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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:54 24th March 2012

Owls turn up the heat


Sheffield Wednesday posted a vital victory at Leyton Orient to keep the heat on local rivals Sheffield United in the League 1 promotion chase.

Reda Johnson scored the only goal of the game in the second half as the Owls leapfrogged the Blades into second place.

And in fairness, the scoreline flattered the O's who were effectively outplayed by a confident-looking Wednesday side that were full value for the win.

Dave Jones shuffled his pack for the first time since taking charge four games ago.

Miguel Llera started alongside Rob Jones in the centre of the rearguard, while match-winner Reda Johnson was restored at left back.

Jermaine Johnson was recalled on the left flank and so too was Chris O'Grady in the final third.

Orient v Owls

New loan recruits Keith Treacy and Nile Ranger began their S6 stints on the bench.

Wednesday, playing with two out and wingers, took the game to the hosts and started brightly.

Jermaine Johnson was at the heart of the early action and went agonisingly close with a diving header following an accurate feed into the box from Chris Lines.

Michail Antonio glanced another header wide before shooting into the arms of Paul Rachubka after a stunning crossfield pass from Llera.

Jermaine Johnson drilled a low shot inches wide moments later as the Owls continued to dominate and Llera headed straight at Rachubka in a crowded penalty area.

Orient v Owls

For their part, Orient enjoyed only brief pockets of possession which invariably broke down when the ball reached the final third.

And it was the Owls that finished the first half in the driving seat, albeit without truly testing Rachubka, with the promise of more to come after the break - and that duly unfolded on 49 minutes.

Lines floated a well-weighted set piece to the back post, where Reda Johnson powered a firm header that was saved by Rachubka.

But the Orient custodian could not hang on to the ball and the big defender stabbed home from close range.

With the vital first goal under the belt, Wednesday went on to maintain control and Gary Madine almost doubled the advantage on the hour after Rachubka saved from O'Grady.

That was O'Grady's last piece of action before new-boy Ranger was introduced but it was Antonio who could wrapped up the points on 70 minutes.

Madine turned and sent the winger darting in on goal but Antonio's shot fell just wide of the far post.

Ranger went closer still on 77 minutes following a trademark run from Jermaine Johnson but the Newcastle man's shot on the spin whizzed narrowly wide.

Orient did produce something of a final flourish but try as they might, the home side could not make the breakthrough and Wednesday watched the clock down to return north with a crucial travelling triumph.

Leyton Orient: Rachubka, Chorley, Cuthbert, Forbes, Cox, Reed (Porter 67), Lisbie, McSweeney, Smith, Leacock (Laird 79), Campbell-Ryce (Andrew 87)

Unused substitutes:: Ben Youssef, Mooney

Owls: Bywater, Buxton, R Jones, Llera, R Johnson, Semedo, Lines, Antonio, J Johnson (Treacy 79), Madine (Lowe 87), O'Grady (Ranger 61)

Unused substitutes: Jameson, Beevers

    Data provided by Press Association

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