Match Report: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Watford 4

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday suffered another defeat as they went down 4-1 against Watford at Hillsborough.

Dave Jones had left out midfield main-stay Jose Semedo as Chris Lines made his first start of the season after recovering from a serious groin injury.

On a wet, cold night at Hillsborough Antonio warmed the Owls fans up as he gave his team the lead racing clear to slide the ball under the keeper.

However, the visitors began to probe down the Owls right flank and it was no surprise when they levelled on 18 minutes through Fernando Forestieri, who slammed the ball home after a Hornets’ long throw.

And Forestieri nearly put Watford in front when he fired over as the Wednesday defence was again exposed.

But it was Wednesday who had the best chance to go ahead just before the half hour mark. Jay Bothroyd was hauled to the ground in the box by Daniel Pudil but Lines’ penalty was poor and was saved easily by Manuel Almunia.

Although Bothroyd was clear on goal Pudil only received a yellow card from referee Tony Bates.

Wednesday replaced Anthony Gardner with Martin Taylor at half time and five minutes later Rhys McCabe made way for Semedo.

A dour early part to the second half had its first moment of drama as referee Mr Bates was injured and replaced by Tony Harrington.

Owls keeper Chris Kirkland was singlehandedly stopping Watford taking the lead but he was finally beaten on 67 minutes when Alexandre Geijo headed home from close range.

And it got worse for the Owls as Watford substitute Troy Deeney scored with his first touch on 77 minutes to make it 3-1.

The goals kept on coming for the visitors as Sean Yeates cracked home a fourth from 20 yards on the half-volley.

Almunia did well to deny Antonio a second but any hopes of a Wednesday revival were well beyond the home side as the defeat leaves the Owls second bottom in the Championship.

OWLS: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, Helan, Bothroyd, Corry, Lines, McCabe, Antonio, Sidibe. Subs: Bywater, Taylor, Semedo, J Johnson, O’Grady, Mayor, Jones.

HORNETS: Almunia, Hoban, Hall, Ekstrand, Pudil, Hogg, Cassetti, Yeates, Geijo, Chalobah, Forestieri. Subs: Bonham, Dickinson, Deeney, Murray, Vydra, Smith, Battochio.

Ref: Tony Bates (Staffs).

Read Paul Thompson’s match analysis tomorrow in The Star.