‘Special moment’ is just reward for Sheffield Wednesday man whose hard work is ‘unsung’
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Shrewsbury Town were the team on the receiving end in what was the final away game of the regular season.
But there will be one more trip to come after Wednesday’s third-place finish was sealed thanks to results elsewhere.
Alongside the successful return of Michael Ihiekwe, a substitute outing for Josh Windass and an all-round confident performance pointed towards momentum heading into whatever comes next – with three wins from three leading into a sell-out last day against Derby County.
Encouraging too, was the confidence no doubt extracted by target man Smith, who capped his latest tireless effort up top with three well-taken goals.
“His bodywork was excellent, he got hold of the ball and his link-up play was good,” Owls boss Darren Moore said.
“And then of course, when he got those opportunities to score goals he was clinical in his work.
“For him, from a striker’s perspective, it was almost a complete performance and it goes to show all that hard work and his work rate for the boys off the ball, it’s unsung really.
“But he’ll say that he wants the goals and he’s got the goals added to his work rate today. He deserves it and we’re all pleased for him.”
The triple took Smith to 19 goals across all competitions. One more would make him the first Owls player to hit 20 in all competitions since Neil Mellor in 2010/11.
With the returning goal threat of Windass slotting in around a hungry Lee Gregory and the form of Callum Paterson, options up top are looking good.
Moore continued: “He works really tirelessly for the team and obviously strikers judge themselves on their goals.
“For him to get those three goals today is really, really good and it was a special moment for him.
“He’ll take the headlines but overall I felt the team came here today and put on a good, resounding performance and controlled the game from start to finish.”