Sheffield Wednesday match report: Derby County 2 Owls 0

Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday
Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday
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Sheffield Wednesday's miserable run against Derby County goes on as the struggling Rams secured a controversial 2-0 victory at iPro Stadium.

Strikes either side of half-time by Cyrus Christie and Alex Pearce ensured Derby claimed maximum points - but that doesn't tell the full story.

With the scores locked at 0-0, The Owls, who have slipped outside of the Championship Play-Off positions, should have been awarded a seventh minute penalty when Derby captain Richard Keogh handled Adam Reach's shot on the line.

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Despite vehement Wednesday protests, referee James Linington was not interested and waved play on.

Defeats means the Owls have not beaten Derby in their last 17 meetings, a run stretching back over a decade.

It didn't take Derby, beaten in the Play-Off Semi-Finals last season, long to test the reflexes of Dawson. The rookie goalkeeper palmed over Jamie Hanson's rasping right foot 25-yard drive after good play on the right flank by Tom Ince.

It was a frantic opening and Kieran Lee forced former Owls loneee Scott Carson into a smart block following a dangerous centre by Daniel Pudil.

Then came the big flashpoint.

Carson clawed away Forestieri's header before Reach's strike appeared to be blocked on the line by Keogh but Linington was unmoved.

His decision infuriated the Owls' players and coaching staff.

Carvalhal was left fuming and later had words with Linington.

The decision seemed to rattle Wednesday and the Rams broke the deadlock in the 17th minute, Christie rising highest to nod in Ince's corner. It was a soft goal for the Owls to concede.

Derby were well on top and Jaco Butterfield drilled over from long range before Bradley Johnson also tried his luck from distance as they continued to dominate.

It took a vital challenge by Sam Hutchinson to prevent the lively Ince from breaking clear in the 25th minute.

Moments later, Dawson produced a fine save to turn behind Ince's curling shot.

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Wednesday started to put the Rams under pressured towards the end of the half, with Tom Lees blazing over after the hosts failed to clear their lines before Barry Bannan cut inside only to be denied by the agility of Carson.

However, Derby almost doubled their lead before the interval, Darren Bent seeing his header go inches over after excellent approach play by Christie.

The Owls made a bright start to the second period, with Palmer's deflected attempt agonisingly drifting off target before Reach was comfortably denied from distance by Carson.

Derby seemed happy to sit on their one-goal lead and Wednesday kept pressing forward in numbers.

Forestieri, lining up against the Rams for the first time since they tried to sign him last August, fired wide when well-placed after a promising attack involving Reach, Gary Hooper and Bannan.

It was one-way traffic as Forestieri was superbly kept out by Carson just before the hour mark.

Against the run of play, the Rams increased their advantage midway through the half, centre-half Pearce prodding home from inside the six-yard area after Butterfield's shot from outside the box was deflected into his path.

Wednesday kept battling and Forestieri nearly reduced their arrears only to be thwarted yet again by Dawson.

Derby, who began the day fourth-from-bottom, could have grabbed a third but Dawson was equal to Butterfield's piledriver from just outside the penalty area.

Derby: Carson; Christie, Keogh, Pearce, Olsson; Butterfield, Hanson, Johnson; Ince (Anya 87), Russell (Weimann 90), Bent (Vydra 84). Substitutes: Mitchell, Baird, Rawson, Lowe.

Owls: Dawson; Palmer, Lees, Hutchinson, Pudil (Fletcher 60, Nuhiu 77); Bannan, Lee, Jones (Wallace 75), Reach; Hooper, Forestieri. Substitutes: Kean, Hunt, Abdi, Semedo.

Attendance: 30,064

Referee: James Linington (Newport)

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