Gillingham vs Sheffield Wednesday: Ponderous Owls miss out on Play-Offs again in drab display

Sheffield Wednesday faced Gillingham on Saturday afternoon.Sheffield Wednesday faced Gillingham on Saturday afternoon.
Sheffield Wednesday faced Gillingham on Saturday afternoon.
Sheffield Wednesday remain out of the Play-Off places after being held by a organised Gillingham side in Kent on Saturday afternoon.

To say that Wednesday looked flat in the first 45 minutes would be an understatement… Gillingham made life extremely difficult for them, and gave them zero time to settle and get into the game.

The Owls did start quite brightly, but after a solid spell in the opening 10 minutes they seemed to lose impetus and allowed the Gills to edge their way into matters and get a foothold on the encounter at the Priestfield.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chey Dunkley, who was starting his first game since the 5-0 defeat to Sunderland, was booked inside the opening 15 minutes after a challenge on the edge of the box, and while the Gillingham fans called for a last-man red card, the ref, Gavin Ward, was having none of it.

The hosts kept pushing, though, and had the better of the chances in the first 45 minutes, with the Owls lucky to keep things level when Vadaine Oliver and Charlie Kelman forced Bailey Peacock-Farrell into a double save – the second of which came after the striker was left completely alone in the box.

After that the goalscoring opportunities were few and far between, with Jordan Storey heading wide from a corner as the game became very bitty towards the break.

Things didn’t get any better as the second half got underway, and once again the Owls rode their luck as BPF was called into action within seconds, keeping Kelman out from close-range after a mix-up at the back.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Moore had seen enough, it would appear, and made a double change on the hour mark – bringing Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Saido Berahino into the fray as Jack Hunt and Callum Paterson made way.

Things didn’t seem to improve much, though – and the 3,295 traveling Wednesdayites had to wait until the 73rd minute to see a first shot on target as Bannan forced Aaron Chapman into his first save of the game.

The Owls skipper went close again with just over 10 minutes to go, his long-range effort just going over Chapman’s bar as he sought to get his side going, but things weren’t looking good as Wednesday looked ponderous and often careless in possession.

Harlee Dean made his return to action as George Byers was taken off, with Sam Hutchinson moving into midfield alongside Massimo Luongo. Marvin Johnson and Mendez-Laing swapped sides more than once to try and catch Gillingham on the hop, but their efforts to do so were in vain.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A late push from the visitors saw Lee Gregory go close after showing his strength in the box, his poked effort couldn’t find the near post, and then Berahino fired over on the turn from range.

It wasn’t to be, though, and in the end Wednesday got what they deserved – a singular point. It could even have been worse had former Owl, Vadaine Oliver, finished a one-on-one. Lucky for the Owls, though, he prodded wide in the dying moments.

Ultimately Wednesday weren’t good enough to win the game, but not bad enough to lose it. It’s another draw – their 12th of the season – and the Play-Off places remain out of their reach once again.