Unlucky Owls miss out
Sheffield Wednesday lost out on a hard-fought point from an entertaining game with Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
With the City Ground clash heading towards a goalless draw, an unfortunate own goal from Miguel Llera on 74 minutes ensured the points would go to Forest.
But the result was hard on the luckless Owls, who arguably had the edge on the day.
And although they ultimately went down, Dave Jones’ side will reflect on an impressive performance that can only stand them in good stead for the next two Championship games on home soil.
Backed by a travelling contingent of over 5,000 Wednesdayites, the Owls settled well and Gary Madine forced Lee Camp into a fine diving save just three minutes in.
Camp excelled again moments later, this time keeping out a fizzing shot from Jay Bothroyd.
The signs were encouraging for the visitors, although Forest would far from roll over, as was evidenced by Andy Reid bursting in on goal before he was thwarted by the outrushing Chris Kirkland.
It was a bright, almost frantic start to the contest, which duly settled as the first half unfolded.
The pendulum swung back in Forest’s favour, certainly in terms of possession, but Wednesday still threatened, with Madine going close from a near post header.
Jermaine Jenas had a long range effort deflected wide at the other end and the front two of Billy Sharp and Dexter Blackstock were largely denied by some stout Owls defending, particularly from Anthony Gardner and Miguel Llera.
As the opening period drew to a close, Wednesday were in the box seat, with the recalled Nejc Pecnik – on target twice for Slovenia in midweek – blasting narrowly over the bar after a sustained period of pressure that spawned three quickfire corners.
That was the last significant action of note for Pecnik, who made way for Jermaine Johnson six minutes after the restart, but it was Forest who asked the early second half questions as substitute Henri Lansbury tested Kirkland with a daisycutter that the keeper safely smothered.
The Owls hit back, though, and came within a whisker of taking the lead on the hour when Bothroyd flicked a loose ball in the box goalwards only for Forest skipper Danny Collins to come to the rescue, athletically heading over the crossbar.
Johnson then hit wide following a brief goalmouth scramble before the home side sent a timely reminder of their threat, with Lansbury missing the target following an intricate three-man move.
And with 16 minutes to go, Forest did break the deadlock that decided the game, aided by a huge slice of good fortune.
Chris Cohen crossed from the right and there seemed little danger until the merest of deflections saw the ball strike the head of Llera and divert into the back of the net.
Forest: Camp, Gillett, Collins, Cohen, Reid (Lansbury 49), Halford, Moloney, Blackstock, Sharp, Ward, Jenas (Guedioura 55)
Unused substitutes: Darlow, McGuigan, Cox, Coppinger, Ayala
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Jones (Mayor 81), Llera, Gardner, Barkley, Semedo, Madine, Antonio, Bothroyd, Pecnik (J Johnson 51)
Unused substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, Mattock, McCabe, Rodri