Debuts and boos as Sheffield Wednesday dealt heavy blow in Coventry City defeat

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Sheffield Wednesday's chances of Championship survival took another hit today on a bad afternoon elsewhere as they lost to Coventry City.

Coventry rolled up to Hillsborough having not lost any of their last nine games in all competitions, and their impressive run of form has seen them fly up the table looking very different to the side that started the season so poorly.

Having scored in all of their last 12 matches the Owls were going to have to work hard to get a result at Hillsborough, but Danny Röhl thought that he could aid his cause by handing a debut to new goalkeeper, James Beadle, who took the place of Cameron Dawson.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wednesday held their own for the most part, it certainly didn’t look like a game between a promotion challenger and a relegation scrapper, but for large periods of the first half chances were very few and far between. Di’Shon Bernard twice came to the rescue – once with a block and secondly with some excellent defensive positioning – but neither goalkeeper was really tested.

The game ebbed a flowed, each side having better spells without ever landing a punch, but for the home fans frustration was growing as they felt referee, Anthony Backhouse, seemed to make calls against them too often for their liking.

But Wednesday were giving as good as they got, and as Marvin Johnson delivered one of many fine crosses into the box it felt like Ashley Fletcher – deployed up top – might finally get off the mark. It wasn’t to be, though, as once more a Coventry player got in the end.

Then it came. The visitors were having one of their spells, and as the Owls failed to clear their lines sufficiently it fell to the feet of captain, Ben Sheaf, on the edge of the box. With quality he side-stepped Barry Bannan, and then bent one into the top corner in front of the thousands of travelling Sky Blues supporters. They do score goals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was the final meaningful act of the first half, and though they were behind the ire was directed at the officials as the whistle went rather than the players – they still had 45 minutes to go.

Wednesday had their chances as the second half began, Bannan lobbing over Brad Collins but also over the crossbar, and Liam Palmer did brilliantly to fashion space for himself in the box only to see his effort well blocked. Momentum was with them, until it wasn’t.

A quick break had Mark Robin’s men free, and Kasey Palmer was left with the freedom of Hillsborough to do something with the ball. A lucky bounce resulted in a strike from the tricky Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, and though Beadle did well to save that shot he could do nothing about the follow up. Sheaf in the right place to rifle home from close range, and that was probably that.

Röhl wasn’t giving up though, and he immediately rang the changes. A rarely seen quadruple change. Iké Ugbo came on for his debut, while Bailey Cadamarteri, Anthony Musaba and Akin Famewo also made their way onto the field – they needed a quick response.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And they got one. It took just six minutes for them to pull one back as a tremendous clipped ball from Johnson bobbled around between Ugbo and Musaba, with Josh Windass firing home a powerful effort from close range to give the hosts a lifeline.

After that it was pretty much all Wednesday. Cadamarteri headed wide, a scramble in the box was somehow cleared by the Coventry backline, and Röhl went for a final throw of the dice as Mallik Wilks entered the field.

Wednesday huffed and puffed, but ultimately it was in vain. The visitors, with that extra bit of quality, had enough to keep batting them away, and in the end it proved too big a mountain to summit on this occasion. The men in orange were booed from the pitch once again at the final whistle, but it won't change anything - the Owls remain in trouble.

Elsewhere a Queens Park Rangers win meant Röhl’s men dropped back down to 23rd, while a hard-fought point for Huddersfield Town sees Wednesday now five points adrift of the Terriers with a much worse goal difference. Insurmountable?

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.