Sheffield Wednesday restored some much-needed pride by beating Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup

A well-worked goal, a clean sheet and a return to winning ways.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 2:38 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th January 2020, 12:54 pm

Sheffield Wednesday's trip to the south coast could not have gone much better.

Adam Reach's deflected 65th minute strike after a lovely set piece routine ended a three-match losing streak and ensured the Owls defeated top flight opposition in the FA Cup for the first time in 27 years.

Reach and young defender Osaze Urhoghide, one of six changes made by manager Garry Monk, understandably hogged the headlines after a memorable away day.

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But this was a superb team performance to lift some of the gloom surrounding the Hillsborough club.

Cameron Dawson was not overly worked in goal but produced two key saves in the first half, Urhoghide excelled at right-back, Dominic Iorfa was imperious at centre-half alongside Julian Börner, Morgan Fox maintained his steady form on the left hand side of the defence and, Joey Pelupessy shone in the defensive midfield role.

Did Brighton field a second-string team? Yes. Was a run in the FA Cup high on their priority list? No.

But Wednesday were not at full-strength either and took the competition seriously. Defensively Monk's men produced a well-organised, disciplined display and they always carried a threat in the wide areas with Reach and Jacob Murphy.

Owls match-winner Adam Reach. Pic Steve Ellis

The only disappointment for the Owls was top-scorer Steven Fletcher suffering a knee injury and being carried off in the second half.

Monk said: "We had let ourselves down [with three successive defeats] but we showed the response we wanted and we deserved to win the game, so we have to be happy with that.

“This courage and attitude is what I wanted to see. We want a competitive squad and people to take their opportunities and this was a performance to be proud of.”

The celebrations at the full-time whistle in front of a raucous away support was no less than Monk's side deserved.

"(It was) a long trip for our fans so (we had) even more determination to make sure they went home with something to cheer about and I think they'll be very proud of that result,” added Monk.

The result restored some pride and could provide the spark for the rest of the season.