Sheffield Wednesday vs Cambridge United: Owls discover the joy of six in rampant win over punch-drunk Us

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A pint of what Sheffield Wednesday are on please, barkeep.

Because the Owls have run out 6-0 winners over a Cambridge United side punch-drunk having chased blue and white shirts for 90 minutes of substance, style and swagger at Hillsborough.

From the very first minute the home side were dynamic, energetic, rambunctious. By the last they were playing with smiles on their faces, chests bursting with confidence and the recipients of the most joyous standing ovation S6 has seen in many a year.

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That Barry Bannan’s stunning 25-yard strike on 10 minutes doesn’t make up the intro of this report tells its own story of an afternoon well spent.

Sheffield Wednesday hat-trick hero Saido Berahino.Sheffield Wednesday hat-trick hero Saido Berahino.
Sheffield Wednesday hat-trick hero Saido Berahino.

As he loaded up to shoot Wednesday, so often a source of eye-roll energy for its fans in recent years, were a club striving. By full-time they were imperious, bursting with confidence and no doubt a side feared by those above them; if they are to finish in the top six, not many would be picking them out as preferred opponents right now.

Completely devoid of any nervousness that may have been feared after the previous weekend’s defeat at Lincoln, they were already one up by that point and playing with something of a swagger.

At six minutes Lee Gregory, missed in his eight-match absence from the starting line-up even given the season-turning run of good form they’ve been on, stole the ball and belted a cross into the ankles of Lloyd Jones for an own goal.

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The midfield three, with Bannan its general, popped the ball about joyously. Saido Berahino hit the post from range but was only made to wait a little longer to add his name to the scoresheet not once but twice in quick succession.

The last time he scored two goals in a game was past Thibaut Courtois – now Real Madrid’s goalkeeper – in a 3-0 win for West Brom over Chelsea; May 2015.

If the Darren Moore can continue to get a tune out of the rejuvenated forward over the next few weeks, his free transfer will be a truly inspired piece of business.

The break gone, the procession continued. With the first attempt of the second dig that man Berahino slipped a nicely-weighted ball through to George Byers who stroked it home. With the second a buoyant Berahino curled one home to complete a hat-trick. Less than an hour in, 6-0.

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From there, the Owls unfolded their deck chairs and frankly played like a side six goals to the good. Moore shuffled his pack to offer minutes to those who needed them, resting those who needed resting.

There were chances, but they needn’t be mentioned. It was a joyous sojourn into the Saturday evening sunset.

The lingering feeling of Lincoln tossed away, Wednesday went bananas and gave their home support the sort of performance that breathes a whole new level of confidence into a promotion campaign.

The joy of six? It was a joy to behold.

Sheffield Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell; Storey, Hutchinson (Iorfa, 58’), Gibson; Hunt, Byers, Luongo, Bannan, Johnson; Berahino (Sow, 72’), Gregory (Kamberi, 58’)

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Subs unused: Wildsmith, Palmer, Iorfa, Paterson, Dele-Bashiru

Cambridge United: Mitov; Williams, Sherring (Okedina, 62’), Jones, Dunk; Digby, May (O'Neil, 46’); Smith, Hoolahan (Knibbs, 46’), Brophy; Ironside

Subs unused: Mannion, Tolaj, Tracey, Lankester