Sheffield Wednesday match report: Owls 1 QPR 1

Sam Winnall
Sam Winnall
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Sheffield Wednesday's stuttering start to the new Championship season continued as Carlos Carvalhal's side were held to a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers.

Substitute Sam Winnall's composed 48th minute strike cancelled out Jamie Mackie's first half opener at Hillsborough.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Owls, who lost Sam Hutchinson and Glenn Loovens to injury in the first half.

Although Wednesday fought back well in the second period, the result means Carvalhal's team have collected just one point from their opening two league outings.

Just days after a reported training ground bust-up involving Sam Winnall, Fernando Forestieri was left out of the matchday squad.

Carvalhal made alterations from the team who defeated Chesterfield in the cup, handing recalls to Keiren Westwood, Loovens, Hutchinson and Jordan Rhodes.

Joe Wildsmith, Steven Fletcher, Almen Abdi and David Jones dropped to the bench.

QPR named the same side who impressively beat Reading in their opening-day win.

Daniel Pudil was at the thick of the action in the early stages. The left-back made an important clearance in his own penalty area to prevent Conor Washington from troubling Westwood after good play by Jamie Mackie out wide.

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And then Pudil headed wide with the goal at his mercy in the 11th minute after a fine corner to the back post by Ross Wallace.

Moments later, Wednesday were forced into making an enforced change in midfield. Hutchinson picked up a knock and was replaced by Jones.

The Owls looked lively in attack. Wallace and Hooper linked up neatly on the right, leading to Rhodes steering a header straight at Alex Smithies.

But buoyed after back-to-back home victories, QPR caused the hosts plenty of problems defensively. Pawel Wszolek, a constant thorn in Wednesday's side on the right flank, teed up Jamie Mackie, who was denied by Westwood.

Midway through the half, the R's broke the deadlock. Mackie raced on to Luke Freeman's through ball and he expertly fired a shot underneath Westwood.

And to make matters worse for the Owls, Loovens also limped off after sustaining an injury. With Wednesday having no centre-half cover on the bench, Pudil moved into the centre and Adam Reach switched to left-back.

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Wednesday lost their way after going behind. The changes disrupted their flow and rhythm.

Tom Lees, who was given the captain's armband after Loovens withdrawal, headed wide when well-placed while substitute Sam Winnall screwed an effort wide after a good pull-back by Reach as the Owls finished the half the stronger.

It was the hosts who started on the front foot in the second period, Winnall seeing his fierce right foot shot parried by Smithies.

But Winnall was not to denied again. He rifled home after Nedum Onuoha made a hash of clearing Bannan's cross.

Wednesday's tails were up and the fans cranked up the volume. Rhodes, searching for his first goal since March, some how headed over from close range after great play by Bannan.

However, QPR, who have not won on their travels since February, refused to buckle and Luke Freeman tested the reflexes of Westwood after a lovely solo run where he glided past Jones and Bannan.

It was end-to-end, with Reach clipping in an inviting cross to the back post for Hooper but the striker failed to turn the ball in.

After a sloppy pass by Bannan to Reach, Wszolek burst forward at pace, cut inside on to his left foot but Westwood was equal to it.

The R's wasted a glorious chance to claim all the points late on when Washington slipped in substitute Kazenga LuaLua but the attacker dragged wide with only Westwood to beat.

Owls: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Loovens (Winnall 27), Pudil; Wallace, Bannan, Hutchinson (Jones 13), Reach; Rhodes (Fletcher 87), Hooper. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Abdi, Palmer, Boyd.

QPR: Smithies; Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Wszolek (Furlong 90); Luongo, Scowen, Freeman (Manning 80), Bidwell; Mackie (Lua Lua 79), Washington. Substitutes: Ingram, Borysiuk, Smith, Baptiste.

Attendance: 25,537.

Referee: Christopher Kavanagh (Lancashire)

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