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O'Grady at the double

PUBLISHED

21:41 2nd October 2012

 

The Owls put a halt to their miserable run of results with a hard fought draw against Burnley in the driving Lancashire rain on Tuesday.

 

In adverse conditions at Turf Moor, strikers Charlie Austin and Chris O’Grady were the shining lights.

 

Austin fired a hat-trick to stay at the top of the Championship goalscoring chart but O’Grady bagged a brace to keep the Owls in the hunt.

 

And Michail Antonio hit a late strike to pull Wednesday level for the third time to wrap up an incredible contest and draw a line beneath the alarming spell of form that spawned six successive defeats.

 

Dave Jones was able to name an unchanged side for the first time this term and an encouraging start saw the Owls create two half chances almost from the whistle, with O’Grady and Nejc Pecnik making dangerous advances on goal.

 

The hosts, though, also had their moments in the early exchanges.

 

Austin was denied by a brave block from Jermaine Johnson, just before Jay Bothroyd executed a perfectly timed challenge to stop Junior Stanislas in his tracks as the winger was about to pull the trigger inside the box.

 

On 12 minutes, Wednesday had a great chance to seize the advantage when Pecnik crossed deep for O’Grady to nod down to Antonio and the former Reading man did everything right save a finish that whistled over the crossbar.

 

The Clarets responded with Martin Paterson drilling a long ranger narrowly wide before the game really exploded into life with two quickfire goals.

 

First, on 22 minutes, Austin climbed high to head the hosts into the lead after sterling work down the right from Kieran Trippier.

 

Then, with the home fans’ celebrations barely having subsided, Antonio took possession and powered on to feed O’Grady, who coolly glanced past ex-Owls goalkeeper Lee Grant to haul the Owls on par.

 

The contest continued at a furious pace and Ross Barkley tested Grant from distance as Wednesday looked the more likely – but on 39 minutes, Burnley were back in front.

 

And it was the same combination that saw the Owls undone. Trippier sent a teasing feed over to the far post and Austin stooped low to nod across Chris Kirkland and into the far corner.

 

The Clarets had their tails up and Kirkland came to the rescue with a flying save from Michael Duff to keep Wednesday in with a shout for the second half.

 

And the entertainment carried on in the second 45, with opportunities at both ends following the restart.

 

David Edgar went close with a header that flew wide for Burnley, while Bothroyd drew a fine diving save from Grant after trying his luck from 25 yards.

 

Play was then evenly shared until on 64 minutes, the Owls equalised for the second time – with O’Grady again at the heart of the action.

 

The powerful striker found space inside the area to take a delightful pass from Bothroyd and round Grant to slot into an empty net.

 

The game was delicately poised as the clock ticked down and Austin came close to posting a hat-trick with an angled snapshot but Kirkland deflected wide.

 

Still there was time for Grant to thwart Antonio when the latter was favourite to score but with five minutes to go, the contest again exploded into life.

 

Austin controlled a penetrating pass from Dean Marney into his stride before hitting hard and low past Kirkland to complete his treble but the Owls hit straight back with an outrageous chip from Antonio to complete a memorable night of football.

 

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff (Long 89), Edgar, Mee, Stock, Wallace, Marney, Stanislas, Paterson (Stewart 71), Austin (Vokes 90)
Unused substitutes: Jensen, Mills, Bartley, O'Neill

 

Owls: Kirkland, J Johnson, Taylor, Gardner, Mattock, Pecnik (McCabe 46), Semedo, Barkley, Antonio, O'Grady (Madine 82), Bothroyd
Unused substitutes: Bywater, Llera, Jones, Mayor, Rodri