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Defeated but not disgraced

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08 Feb 2010 09:35:12

Defeated but not disgraced

Owls give good account at the City Ground Sheffield Wednesday suffered their second defeat in six games under Alan Irvine on Saturday as high-flying Nottingham Forest took the points thanks to a 2-1 home victory. Wednesday as expected made one change to their starting line up with Frank Simek replacing the injured Lewis Buxton and for the 20 minutes they matched their promotion chasing hosts but the game turned on 24 due to a dubious penalty award. Forest striker Dexter Blackstock struck a hopeful effort from the edge of the penalty area that struck Darren Purse who had his back half-turned in attempting to block the shot. The penalty appeals seemed hopeful rather than heartfelt but to the Owls surprise and somewhat dismay referee Trevor Kettle pointed to the spot and Blackstock beat Grant to give the home side a scarcely deserved lead. Alan Irvine was rightly aggrieved about the decision in the post match analysis and you kind of get a sense that it was a poor error of judgement when the opposition manager concedes that it was a harsh award. Billy Davies stated that “it was a soft one and if I was their manager Alan Irvine I would have been very disappointed by it.” Wednesday seemed to take some time to get over that decision and were probably happy to get in at half-time with the score still at 1-0 but the half-time team talk must have done the trick as the Owls came out with renewed vigour in the second half. Their luck was out once again in the first five minutes of the half as Darren Potters deflected free-kick struck the bar ad was cleared. Etienne Esajas and Leon Clarke replaced Michael Gray and Tom Soares with around 25 minutes left to play and within 10 minutes the changes had done the trick as Esajas’ scuffed cross-shot was turned home by the in form Luke Varney to the delight of the travelling supporters behind the goal. That delight was short lived however as Wednesday allowed Blackstock too much room to get a header in on goal from a free-kick with 10 minutes remaining and although his initial effort was saved on the line the striker followed in to get what turned out to be the winning goal. Despite the defeat Wednesday should take great heart from the fact that the matched a side going for automatic promotion in terms of shots on goal, overall possession and corners and on another day may well have come away with a well-earned point. Forest have now won 7 in a row at home, scoring over 20 goals in the process and conceding just 4 so there is certainly no disgrace in the defeat. More concerning is the fact that other teams around the foot of the Championship table have managed to pick up points in recent games and so Wednesday can ill afford slip ups in the forthcoming home games with Blackpool and Doncaster.  


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