Not again - Sheffield Wednesday forced into another Fleetwood Town clash after FA Cup draw
The two sides met on Boxing Day at Highbury and were back at it again on S6 in League One last weekend, with the Owls winning both encounters. Darren Moore’ men were on top again in this one but were found lacking a little in the final third when it mattered.
Wednesday had to come from behind to claim a replay in this latest instalment after Promise Omochere had put the visitors in front in the second half and it took an own goal from Josh Earl, under immense pressure from the impressive Mallik Wilks, for the Owls to draw level.
An incredible 13 minutes was added to the end of the 90 and Wednesday pressed for the winner but despite chances for the returning Barry Bannan and a couple for Lee Gregory – one of which hit the crossbar –they’ll do it all again on the coast in a couple of weeks.
Wednesday started the match brightly, against a Fleetwood team who were sitting back in their own half and looking to catch Wednesday on the counter.
Shaun Rooney, back from suspension after his red card when the sides met over the holiday period, lived up to his pantomime villain personality and unsurprisingly he was booked in the first 20 minutes for dissent, with the home faithful booing the Scot the whole way through the game,
The Owls started to up the gears as the half wore on. Wilks, one of the more prominent Owls players in a fairly drab first half brought about the only notable chance of the opening period, bursting down the right-hand side and gliding past Fleetwood full back Danny Andrew before blasting his shot straight at Earl.
The Owls continued their dominance with wave after wave of attack all through the first half but could not find a way past the resilient Fleetwood defence.
The visitors started the second half brightly, punishing a Marvin Johnson mistake with a scintillating cross by Andrew was met by the diving head of Omochere who sent the visiting Cod fans into pandemonium.
Wednesday had been in the position before earlier on in the competition against League Two Mansfield Town. A goal down and looking to get back into the game as he did on that day, Moore played all of his cards and made a triple change of Bannan, George Byers and Gregory.
Byers and Bannan proved vital in the lead up The Owls equaliser. The former Swansea City midfielder won a free kick, Bannan then sprayed the ball wide to Marvin Johnson, whose deadly cross was turned home by Fleetwood defender Earl, with Wilks attacking.
As the referee announced a surprising nine minutes of added time, Wednesday looked the more likely of the two teams to score. Firstly a chance for out of scoring form Lee Gregory who’s flicked header hit the top of the cross bar and secondly a pull back from Josh Windass got caught up in the feet of wide man Johnson.
Wednesday could not find the breakthrough in the final few minutes and now must return to Highbury for the second time this season.
The Owls were not hoping to have any fresh injury concerns for the arrival of promotion rivals Plymouth next Saturday but in-form defender Akin Famewo was forced off through Injury which forced a debut for new man Aden Flint who came on in the dying minutes for his frst appearance since returning to Hillsborough on loan from Stoke City.
Moore will be relying on him as we wait for an update on Famewo’s injury
An already tight schedule will put more pressure on a stretched squad that will need at least one addition before the end of the transfer window.