Sheffield Wednesday left embarrassed by Peterborough United as Owls promotion hopes take a beating

Sheffield Wednesday were left battered, bruised and embarrassed away at Peterborough United in a crushing 4-0 defeat.
Sheffield Wednesday were badly beaten 4-0 by Peterborough United on Friday night. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Sheffield Wednesday were badly beaten 4-0 by Peterborough United on Friday night. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Sheffield Wednesday were badly beaten 4-0 by Peterborough United on Friday night. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Anticipation was in the air as fans filtered in the Weston Homes Stadium, neither side was to know of the car crash that was to come, and there was an expectation from both sets of supporters that maybe this could still be their year.

A roar erupted from all sides of the stadium as the Owls got things underway, a noise that never really died down.

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Three sides of the stadium were on their feet as Kwame Poku broke free only to be blocked by the returning Michael Ihiekwe, and 2,300 Wednesday held their breath as Michael Smith forged the best early chance, running clear of the Posh defence – but his tame effort was saved by Will Norris.

Josh Windass got a chance to stretch his legs before being brought down by the edge of the box, Frankie Kent got a booking for his troubles, and the resulting freekick hit the wall. Wednesday hadn’t started badly.

But then their fans were silenced.

The Owls failed to clear their lines after a corner, and Will Vaulks’ clearance landed at the feet of Jack Taylor. His strike was clean enough, but Cameron Dawson should’ve had it covered – he didn’t though, and it slipped under him into the back of the net. A gut punch for the visitors.

Wednesday were having some joy on the press, forcing the hosts into errors, but lacked any form of cutting edge. It felt like there was a way back into it for Darren Moore’s side, even as Callum Paterson’s goalbound strike thumped into Windass, but then things went from bad to worse.

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Joe Ward, playing at right back, found himself with enough space to have a shot far range, and on first viewing it looked like a fine strike that found a way into the top corner. Seeing the replay, though, it became clear that it was a huge deflection off Marvin Johnson’s back to took it past Dawson.

Half time came and went, but things didn’t get any better. Moments after Ihiekwe’s header flew wide of the goal the Owls found themselves 3-0 down.

Quick on the break once more, Ephron Mason-Clark drove the Wednesday backline, and whipped in a lovely ball to the inexplicably unmarked Poku. Moore’s Owls were crumbling.

Lee Gregory and Dennis Adeniran were introduced, and the Owls had a huge shout for handball turned down by Anthony Backhouse, but nothing was changing the scoreline. Ihiekwe had one cleared off the line, but Darren Ferguson’s side seemed comfortable.

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So comfortable, in fact, that they weren’t done – Jonson Clarke-Harris got in on the action to make it four. Reece James came on before the final whistle, but the tie was beyond over.

Where Wednesday were wasteful, Peterborough were clinical. Where the Owls lacked structure, the Posh showed organisation. The hosts played with a pace that the visitors just don’t have in their locker.

There were boos from the 2,300 travelling fans before and after, and who can blame them?

They go home cold, disappointed, and knowing that they now need a miracle at Hillsborough to keep the dream alive. Frankly, tonight gave them absolutely no hope of that happening.