Lincoln City vs Sheffield Wednesday: Owls reminded League One isn’t easy as they fall to defeat at Sincil Bank
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Three minutes was all it took for a boisterous Lincoln to shoot an arrow at Wednesday’s heel; defending set pieces. How Morgan Whittaker’s corner was allowed to pierce the six yard box without interruption is a question to be asked at Middlewood Road this week, you’d think.
Former Doncaster Rovers striker John Marquis was the thankful man there to hammer the ball home in front of a vocal away support.
It was a bitty, bad tempered first half played at 100mph. Callum Paterson picked up a yellow card – his third in as many matches – for some fisticuffs with Imps skipper Conor McGrandles, closely followed by a booking for Sam Hutchinson.
Past the half hour mark and just as it was thought Wednesday were having an off-day to a man, Marvin Johnson tore up the script.
Driving at one man, he found space, past another he found more. And again, and again. Those are the sort of runs that are so often finished with a tired, insipid cross. But not today as he found Saido Berahino on the volley. 1-1, the away end bouncing to the joys of the man they call Neymarv.
In recent weeks Wednesday’s midfield three have been able to control the tempo of matches, pulling opposition defences apart patiently with willing runners left and right. As half-time came and went it felt as though grappling that control would be key to the result; they weren’t able to do so.
Much of the home side’s joy had come through the tricks and endeavour of on-loan Arsenal youngster Brooke Norton-Coffey. And after wave after wave of Owls pressure in the opening stages of the second half, it was he who finished a slick counter attack smartly past Bailey Peacock-Farrell to reinstate Lincoln’s lead.
Moore turned to his bench for answers on an uncharacteristically sluggish display. The returns of Lee Gregory and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru were shards of celebration but when the Imps went 3-1 up through Marquis again, it felt as though it might be one of those days.
Disappointing though the afternoon was, any team in any division at any stage of the season would take a run of eight wins in 11 matches. And with a rare week away from the floodlights ahead, you feel there is adequate chance of a bounce back in time for the visit of Cambridge United to Hillsborough next weekend.
With 11 to go, we’re entering what they call ‘the business end’ of the League One season. Reminded of the dangers this division holds on an off-day, it’s up to Wednesday to shake it off, suit up and go again.
Lincoln City: Griffiths (Wright, 90’); Eyoma; Poole, Walsh, Norton-Cuffy; Fiorini, Maguire, McGrandles, Whittaker; Marquis, Hopper
Subs unused: Jackson, Sanders, Cullen, Scully, Bishop, Sørensen
Sheffield Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell; Storey, Hutchinson, Palmer; Hunt, Luongo, Byers (Dele-Bashiru, 76’), Bannan, Johnson; Paterson (Gregory, 67’), Berahino (Kamberi, 67’)
Subs unused: Wildsmith, Iorfa, Gibson, Sow