Match report: Huddersfield Town 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0

It will begin honours even at Hillsborough on Wednesday night as the Owls delivered a superb defensive performance to ensure a goalless draw at Huddersfield.

Sunday, 14th May 2017, 12:58 pm
Updated Monday, 15th May 2017, 8:34 am
Championship play-off semi-final first leg: Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday

The first leg of the play-off semi-final was not the prettiest affair but it will have hardly deviated from the plan laid out by Carlos Carvalhal.

Wednesday saw little of the ball, and while they could have done better when in possession, their work off the ball was excellent.

They denied a Huddersfield side which controlled possession throughout very few sights of goal.

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And it sets up a very different prospect of a game at Hillsborough in midweek.

Fernando Forestieri started his first game for Wednesday in two months with Gary Hooper out injured.

Huddersfield dominated possession in the early stages but struggled for clear opportunities as Wednesday stifled them in the final third.

Defence was the order of the day for the Owls with Adam Reach effectively operating as a wing back when Huddersfield were on the ball.

Aaron Mooy managed the only effort of the first quarter when he dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area.

But the hosts came close to breaking the deadlock midway through the half. Nahki Wells beat Tom Lees to Chris Lowe's near post cross and the ball dropped to Isiah Brown whose swipe of a shot looped up and grazed the top of the bar - the closest either side either came to hitting the target in the first half.

Opportunities for Wednesday were incredibly rare and a poor touch from Jack Hunt at the far post prevented him from claiming Barry Bannan's smart cross and having an effort on goal.

Pressure was almost constant for the Owls in the first half and while they dealt with it well defensively, they hardly helped their own cause at times.

When they did find themselves in possession, there was a collective desperation to make something happen quickly. And that desperation was reflected in the quality of passing, with balls wayward and regularly cut out.

Calmer heads were needed, when possession was required much more than territory in the away first leg of a play-off semi-final.

But they reached the break with the game still goalless, and that suited the gameplan.

Wednesday started the second half much brighter and enjoyed a couple of early forays deep into Huddersfield territory.

But it was the hosts who first threatened the opposition goal - and it was by far the best chance to that point.

Wells turned smartly on the edge of the area and attempted to chip Keiren Westwood, with the Republic of Ireland international forced to tip over the bar.

Reach drilled wide from 25 yards in Wednesday's first effort on goal of the afternoon.

Huddersfield were beginning to enjoy more success in the final third and it took a smart reaction from Westwood to tip the ball over when Rajiv Van La Parra drilled on goal from ten yards.

Wednesday changed their front line after the midpoint of the half with Jordan Rhodes and Sam Winnall introduced, giving them an injection of energy.

Barry Bannan drilled narrowly over from close to 35 yards after latching onto a pass in the middle of the park.

It was to be the last opportunity either side would have on goal as the desire to attack was eased as the final whistle approached.

Huddersfield: Coleman, Smith, Hefele, Schindler, Lowe (Holmes-Dennis 90), Hogg, Mooy, Kachunga (Quaner 78), Brown, Van La Parra, Wells (Cranie 90). Subs not used: Coddington, Whitehead, Hudson, Payne.

Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Pudil, Wallace (Jones 61), Lee, Bannan, Reach, Fletcher (Rhodes 69), Forestieri (Winnall 73). Subs not used: Wildsmith, Palmer, Sasso, Nuhiu.

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)