Impressive Owls win away
A Ross Barkley double and a late strike from Michail Antonio ensured Wednesday returned to winning ways at Portman Road on Saturday.
The Owls posted a 3-0 win over bottom club Ipswich and in the process put an end to the winless run that had dated back to late August.
The Everton loanee struck home inside the opening minute and made sure of the points just before the hour mark with a crisp half volley that flew into the back of the net.
Antonio put the icing on the cake ten minutes from time with a neat finish after rounding the goalkeeper.
Dave Jones was able to recall Jay Bothroyd and Anthony Gardner, who both missed out in midweek through injury, while also restoring Chris O’Grady to the starting line-up.
Wednesday made a dream start to the contest by going a goal ahead with just 45 seconds on the clock.
Antonio’s cross was only partially cleared, giving Lewis Buxton a sight at goal and the defender’s blocked shot sat up nicely for Barkley, who stroked the ball home into the bottom corner.
Moments after the restart, Ipswich keeper Stephen Henderson was forced into making a neat save low to his left to prevent Antonio doubling the visitor’s advantage.
The Tractor Boys needed a lift after making a slow start as Luke Hyam picked up possession in the area but scuffed harmlessly wide from 15 yards.
The attacking momentum remained with Wednesday as Barkley motored forward down the centre before releasing Antonio, who cut inside but shot wide on 15 minutes.
Ipswich were living dangerously at the back and Danny Higginbotham prevented his side falling two goals behind, clearing Antonio’s header off the line from O’Grady’s cross.
If the home side were to get back in the game, a set piece appeared to be their most likely route, and this almost proved to be the case when Aaron Creswell fizzed a well-struck free kick inches over Chris Kirkland’s crossbar. That was before an inch-perfect centre from Daniel Jones at the other end was headed off target by O’Grady.
With the half time break approaching, the home side were beginning to pose more of a threat going forward but failed to test Kirkland with anything meaningful on target.
That was until stoppage time in the opening period when Josh Carson came inside from the right to hit a firm drive on target that Kirkland was able to gather comfortably.
Owls goalscorer Barkley was proving a thorn in the side of Ipswich and again went close five minutes after the break, controlling smartly outside the area from Bothroyd’s feed, but couldn’t test Henderson on this occasion.
But the Everton loanee was not to be denied and produced an outstanding goal on 58 minutes.
The on-loan youngster controlled a bouncing ball on the edge of the area, took one touch to create a yard of space and drilled home an unstoppable hit past Henderson.
And things got even better for Wednesday ten minutes from time.
O’Grady played a well-weighted ball over the top for Antonio who cleverly rounded the advancing Henderson and found the bottom corner from a tight angle to cap off a dominant performance from Dave Jones’ side.
Ipswich: Henderson, Cresswell, Chambers, Campbell (Mohsni 84), Higginbotham, Edwards, Martin, Wellens, Hyam, Carson (Emmanuel-Thomas 78), Murphy (Chopra 61)
Substitutes: Loach, Drury, Smith,Reo-Coker
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, Jones, Antonio, Semedo, Corry (J Johnson 73), Barkley, Bothroyd, O'Grady (Madine 82)
Substitutes: Davies, Mattock, Taylor, Pecnik, Rodri