Toppling table-toppers - Sheffield Wednesday at the double to grab huge win over Wigan Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday made hard work of it in the end, but managed to pick up a huge 2-1 win over table-topping Wigan Athletic away at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night.
Wigan did plenty of attacking in the first half, but Wednesday were strong and kept the Latics at bay when they needed to - and kept trying to force things in the opposition half when they got the chance. And force something they did.
A long free-kick from Sam Hutchinson went into the mixer, and after Wednesday’s own gag reel moment against Ipswich Town, tonight’s hosts happened to add their own to the collection.
Hutchinson’s ball was heading straight into the keeper’s box and to safety by all accounts, but Max Powers didn’t get the memo and headed it in the other direction to where he thought Ben Amos was. He wasn’t.
They always weren’t in the lead for long, however. And Will Keane was a superb Bailey Peacock-Farrell save away from levelling up just moments later with a close-range header. The Wednesday stopper was up to the challenge though, and not long afterwards was called into action again to tip a long-range effort wide as he sought to right the wrongs of that equaliser at Portman Road.
Half time came as Wigan kept pushing for an equaliser, but Wednesday looked a bit more composed as they came out for the second 45, and were inches from doubling their lead after Liam Palmer won the ball and excellently found Gregory – but his rifled effort was brilliantly tipped onto the cross bar and up into the night sky. It would have been a cracker.
And Callum Paterson wasn’t too far away a few minutes as he expertly flicked the ball up over his marker’s head, striking it with his left as Amos glanced over his shoulder to see it bounce past his post as the attacker was denied what was nearly a special goal.
But he wasn’t to be denied – and as SWFC kept up the pressure on their opponents the ball found it’s way to the Wigan byline, and Gregory’s feet. He looked up, picked out ‘Pato’, and the Scotsman smashed home with his left right into the top corner.
It was the second goal that Wednesday have so desperately craved in recent weeks, and gave them a bit of breathing space as they desperately looked to bring a four-game winless run to an end.
And they needed it.
Because with around 10 minutes to go, Callum Lang was brought down in the box by Marvin Johnson, and the in-form Charlie Wyke made no mistake from the spot. 2-1. Squeaky-bum time for the Owls.
It should have been game over pretty much straight from the kick off though, as Gregory found himself in acres of space with just Amos to beat. He couldn’t, though, and as the Wigan stopper got down low to pull off a great stop.
He wasn’t the only goalkeeper working hard, though. And BPF was called back into action again as Wednesday clung on, clawing the ball out of the air when it looked destined for the goal after a Wigan corner.
It got tense. There was time-wasting. There were fouls. But Wednesday got what they came for. Job done.