Owls FT: Burnley 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Chris Maguire
Chris Maguire
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Sheffield Wednesday came away with a hard-earned point at Burnley

Today’s game was preceded by a minute’s silence - what the announcer called a “second annual memoriam” to remember the “members of the Burnley family who have passed away in the last 12 months.”

Connor Wickham

Connor Wickham

It was mostly well observed though a very small number among the Owls following of around 2,300 sang and ignored it, which led to a few boos from home ranks afterwards.

Debut-makers Lavery and Onyewu each had a good early touch, Lavery up front in a 4-4-2 and Onyewu as the right-side centre half.

But the new defender almost cost an early goal: his header towards Kirkland was a little short, Treacy nipped in and the keeper did well to block him. It seemed an easy chance when the ball then ran to Vokes, he tried to place it into the net and Loovens stuck out a leg to deflect it for a corner.

Wednesday could swiftly have followed that by taking the lead. Maguire played a low ball in from the right, Wickham guided it to Lee, and just as he seemed to have the goal at his mercy, he was tackled by Jones.

It was a bit of a challenge from behind, but significantly there was no complaint from Lee.

Ings was on target from 25 yards but the shot was straight and Kirkland easily turned it over the bar.

An offside flag ended danger after Ings got in behind Onyewu, who may have been showing signs of rustiness. Wednesday had another escape when a Burnley shot hit a claret shirt.

Lavery, though, had a good chance. From the right side of the box, he clipped the ball past the far post.

It was just as clear an opportunity when Marney was played into space; Kirkland was out quickly to reduce the target and the midfield player jabbed his effort past the keeper’s left-hand post.

Burnley, unbeaten at home, predictably were making the running, with the Owls finding it hard to stay in the opposition’s half.

Wickham, having not received much service, did chest down a fine ball into the box by Semedo, but a defender behind blocked the shot.

Wickham also forced a near-post save with a 25-yard drive. But after Semedo was caught on the ball just outside the Owls box, it was lifted over their defence for VOKES to slot home his 13th goal of the season.

Two minutes later, Wickham landed a free-kick into the box from the inside-left position, Onyewu headed it back across goal and MAGUIRE volleyed his fourth goal in five games into the roof of the net from close range. It was a good end to a battling first-half show by the Owls.

Lavery had another opportunity. He was found by a superb diagonal ball from right to left, hit along the ground by Lee.

The striker cut inside on his right foot, his shot was deflected by tight defending, the ball looped into the air and would still have gone in, had Heaton not stretched to claw it away with one hand.

Four minutes later it was Burnley’s turn in this absorbing contest: A wicked left-side free kick from Treacy brought a leap from Duff and a free header: the centre half powered it over the bar from eight yards. With pressure staying on, Jones beat Kirkland with a firm strike from just inside a crowded area and Palmer made a great clearance, hacking the ball off the line.

Maghoma had been having a difficult afternoon and was replaced by Nuhiu in the 69th minute. The sub went up front, and Lavery was switched to the left side of midfield.

Owls players protested after Palmer was hurt in a challenge yet the ref allowed Arfield run on - fortunately the midfielder drove the chance across goal, from a narrow angle.

A bigger controversy followed. Maguire, inside the box, seemed to be brought down by Shackell as he cut inside, after a slick counter-attack featuring Semedo and Wickham, but the forward was booked for diving, much to the Owls’ anger.

It was ding-dong stuff: in the 81st minute: right back Trippier crossed and Ings, seeking his 22nd goal of the season, failed to connect properly. In the last minute Ings slammed a shot against the foot of a post.In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Kirkland made a marvellous save from Ings - and the Owls had narrowly managed to survive.