Owls FT: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Huddersfield Town 2

Joel Lynch beats Matty Fryatt
Joel Lynch beats Matty Fryatt
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Sheffield Wednesday slipped to a home defeat against Huddersfield Town.

Four changes after the defeat at Derby did not prevent Wednesday being caught out by another soft goal as Huddersfield snatched an 11th minute lead.

Jose Semedo stops Martin Paterson

Jose Semedo stops Martin Paterson

The Owls were opened up down the middle at the Kop end and left looking for an offside flag that did not come.

Midfielder Clayton slipped a pass into the box where the unmarked PATERSON gave debut-making Martinez no chance with a shot into the keeper’s bottom left-hand corner - the ex-Burnley striker’s first goal for the Terriers since he joined them in the summer.

It did nothing to improve Wednesday’s confidence as they struggled to get their own attacking game into gear.

Martinez had already dealt with a dodgy backpass from Roger Johnson, who was captain with Reda dropped.

Mattock started well with a solid tackle, and so did Semedo - in for Olofinjana - with a crossfield pass in the team’s only decent raid of the opening stages, which ended with Helan’s cross being a fraction too high for Antonio.

A mix-up on the edge of the Owls box left Llera - in for the injured Zayatte - and colleagues holding a quick inquest while boos erupted from an already irritated crowd.

There was a moment of light relief when a pass by Semedo hit the referee and he fell over.

But there was nothing else to cheer for Owls fans so far.

Semedo had half a chance as a free kick by McPhail was cleared out to him but from 20 yards the midfield man, back after a three-match ban, shot yards wide.

Vaughan was lucky to escape the same red-card fate that Semedo suffered at Bolton; Llera shepherded the ball over the byline and was hacked down from behind by Vaughan, who had no chance of playing the ball. He was booked.

Although Huddersfield had not made any more chances, they looked lively on the break, and solid when defending, with Wednesday finding it hard to make progress against their 3-5-2 system, which had players getting behind the ball if the Owls tried to go forward.

Continual mistakes brought groans from the home crowd.

Huddersfield, with only one win in their previous nine games, were the better side and deserved their lead. The inevitable boos erupted at the half-time whistle.

TV showed at half-time that Vaughan was in an offside position when Paterson scored but did not touch the ball so it was right not to penalise him. It was harder to tell whether Paterson should have been flagged but the Owls will have been analysing the incident closely.

They did, however, have a huge let-off in the first minute of the second half.

A crossfield pass by Semedo intended for Buxton was intercepted. Left wing back Dixon broke forward and shot; the ball was deflected to an unmarked Vaughan a few yards out, but incredibly he struck it wide.

Two half-time substitutions reflected the first team’s first-half show. Coke replaced McPhail in midfield, and Jermaine Johnson came on for Antonio on the right flank.

JJ launched a shot high into the Kop but it was a terrific cross from him that was a whisker away from being headed home by the diving Fryatt. A mis-kick by Paterson saw Wednesday escape again; he was in space but his effort made it easy for Martinez.

Smithies had far more to do from a curling, 25-yard shot by JJ: he sprang to his right to push the ball for a corner.

Wednesday were finding some momentum now, and there was a roar of encouragement from fans who sensed that their team might get something out of this game after all.

Fryatt hit a 30-yarder of such venom - and perhaps swerve - that Smithies was only able to fumble it away from danger.

JJ was clearly up for the fight: he beat his man in the next attack, but only drove a near-post ball into the keeper’s arms.

But the Owls’ mini-revival was stopped in its tracks in the 67th minute.

They were up on the edge of the visitors’ box, with Mattock falling forward and looking in vain for a foul; Huddersfield launched the ball forward, a mis-control by Llera led to Vaughan eventually winning a corner. That resulted in a powerful shot by Norwood that was blocked, the ball bounced kindly for CLAYTON and from the edge of the area the midfielder gave Martinez no hope with a clinical finish into the keeper’s bottom left-hand corner.

Excellent crosses from JJ and Maghoma - on for Mattock, with Helan switching to left back - hit the right areas but no-one could get a touch.

In injury time, Smithies saved low down from a 35-yard free kick by Wickham, but WICKHAM beat him with a 22-yard free kick in the third added minute which he drilled centrally along the ground. It was just a consolation for the Owls.