Terriers win fiery derby
The Owls suffered a third successive defeat as Huddersfield emerged 3-1 winners from a fiery derby full of incident at Hillsborough.
The Terriers stole into a two-goal lead midway through the first half when firstly Oliver Norwood stabbed home the rebound from a penalty that was saved by Chris Kirkland.
Lee Novak doubled the advantage with a fierce header before the visitors were reduced to ten men when Joel Lynch was dismissed for a late lunge on Michail Antonio.
The Owls pulled a goal back before half time but were promptly down to ten themselves when Joe Mattock received an early bath for two bookable offences.
With Wednesday in the driving seat after the resumption, Huddersfield were awarded a second penalty, which Adam Clayton converted at the first attempt to seal victory.
Prior to what proved a thoroughly absorbing contest, everyone in attendance impeccably observed a moment of reflection to honour the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989 and the two British soldiers who perished whilst serving their country in Afghanistan only last week.
Both sets of supporters did their clubs proud before the action unfolded, with the Owls, led out by newly-installed skipper Martin Taylor, out to mark their return to Hillsborough with a positive result following successive defeats on the road.
Manager Dave Jones shuffled his pack back on home soil, installing new loan recruit Ross Barkley into the engine room, while up front, Gary Madine was recalled to partner Jay Bothroyd.
And Wednesday started well - with not a hint of what was to follow - winning a series of corners inside five minutes from which they almost profited.
Barkley swung over a piercing flack kick and Mark Beevers got a good connection on a glancing header only for the ball to rebound to safety from the top of the crossbar.
The Terriers then struck the woodwork themselves, with James Vaughan hitting a snapshot out of the blue that cannoned off the bar before moments later, Huddersfield were awarded a penalty after Jermaine Johnson tangled with Jack Hunt in the area.
Kirkland guessed right to parry Norwood’s 16th minute spot kick but the ball fell kindly back into the path of the midfielder, who was left with the simple task of tapping into an empty net.
Three minutes later, the Terriers – having been on the back foot throughout the early exchanges – were amazingly two goals to the good.
Danny Ward delivered an inviting ball into the danger zone and Novak did the necessary on the six-yard line with a powerful header past Kirkland.
The stunned Owls regrouped and almost halved the deficit just past the half-hour mark when Reda Johnson headed inches wide from another accurate Barkley corner.
Antonio then dispatched a blistering half volley that forced a fine save from Alex Smithies as Wednesday racked up the pressure and they got their reward on 36 minutes.
Antonio sent a trademark long throw into the mix and a flick-on found Reda Johnson, whose header crept in at the far post.
An action-packed first half continued with Huddersfield going down to ten men five minutes before the break when Lynch brought the onrushing Antonio crashing down in front of the North Stand and earned a straight red card from referee Graham Salisbury.
Still there was time for Antonio to send in another red-hot shot that this time fizzed past the post before – almost on the whistle – the Owls were also down to ten men when Mattock picked up a second yellow having stopped Ward in his tracks when bearing down the wing.
Everyone needed a breather following a pulsating first half, with the danger being that the second period would only lie in its shadow.
But the Owls – with Nejc Pecnik on for Madine – pushed on from the first whistle and Reda Johnson sent a header just wide from a carefully floated Bothroyd delivery.
Pecnik went close with a dragged effort across goal a few minutes later and Huddersfield barely launched a serious assault in the final third as the second 45 unfolded – until the 70th minute when they were awarded a second penalty.
Substitute Rhys McCabe was adjudged to have handled in the box from a Hunt hit and the referee, after consulting with his assistant, pointed to the spot.
Clayton sent Kirkland the wrong way to put Huddersfield 3-1 up and all but out of sight.
Reda Johnson somehow missed from close range near the end after great work down the right by Antonio, summing up a night of gloom for Wednesday under the S6 lights.
Owls: Kirkland, Mattock, Taylor, Beevers, R Johnson, Antonio, Semedo (McCabe 63), Barkley, J Johnson, Madine (Pecnik 46), Bothroyd (O’Grady 78)
Unused substitutes: Bywater, Llera, Jones, Rodri
Huddersfield: Smithies, Dixon, Norwood (Woods 83), Clarke, Clayton, Novak (Gerrard 41), Ward, Vaughan (Lee 90), Southern, Hunt, Lynch
Unused substitutes: Bennett, Scannell, Arfield, Spencer