Skip to main content


08:12 16th July 2013

Owls off the mark!


It was a long time coming but well worth the wait as the Owls finally registered their first win of the season to climb from the bottom of the table.


Wednesday overcame Reading 5-2 to post an emphatic success at the anything but unlucky 13th attempt as the home fans at Hillsborough finally saw their patience pay dividends.


Matty Fratt and Michail Antonio against his former employers paved the path for victory before Pavel Pogrebnyak pulled one back for the Royals.


But when Sean Morrison put through his own goal to put the Owls squarely back in the box seat, everything was in place for those elusive three points.


And Wednesday duly delivered as Connor Wickham – making his first start since joining on loan from Sunderland – opened his S6 account and a second goal from Fryatt put the Royals to bed.


Adam Le Fondre converted a late penalty for the Berkshire outfit but there was no doubting that the day belonged to the hosts.


With the Owls unbeaten in four games and the Royals having lost only two from ten, something had to give if Saturday’s contest was to provide a winner.


And there was certainly no fear from either side through an all-action opening 45 that spawned four goals and plenty of entertainment.


Reading edged the early exchanges, with Gareth McCleary unleashing a fierce drive deflected wide by Roger Johnson.


But just as the Royals were looking the more likely, Wednesday sparked into life and scored twice to stun Nigel Adkins’ men.


First, on 18 minutes, a long ball forward from Kamil Zayatte caused confusion in the Reading rearguard and Antonio picked up possession to feed Fryatt, who slammed home from close range.


And it then got better for Wednesday as they promptly doubled their lead seven minutes later.


Little seemed on for Antonio when he brought down a high ball from Seyi Olofinjana but the wideman found space to hit a vicious, curling drive that flew past Alex McCarthy and into the bottom corner.


The two-goal cushion was just the tonic required and it could have been three on 21 minutes when Fryatt burst free down the left side of the area but the striker’s flicked effort ran agonisingly wide.


The shell-shocked Royals responded with McCleary firing narrowly past the far post before they did halve the deficit on 34 minutes.


Chris Gunter sent an accurate cross into the danger zone and Pogrebnyak’s header looped into the Kop net with the aid of the upright.


But any hopes of Reading restoring parity were dispelled four minutes before the break when the Owls benefited from that small slice of luck that has arguably evaded them this term.


Wickham forced a fine save from McCarthy but the rebound ricocheted off the unfortunate Morrison and rolled into the unguarded net.


Reading started the second period as they did the first and Danny Guthrie’s long range rocket whistled past the post before Hal Robson-Kanu miscued from six yards following a Pogrebnyak pullback.


But the Owls soon got a grip back on the game and extended their lead on 57 minutes.


Antonio was the architect once more, this time drilling a low cross into the mix that found its way to Wickham, who blasted home to all but seal the win.

And Reading barely had time to recover before the rampant Owls made it five.


Wickham sent Fryatt racing in on goal and the 27-year-old was the coolest man on the pitch as he slotted effortlessly past McCarthy.


It was a matter of playing out the game thereafter and Wednesday carved half chances to add to their tally.


Despite the Owls bossing the latter throes, though, it was Reading that had the final say when Le Fondre slotted an 89th penalty home after Roger Johnson tripped Pogrebnyak.


But there were no complaints from the home supporters in the bigger picture as Wednesday kick-started their campaign in a manner that completely belied their lowly position in the Championship.


Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Roger Johnson, Zayatte, Reda Johnson, Antonio (Nuhiu 84), McPhail (Coke 59), Olofinjana, Helan, Wickham, Fryatt (Jermaine Johnson 79) 
Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Kelly, Pearce, Baird, Pogrebnyak, McCleary (Blackman 69), Morrison, Robson-Kanu, Guthrie (Le Fondre 67), Obita


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