Dom Howson's big match breakdown: How Sheffield Wednesday performed against Preston North End Â

Centre-half Michael Hector's second-half header gave managerless Sheffield Wednesday a narrow win over 10-man Preston.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 4:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 3:54 pm
Dom Howson's match breakdown

The Star's Sheffield Wednesday writer Dom Howson identifies the key moments of the contest.

Key moment: The sending off. Ben Pearson was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Marco Matias. Pearson can have no complaints about the decision. It was dangerous tackle and Matias was lucky to avoid picking up an injury.

Key man: Adam Reach was busy throughout against his former club. Everything good about Wednesday came through the attacking midfielder. Reach was a constant threat and he put in two excellent deliveries in the first half for Steven Fletcher and Lucas Joao's opportunities. It was no surprise Reach was the provider for the winner. He whipped in peach of a cross for Hector to nod in the winner.

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How the match was won: Wednesday showed plenty of patience to wear Preston down. In a scrappy, dour affair, it took a piece of quality to break down the visitors compact, well-organised defence.

Had the Owls' finishing been up to scratch, they could have won by more.

Referee watch: David Coote booked Louis Moult in the early skirmishes after an off the ball clash with Michael Hector.

But the big talking point came in the 26th minute when he sent off Ben Pearson after he caught Marco Matias with a late challenge.

The Nottinghamshire-based whistler also cautioned Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd for time-wasting in the second period

Summary: It is a morale-boosting victory for the Owls to end a difficult week on a high. The result puts them eight points clear of the drop zone ahead of a tough-looking away double header after Christmas.

Credit interim boss Lee Bullen for recalling the old guard. Keiren Westwood, Sam Hutchinson and George Boyd gave the team some much-needed experience and their returns lifted the crowd.

As for the search for a new manager, Steve Bruce is the man Wednesday want to replace Jos Luhukay. The Star understands talks remain ongoing but his former assistants at Aston Villa, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, watched the Championship fixture from the Hillsborough stands.