Calamitous Sheffield Wednesday display sees Owls crumble to bottom-of-the-league Forest Green Rovers
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Wednesday had a slow start, spending far too much time passing it around at the back without any real thrust to get forward, which gave the hosts chance to press them and try to force them into mistakes.
On the odd occasion they did get forward, often through some excellent work by Lee Gregory, they looked blunt. Marvin Johnson fired over, Michael Smith headed an early header directly at Ross Doohan, and then a dangerous Liam Palmer cross went unutilised and was eventually cleared.
And with just under 20 minutes gone it was Rovers who should have been in the lead. A very slack pass out from Cameron Dawson was intercepted, and Charlie Savage had a golden opportunity from close range. Thankfully Dawson went from a moment of madness to a moment of magic, and did brilliantly to save with his feet and keep the score level.
They lacked urgency and drive, with the back three and aimlessly passing it between each other before lumping it forward to no avail. Duncan Ferguson’s side will have been delighted with how things started.
And then it got even worse.
Wednesday were again dallying in possession, and Tyreeq Bakinson – in for Will Vaulks – should’ve done more in the build-up before it made it to Dominic Bernard. He centred for Jordan Garrick, who stuck it past the Owls ‘keeper. It was a surprise lead on paper, but in terms of what had happened up until the 34th minute was sadly no shock at all.
Things didn’t improve up until the break, and it was clear that Darren Moore needed to change something at half time. He did, bringing off Dominic Iorfa for Jack Hunt, with Palmer dropping into the right-sided central role.
If Moore was hoping for an immediate impact, he’ll have been left disappointed. Wednesday’s struggles continued, and if it wasn’t for a fantastic Dawson save in the 50th minute then they’ve have had an even bigger mountain to climb.
Wednesday had the possession, but did little with it as they battled for an equaliser – Dennis Adeniran and Bakinson were replaced with just over an hour played in an attempt to fix their appeared lack of urgency and drive. Vaulks and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru came on.
There was nearly an instant response when, moments later, a mix up in the box led to the ball falling between Gregory and Smith, but it was bundled wide and out for a corner that led to nothing.
Doohan was pretty much untroubled throughout, and even Palmer’s effort in the dying moments wasn’t much hassle for him as he comfortably pushed it wide for another set piece that the Owls did nothing with.
Akin Famewo came on late for Reece James, but it was inconsequential – Wednesday offered nothing.
Rovers looked like a team scrapping for their lives at the bottom of the table, putting everything on the line. Wednesday looked like they’d come for a walk in the park.
Second they remain, and they deserved nothing more in Gloucestershire.