Sheffield Wednesday 3 Swansea City 1 – Adam Reach shines as the Owls extend their unbeaten run under Steve Bruce to five matches

Adam Reach starred as Sheffield Wednesday recorded a 3-1 home victory over mid-table Swansea City today.

Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 16:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 16:12 pm
Sheffield Wednesday v Swansea City

The 26-year-old claimed a first half double to help the Owls return to winning ways after three successive Championship draws.

Centre-forward Steven Fletcher also registered to leave the Swans with a mountain to climb at half-time.

Substitute Wayne Routledge pulled one back for Swansea in the 69th minute but the Owls held on to claim their first victory over the Welsh club in eight matches.

Victory stretches Wednesday's undefeated run under manager Steve Bruce to five outings.

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It was all Wednesday in the early stages as Fletcher glanced over Adam Reach's dangerous delivery from the right flank before a vital intervention from Swansea's Declan John prevented Reach from getting on the end of debutant Achraf Lazaar's centre.

Reach deservedly broke the deadlock in the 11th minute following good approach play by Barry Bannan and Rolando Aarons. Wide man Aarons, handed his full Owls debut, squared the ball to Reach, who coolly rifled home from 12 yards. It was Reach's first goal since Boxing Day.

But Wednesday did not have it all their own way. After a slip from Sam Hutchinson, Bersant Celina fed Oli McBurnie but the Swans dangerman was brilliantly dispossessed by Michael Hector.

Moments later, the Owls came close to doubling their lead. Fletcher met Bannan's lovely cross with a powerful header but Nordfelt was equal to it.

Although Swansea struggled to get a foothold in the contest, the Welsh club occasionally threatened on the counter attack. Highly-rated winger Daniel James latched on to Celina's through ball only to be denied by the agility of Keiren Westwood.

It proved a big miss as Reach increased the hosts advantage in th 32nd minute. John failed to clear Aarons cross from the left and Reach pounced, drilling a fierce low shot past Nordfeldt.

Things got even better for Wednesday three minutes before half-time when Fletcher added a third. Tom Lees, fit-again after shaking off a shin problem, hooked the ball in and the big Scot's acrobatic overhead kick gave Nordfeldt no chance. It took Fletcher's goal tally to six for the campaign.

Having been outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, it was no surprise Swansea made a tactical change. Wayne Routledge was introduced to beef up their attacking options.

But Wednesday continued to dominate and the lively Aarons made a darting run to the byline before forcing Nordfeldt into a smart save at his near post.

Kyle Naughton fired over before George Byers tested the reflexes of Westwood from just outside the penalty area as Swansea briefly threatened to reduce the deficit.

After a quiet afternoon, Lucas Joao was withdrawn just before the hour mark and replaced by Dominic Iorfa. The Portugal international cut a frustrated figure as he left the pitch. The reshuffle meant Liam Palmer moved to right wing and Iorfa slotted in at right-back.

Aarons was given a standing ovation when subbed off in the 64th minute following an eye-catching display. It did not take his replacement Marco Matias long to make an impact as he was yellow carded after a late tackle.

Routledge gave Swansea a lifeline midway through the half. His effort took a wicked deflection off Hector and flew out of Westwood's reach after a neat pull back by Connor Roberts.

But Wednesday pressed hard for a fourth and Fletcher's header from Bannan's delivery was well saved by Nordfeldt.

FA Cup quarter-finalists Swansea threw caution to the wind late on and Westwood produced a crucial save to foil substitute Courtney Baker-Richardson from 10 yards.

Westwood then capped a fine individual showing by turning away Daniel James' rasping right foot drive in added on time.

 

Owls: Westwood; Palmer, Hector, Lees, Lazaar; Aarons (Matias 64), Bannan, Hutchinson, Reach; Fletcher (Pelupessy 87), Joao (Iorfa 58). Substitutes: Dawson, Jones, Nuhiu, Pudil.

Swansea: Nordfeldt; Roberts (McKay 87), van der Hoorn, Carter-Vickers, John (Routledge HT); Grimes, Byers; Naughton (Baker-Richardson 78), Celina, James; McBurnie. Substitutes: Mulder, Asoro, Fulton, Harries.

Attendance: 22,935

Referee: Geogg Eltringham (County Durham)