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16:53 21st January 2012

Late strike frustrates Owls

Wednesday were left frustrated by a stern Hartlepool side who struck a late leveller to earn a draw at Hillsborough.

Peter Hartley had earlier given Pools a shock lead before substitute Jermaine Johnson hit a stunning equaliser.

Gary Madine appeared to have won it for the Owls with a crisp strike but Antony Sweeny struck the goal of the game three minutes from time to leave Gary Megson's men disappointed with a point from a game they dominated.

Wednesday were first out of the traps when Chris O'Grady went close with a low drive on the turn inside five minutes before the big striker then saw a penalty claim turned down after tumbling beneath a Paul Murray challenge.

Owls v Hartlepool

O'Grady was soon at the heart of the action again, pouncing on a loose backpass from Neil Austin only for Scott Flinders to race off his line and thwart the danger.

It was one-way traffic and the Owls came close to opening the scoring moments later.

Lewis Buxton - playing in the right midfield slot in this his first game since mid-November - charged down the flank and cut inside to tee up Mike Jones, whose first effort was blocked and his second saved by Flinders.

The visiting supporters had to wait until the half-hour mark before their team created a chance of note when ex-Owl Steven Haslam tried an angled chip that Nicky Weaver scooped aside for a corner.

Luke James then darted in on goal when Rob Jones' backpass fell short but failed to advance past Weaver and Reda Johnson was on the scene to take control.

Play promptly reverted to the other end after Pools' brief flurry an Madine came within a whisker of reopening his account.

Owls v Hartlepool

Reda Johnson delivered an inviting cross from the left and the onrushing Madine beat Flinders with a deft flick only to see the ball fall agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

Despite Wednesday's almost complete control of the first half, though, while ever the game stayed goalless, Hartlepool remained a threat and so it proved just a minute after the restart.

Evan Horwood swung an accurate corner into the box and Hartley was on hand to power a firm header past Weaver.

But Pools' resistance lasted just eleven minutes as Jermaine Johnson - on from the bench at half time for namesake Reda - fired a superb solo goal.

The pace ace picked up possession in his own half and embarked a trademark run, leaving two defenders in his wake before firing across Flinders to haul the home side level.

The ball was back in Wednesday's court and Danny Batth headed narrowly over the bar from Chris Lines' cross, then Miguel Llera followed suit.

But the Owls continued to press and got their reward on 74 minutes when Madine showed composure in waiting for a bouncing ball to drop 15 yards from goal before drilling an unstoppable drive into the bottom corner.

Possession stayed with Wednesday through the closing stages until the hosts were stunned three minutes from time by a Pools leveller.

A high ball fell for Sweeney 20 yards out and the midfielder delivered a delightful volley that looped over Weaver and claimed a claim a point for the North East side.

Wednesday: Weaver, Otsemobor, R Jones (Llera 65), Batth, R Johnson (J Johnson 46), Buxton, Semedo, Lines, M Jones (Lowe 56), O'Grady, Madine

Unused substitutes:
Bywater, Morrison

Flinders, Austin, Liddle, Collins, Horwood, Monkhouse, Sweeney, Haslam (Brown 80), Murray (Humphreys 67), Hartley, James

Unused substitutes:
Rafferty, Boyd, Baldwin

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.