Sheffield Wednesday moved back into the automatic promotion positions after completing the league double over Tranmere Rovers.
It should have been a relatively stress free win for the Owls after goals in the first ten minutes from Reda Johnson and Chris Lines, but the visitors pulled one back on 82 minutes to set up a stressful finale in front of 24,254 at Hillsborough.
The Owls couldn’t have got 2012 off to a better start when Lines centred for Johnson to head home on two minutes.
And the provider turned scorer just five minutes later when Jon Otsemobor set Lines up to strike his shot past Rovers keeper Paul Rachubka.
Wednesday completely dominated the first half with on loan winger Ben Marshall emphasising again why boss Gary Megson is so keen to keep him at the club.
The match drifted after the break with Tranmere beginning to play some decent football. And they were rewarded on 82 minutes when substitute Ian Goodison headed home from close range from a Danny Holmes cross.
There were anxious moments for the Owls late on as Rovers pushed for an equaliser but a good save by Nicky Weaver from John Welsh preserved the precious three points.
The win sees Wednesday move back above cross-city rivals Sheffield United, who lost 3-2 at Carlisle.
Sheffield Wednesday: Weaver, Batth, Johnson, Tavernier, Llera, Semedo, Lines, Marshall, Otsemobor, O’Grady, Morrison. Subs: Bywater, Prutton, Johnson, Lowe, Watt.
Tranmere: Rachubka, McChrystal, Taylor, Holmes, Buchanan, Bakayogo, Labadie, Weir, Akins, Tyriaki, Baxter. Subs: Coughlin, Goodison, Raven, Welsh, McGurk.
For full report and analysis see The Star, Tuesday January 3 2012.