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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
08:15 20th June 2014


The Owls returned to winning ways on Friday as a Chris Maguire penalty was enough to defeat Blackpool at Hillsborough.

And the victory was more emphatic than the scoreline suggested as Wednesday dominated the lion’s share of the game, with the Lancashire side offering only the occasional reply.

Keiren Westwood preserved the points with a stunning late save from the unfortunate Ishmael Miller - later to see red - although an equaliser would have proved harsh on the hosts, who put three points on the board having lost successive games to Wolves and Fulham.

Hosting a Boxing Day fixture for the first time in five years, the onus was on the Owls to provide some festive cheer for the majority of a bumper S6 attendance, which they duly did.

Wednesday made a bright start, with Maguire sending a free kick just over the crossbar and Stevie May chipping wide of the target from a half chance.

Blackpool grew into the game as the first half unfolded and Jacob Murphy stabbed past the post from long range on the 20-minute mark.

But the Owls were edging proceedings and deservedly took the lead on 38 minutes from the spot.

Peter Clarke was adjudged to have felled May in the box and Maguire stepped up to comfortably convert.

The Tangerines, though, had an immediate chance to respond but ex-Owl Chris Eagles flashed wide with three runners screaming for a pass.

The visitors threatened moments into the second period when Nathan Delfouneso forced a diving save from Keiren Westwood but Wednesday hit back in an instant and twice came close to doubling the advantage.

First Maguire saw a low shot deflected onto the crossbar before May headed just over from a Liam Palmer cross moments later.

Royston Drenthe then threaded a fine ball through to Lewis McGugan but Blackpool keeper Joe Lewis was off his line to smother the danger.

The Owls were in the mood and Drenthe came within a whisker of firing his maiden goal at Hillsborough when he unleashed a fizzing drive from distance that brushed the top of Lewis’ net.

Drenthe was the architect on the hour, this time standing up a delicious feed for May to head hard and low but Lewis thwarted the Scot with a fine stop.

But the save of the game belonged to Westwood, who somehow diverted a Miller header to safety on 75 minutes when the striker was favourite to nod home with the goal gaping.

The Tangerines could have counted themselves fortunate had their best chance of the whole game gone in but the upshot was that telling Westwood contribution helped Wednesday to a crucial win - and more misery followed for Miller, who was sent off in stoppage time for picking up a secomd yellow card.

Owls: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Dielna, Mattock, Maguire, Drenthe, Semedo, Helan, McGugan (Lee 79), May (Nuhiu 86)

Blackpool: Lewis, McMahon, Daniels, Clarke, O’Dea (Dunne 80), Eagles, Perkins, O’Hara, Murphy (Mellis 50), Miller, Davies (Delfouneso 28)

    QUICK FACTS

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