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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:33 21st June 2012

Owls stun Derby

 

It was déjà vu for the Owls on Saturday as they came from two goals down to snatch an unlikely point against Derby.

 

Back on the opening day of the season in August, Wednesday hit back to draw 2-2 at Pride Park after falling 2-0 behind and they promptly repeated the feat at Hillsborough.

 

Jeff Hendrick and Jamie Ward put the Midlanders in the driving seat before quickfire strikes from Michail Antonio and Miguel Llera hauled the hosts back from the brink.

 

With six points separating the sides, Wednesday were out to make headway on the Rams, who arrived in Sheffield with one of the lowest away returns in the Championship.

 

Only on 12 occasions had the Rams found the target on the road but Ward was undaunted by that statistic as he fired a first-minute daisycutter that had Chris Kirkland at full stretch to prevent a perfect start for the visitors.

 

Derby went on to shade possession through the early exchanges and certainly looked the more likely to open the scoring, which they duly did on 23 minutes.

 

A neat three-man move from midfield ended with Hendrick bursting in on goal and the Irishman kept a cool head to slot past the advancing Kirkland.

 

For their part, Wednesday struggled to piece together a move of substance, which was at odds with their recent form that had spawned just one defeat in ten league games.

 

As a result, the Owls made a change 12 minutes before the break as Kieran Lee was withdrawn, giving Dave Jones the chance to blood new loan recruit Connor Wickham.

 

The £8m Sunderland man gave Wednesday a lift, showing some neat and confident touches before the interval, after which the home side might have equalised almost from the resumption.

 

Antonio did everything right to lose his marker and bear down on Adam Legzdins between the Derby sticks but misjudged his shot that went sailing over the crossbar.

 

Then the contest really burst into life with three goals in eight incident-filled minutes.

 

First, on 48 minutes, the Rams were awarded a penalty when Llera was adjudged to have felled Ward in the area and the striker got up to dispatch comfortably from the spot.

 

Then two minutes later, the Owls halved the arrears when Antonio bundled in at the far post from a dangerous Danny Pugh corner.

 

Having seized the upper hand and suddenly dominating, Wednesday drew level on 56 minutes.

 

Antonio delivered a superb cross from the right and the marauding Llera was on hand to head home in front of the Kop.

 

It was a remarkable turnaround for Wednesday and as the remainder of the game unfolded, there seemed only one winner if there was to be one.

 

But the Derby defence held firm after the earlier double blow and kept the rejuvenated Owls at bay to ensure that both sides took a share of the spoils.

 

Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, Pugh, Lee (Wickham 33), Prutton, Coke, Helan (J Johnson 86), Antonio, Lita

 

Unused substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, Semedo, McCabe, Madine

 

Derby: Legzdins, Keogh, Buxton, Brayford, Coutts (Davies 75), Roberts, Hendrick, Hughes (Jacobs 89), Sammon, Ward (Robinson 79), Bryson

 

Unused substitutes: Fielding, Freeman, Hoganson, Gjokaj

    QUICK FACTS

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