Sheffield Wednesday vs Cheltenham Town: Owls romp to victory and return to Play-Off places

Sheffield Wednesday romped to a 4-1 victory over Cheltenham Town after they came from behind to climb back into League One’s top six.

Saturday, 26th March 2022, 6:26 pm

The game began at breakneck speed, and it was Cheltenham Town who struck first. Massimo Luongo was robbed of possession in the fourth minute, and Elliot Bonds fed the ball through the in-form Alfie May, who didn’t need to be asked twice even if his 20th goal of the season did get a helpful deflection.

But going behind doesn’t mean defeat for Wednesday anymore… Instead of showing despondency at 1-0 down, the fans got louder. And it helped.

Luongo more than made up for his part in Cheltenham’s opener just a few minutes later, getting onto the end of a flicked Harlee Dean header to score an overhead kick and level things up with his first goal in almost two years.

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Things calmed down after the blistering start, and while Wednesday kept turning the screw they couldn’t find that killer touch, despite the efforts of Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Darren Moore seemed to like what he’d seen, however, and opted against making changes at the break – a decision that was rewarded as the hosts came out firing.

For a while they flattered to deceive a bit longer, but that was until the ball fell to Gregory just outside the box…

Massimo Luongo equalised for Sheffield Wednesday against Cheltenham Town.

2022 has been tough for the Wednesday number nine as he battled through an injury, but his tireless efforts in the opening 60 minutes didn’t go unnoticed, and there was an intake of breath around Hillsborough as he took a touch and steadied himself from 20-yards out.

He caught it sweetly, and Owen Evans was powerless to stop it as his lasered effort found the bottom corner. Wednesday were 2-1 up.

As Wednesdayites well know, though, one goal is often not enough, and it almost proved to be the case on a number of occasions over a short period where the Owls were saved by BPF, the crossbar and then Dean as Cheltenham pushed for an equaliser.

Wednesday soon gained control one again though, and Sylla Sow and Dominic Iorfa were introduced into the fray for Mendez-Laing and Jordan Storey. One attacking change, one defensive, and whatever the substitutions were meant to achieve, certainly worked.

Moments after Iorfa was introduced, Johnson – having another top day at Hillsborough – found space on the left and whipped it far post to find an eager Jack Hunt. He’d never scored for Wednesday before, but you’d never have guessed it as he volleyed a lovely strike past Evans in his 147th Owls appearance.

And the Owls weren’t done yet. They’d found their groove, the Robins had had the gas knocked out of them, and Moore’s side wanted to make it count.

George Byers, bandaged up and in a shirt without a name or number, wanted in, and he made no mistake from close range after jinking past his man to make it four. Wednesday were heading back into the Play-Offs, and it was no less than they deserved.

4-1 probably was possibly a bit unfair on the visitors, but the Wednesday faithful won’t care a jot. It's now 18 goals in the last five games at Hillsborough, and the top six is looking a lot better this evening.