A rare defensive lapse and just short of something: Why Sheffield Wednesday left Lincoln City scratching their chin

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Sheffield Wednesday may well scratch their chin as to how they were unable to come away with three points from a hard-working Lincoln.

The Owls had much of the ball for large periods of the match but were largely unable to test Imps goalkeeper Carl Rushworth with enough regularity.

A soft piece of defending allowed Lincoln to earn their equaliser. Here are a few talking points from one that got away at Sincil Bank.

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Early goals..

GOAL…Lee Gregory hits first half goal  Pic Steve EllisGOAL…Lee Gregory hits first half goal  Pic Steve Ellis
GOAL…Lee Gregory hits first half goal Pic Steve Ellis

Them Wednesday boys and early goals. Last season they were so often stifled for long periods, frustration bred sloppiness and matches such as the defeat at Sincil Bank festered and went some way to costing them any sort of automatic promotion push.

But they grabbed an early goal again, albeit more of the Imps’ doing than that of Wednesday, when Lee Gregory pounced on an errant pass across the defence to bag his third in two.

There was still plenty to do and the 34-year-old made light work of it, stroking home as a red-faced Rushworth rushed to get back to territory.

It’s a nice habit to have.

Bit of both

Wednesday set up in the 3-5-2, a switch back from the 4-2-4 they opted for at Cambridge. Though again, they switched back while chasing the a win following injury to Heneghan.

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And it’s not only in their set-up that they look keen and able to mix things up. A five-minute period in the first half saw David Stockdale and Ben Heneghan perform Cruyff turns and there were some deft touches in midfield. But there were also block tackles, clever fouls and – when required – long balls.

The Owls didn’t really had the channel ball that they used to such good effect at Lincoln. With Gregory and Michael Smith, they’ve certainly got that option.

All of a sudden, Sheffield Wednesday showed they can rough it.

Defensive questions..

There’s been a great deal of defensive praise for the Owls this season and enormous strides have been made.

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But the defending and goalkeeping for Danny Madriou’s equaliser? Weak. A rare blot on the copy book.

Chances, chances.. Chances?

For all the possession, for all the territory Wednesday had, did they create enough real, clear-cut chances? 67 per cent possession garnered only three shots on target – it was wasteful stuff.

Windass will be unhappy with his effort from the 18-yard line, Bannan’s effort to poke Gregory’s cross home fell short and Gregory struck the post from an angle he’d have fancied.

Lincoln put in a number of blocks and saved their own bacon in vital moments, but Wednesday just lacked a touch of the killer edge they’ve shown on their recent run.

Playing away..

Morecambe, Bolton, Cambridge, Lincoln.

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While Wednesday will no doubt be thoroughly disappointed to come away from Sincil Bank without all three points, it was the fourth time they’ve bettered their result on last season, to the tune of 10 points where two had to do last time out.

Save for a match-turning red card at Peterborough and that late heartbreak at Plymouth, Wednesday are a completely different side away from home and though a point at Lincoln leaves a little twinge, the Imps are a side that remains unbeaten at home and were never going to roll over.