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16:55 11th February 2012

Owls undone at Exeter

Sheffield Wednesday suffered a frustrating 2-1 defeat on the south coast against Exeter after dominating most of a low-key clash at St James Park.

All three goals came in the second half and it was the Owls that struck first, Jermaine Johnson claiming his fourth strike in his last six games.

But Billy Jones promptly levelled for the Grecians to set up a home win that was confirmed with a late winner from skipper David Noble.

Both sides started brightly enough on a cold afternoon in Devon, with the hosts intent on ending a barren run of four games without a goal.

Daniel Nardiello was out to change that statistic, though, and after flicking a dipping shot over the bar almost straight from the kick-off, the former Barnsley striker did have the ball in the net on seven minutes but the linesman's flag put a premature end to any Exeter celebrations.

The Owls responded with John Bostock aiming a vicious drive goalwards that was deflected wide for a corner before Miguel Llera forced a stunning save from Artur Krysiak following the resultant corner.

Wednesday then went on to take control of the contest, with much of the possession in the Grecians' half.

Exeter v Owls

But ten minutes before the break, Nardiello was handed two quickfire chances to open the scoring.

His first effort on the angle from ten yards was bravely blocked by Lewis Buxton and the Owls defender was even more impressive in keeping the second strike away from goal.

Chris Lines came on for Bostock at half time and the same pattern of play continued, with Wednesday bossing the ball, while Exeter relied on the counter.

Buxton tested Krysiak with a looping cross from the right that needed tipping over the bar before the Owls broke the deadlock on 66 minutes.

Buxton sent a long throw into the mix that was only half cleared and Jermaine Johnson drilled home a powerful volley from the edge of the area.

Exeter v Owls

Exeter needed a swift response and got exactly that within two minutes of the restart.

The Owls conceded a free kick on the right angle of the box and Jones stepped up to curl a clever strike round the wall and into the back of the net.

Wednesday sent on Mike Jones for the closing stages but the only likelihood of a winner came from midfield consort Lines, who brought an excellent save from Krysiak on 77 minutes.

Alas, the decisive strike came at the other end and again from a set piece.

Noble was the man of the moment, sending a dipped effort from 22 yards that flew past Stephen Bywater and in at the far post to seal an unlikely victory.

Exeter: Krysiak, Tully, Jones, Dunne, Archibald-Henville, Noble, Nardiello (O'Flynn 87), Coles (Duffy 90), Bauza (Sercombe 65), Bennett, Taylor

Unused substitutes: Pidgeley, Logan

Wednesday: Bywater, Bennett, Batth, Llera (R Jones 66), Buxton, J Johnson, Semedo, Bostock (Lines 46), Prutton, Madine (M Jones 74), O'Grady

Unused substitutes: Weaver, Morrison

    Data provided by Press Association


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