Saturday, 23 February 2013

Match Report: Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Crystal Palace

Sheffield Wednesday made two changes for the visit of Crystal Palace to Hillsborough in the Championship. Wednesday made two changes from the side which drew 0-0 at Birmingham in midweek. In came captain Anthony Gardner and Kieran Lee for Martin Taylor and Jeremy Helan who dropped to the bench. There was no place for Manchester United-bound Wilfried Zaha, the £15m winger ruled out for the visitors with a dead leg. The Owls came close to opening the scoring on 21 minutes, Kieran Lee’s right-wing cross picking out Leroy Lita but his header was too close to goalkeeper Julian Speroni. Lewis Buxton and David Prutton also had long-range efforts that flew over the crossbar. Lee’s volley, from Michail Antonio’s back-post cross, was blocked in a packed Palace box and Connor Wickham was unable to react quick enough to stab home the loose ball. At the other end, David Prutton was left winded after throwing himself in front of Scott Dobbie’s 25-yard drive. Dobbie forced Chris Kirkland into a fine save at his near post at the start of the second half, before Buxton threw himself in front of Glenn Murray’s effort. Dave Jones introduced Jeremy Helan and Gary Madine as substitutes to try and force a goal, but Palace broke away and Yannick Bolasie toe-poked an effort which Kirkland did well to save one-handed. But the Owls finally broke the deadlock in the 80th minutes, Antonio’s cross picking out Lita whose header crashed into the net off the underside of the bar. And Lita should have wrapped up victory in stoppage time when Madine sent him scampering away, but he could not beat Speroni in a one-on-one.

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