Owls FT: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Ipswich Town 1

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Michail Antonio hit back for Sheffield Wednesday to help them to a draw after Ipswich had taken the lead. Near the end JJ hit the bar.

Old pals Dave Jones and Mick McCarthy must have been tearing out their hair over their teams’ defending in the opening stages at Hillsborough.

But each also had a well-taken early goal to celebrate.

Wednesday’s familiar defensive frailty was first to show. In the 12th minute they were hit on the break.

McGoldrick, the former Owls loan striker who was yesterday named as the Championship Player of the Month for September, was left unmarked just inside his own half on the South Stand side.

He raced away down the left then crossed to right winger ANDERSON, who was in plenty of space in the middle as he finished with a first-time shot.

But in the 14th minute Reda Johnson crossed from the left, and there were two free headers for the Owls, with Nuhiu nodding back across goal from the far post and ANTONIO scoring into the roof of the net from close range.

Even before that, Wednesday went close: great work down the left by Helan and McPhail made a good cross by Reda: his cross reached Nuhiu and the striker’s shot was blocked

It was a very open game that entertained the crowd.

Llera wasted two corners but it had been a more useful contribution from the centre half when in the opening minutes he charged down a shot from former loan striker Murphy after a fluent move by the visitors.

Wednesday had a big let-off in the 36th minute: Skues hit a terrific effort from 25 yards which flew across goal off the inside of Kirkland’s right-hand post.

The Owls could not get the ball away, and moments later it was Skues again, from 20 yards trying to place the ball over Kirkland but lifting it over the top.

In the last minute of the half, Llera lobbed the ball over the defence to Fryatt, who looked sure to score from eight yards but his sweetly-hit volley was brilliantly turned for a corner by Gerken.

Wednesday received another warning about defensive standards within a minute of the restart.

Murphy was allowed a free header from a left-side corner by Cresswell - fortunately he mis-timed it and sent it wide.

Reda Johnson too missed the target, though from a more difficult position. Under pressure from defenders at the far post, he dived it to make some contact with a cross from Antonio but could not direct the ball properly.

Within a couple of minutes of that, the Owls left back was down near his own penalty area, needing treatment to his leg.

He got up and was able to play on, briefly, though limping a little.

But he had to come off of the 57th minute, after handing the captain’s armband to Kirkland.

It was a real blow to Wednesday to lose someone who can be so useful in their efforts to get a goal.

Jermaine Johnson came on, to the left wing, and Helan moved to left back.

Ipswich remained a threat when they came forward, and Kirkland had to make two fine saves in the space of five minutes,. He blocked a near-post drive by Murphy and bettered that when keeping out a shot by Anderson from the opposite side, because it sped through legs and he must have seen it late.

McGoldrick sent a ,free header over the bar from a corner, and Wednesday looked in danger of losing this game.

Gerken, however, had to be alert to palm away a quality freee kick by Buxton to the far post.

Fryatt - perhaps flagging - was taken off, in the 75th minute.

Palmer went on, to the right, JJ pushed up front, and Antonio switched to the left.

JJ almost hit a great goal: he let fly from 30 yards and hit the bar.