting: Ross Wallace hammered the ball across goal from the left and Kirkland beat it away. But Wednesday were right back in this gripping contest in the 64th minute. From the inside-right position, Bothroyd threaded a spendid pass forward to find O’Grady in space. The No 12 calmly took the ball around Grant and knocked it home with his left foot for his fifth goal of the season.

Austin needed only the slightest sniff of goal to make sure that Kirkland had to be on his toes again. The striker worked himself a shooting position from the right and saw his effort stopped at the near post by the keeper.

But the Owls should have gone ahead in the 75th minute.

McCabe cleverly made room for a cross from the right; it found Antonio unmarked at the far post and he seemed to miscue his volley, so Grant palmed it away easily.

Soon after that Antonio had the chance to play a dangerous ball across goal but again it was cut out.

Austin broke Wednesday hearts when, latching on a long ball down the middle in the 84th minute, he eluded Taylor and cracked a first-class shot into the top corner from 14 yards.

At that moment it seemed that another defeat was imminent.

But a minute after that the Owls were level again thanks to a top-class response. Antonio, around 25 yards out and near the left corner of the box, whipped a right-foot shot into the far top corner.

The Owls then stayed steady and sent their fans home happy.

CLARETS: Grant 7, Trippier 7, Mee 6, Edgar 7, Duff 7, Wallace 6, Marney 7, Stock 6, Stanislas 7, Paterson 7 (Stewart

71), Austin 9. Subs: Jensen, Vokes, Long, O’Neill, Mills, Bartley.

OWLS: Kirkland 7, J Johnson 6, Taylor 6, Gardner 7, Mattock 7, Semedo 7, Antonio 8, Barkley 7, Pecnik 6 (McCabe ht),

O’Grady 8, Bothroyd 8. Subs: Bywater, Madine, Rodri, Mayor, Jones, Llera.

Referee: David Coote (Nottingham).

Booking: Marney.