Sheffield Wednesday match report: Fulham 1 Owls 1

Fulham v Owls
Fulham v Owls
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Scott Malone's 90th minute strike denied Sheffield Wednesday maximum points at Fulham as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.

The Owls looked set to return to winning ways after striker Fernando Forestieri claimed his fourth goal of the campaign to give them a 10th minute lead.

But Fulham finished strongly and Malone's late leveller extended the Owls' winless run to Championship outings.

As expected, Wednesday chief Carlos Carvalhal freshened things up, making three alterations to his starting line-up. He handed first-team recalls to Glenn Loovens, Ross Wallace and Forestieri.

Left-back Daniel Pudil, who represented the Czech Republic during the international break, was a notable absentee from the match-day squad while David Jones and Steven Fletcher dropped to the substitutes bench.

After back-to-back league defeats, Wednesday need to make a fast start and they didn't disappoint at Craven Cottage, Forestieri firing home after a lovely, intricate passing move involving Barry Bannan and strike partner Gary Hooper.

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Fulham, full of confidence and self belief after impressive victories over Huddersfield Town and Brentford, struggled to break the Owls down from open play. Kevin McDonald, formerly of Sheffield United, powered a header over the top from Stefan Johansen's corner.

It was no surprise when Hutchinson, fielded in a defensive midfield position for the first time this season, was cautioned after bringing down Johansen deep in Wednesday's half.

Back came the visitors and Hooper fizzed in a low delivery which found Bannan unmarked at the back post but the Scotland international drilled his left foot effort into the stands.

Moments later, Fulham felt aggrieved when referee Geoff Eltringham turned down their penalty shout after the lively Johansen collided with Jack Hunt. The official was unmoved and waved play on.

The Owls should have extended their advantage, with Hooper poking wide after shrugging off the attentions of Tomas Kalas. It was a gilt-edged opportunity which was fluffed by Wednesday's top-scorer.

Forestieri, a constant thorn in the Cottagers side, turned sharply before unleashing a venomous shot which drifted agonisingly off target as the Owls continued to press for a second.

Things were scrappy after the re-start, with both teams struggling to create clear-cut opportunities.

Hooper, who worked tirelessly throughout, was forced off just before the hour mark with a knock. Carvalhal also took off Hutchinson to avoid the ex-Chelsea youngster picking up a second booking.

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Although Fulham dominated possession, the Owls always carried a threat in the final third and Forestieri failed to test Button from an acute angle after latching on to Bannan's neat pass.

The hosts threw everything at Wednesday in the closing stages and it took a superb challenge by Hunt to deny Sone Aluko, the Championship's player of the month for October, a sight at goal. Tom Cairney was then thwarted by Keiren Westwood as the Cottagers kept on asking questions of the Owls' defence.

Fulham made all the running in the dying embers of the contest and substitute Scott Parker's volley into the ground sailed inches off target and Floyd Ayite couldn't force Westwood into action after more good play.

But their pressure paid off in the 90th minute when left-back Malone smashed home from close range after Tom Lees failed to cut out a cross.

In a pulsating finish, Chris Martin went close for Fulham while Forestieri's attempt from just outside the area was spilled by David Button but gathered at the second attempt by the home shot-stopper.

Fulham: Button; Fredericks (Odoi 76), Sigurdsson, Kalas, Malone; McDonald (Parker 76), Johansen; Aluko, Cairney, Piazon (Ayite 56); Martin. Substitutes: Bettinelli, Smith, Ream, Sessegnon.

Wednesday: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Reach; Wallace, Lee, Hutchinson (Jones 56), Bannan; Hooper (Fletcher 59), Forestieri. Substitutes: Dawson, Palmer, Buckley, Sasso, Nuhiu.

Attendance: 20,255 (3,884)

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham)

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