JJ at the double
Two goals from star man Jermaine Johnson and a Leroy Lita penalty earned a precious three points for Wednesday in a scintillating 3-2 win over Blackburn at Hillsborough.
Jordan Rhodes put the visitors in the lead with a composed penalty, but it was quickly cancelled out by Jermaine Johnson’s strike after his tidy footwork in the box.
Lita gave the hosts the lead after he sent keeper Grzegorz Sandomierksi the wrong way from the spot, but Rovers skipper Scott Dann headed the Lancashire side back level after the break.
Then the impressive Jermaine Johnson got his second of the game with a stunning right-footed finish from range to earn Wednesday a vital win.
The Owls approached this basement battle level on points with 19th-placed Blackburn, who went into the contest with a superior goal difference of -6 to the Owls’ -10.
The home side were kept on their toes in the early stages as Blackburn had the lion’s share of possession, and the Ewood Park outfit duly earned their reward on 12 minutes.
Defensive confusion after the Owls failed to clear their lines led to Chris Kirkland conceding a penalty when he came off his line and collided with David Dunn, and talisman Rhodes coolly sent Kirkland the wrong way from the spot to put Rovers one up.
However, the hosts were quick to pick themselves up, and Jermaine Johnson’s driving runs paid dividends when he expertly despatched an equaliser into the bottom corner after tidy footwork on the edge of the Blackburn box on 20 minutes.
The frontman was industrious in the build-up to the goal, offering pace and drive to the Wednesday attack.
He was unlucky not to put Wednesday in front four minutes later after turning Rovers defender Dann, but the Jamaican was denied by Sandomierski from an angle.
The momentum had shifted in the Owls' favour ad their morale was noticeably boosted after the equaliser.
Wedneday were then awarded a penalty when Reda Johnson was pulled down by Josh Morris following a back post cross. Lita matched the composure shown by Rhodes to place the ball in the top corner to give the Owls the lead.
Lita could have put the home side two up on the stroke of half time, but Sandomierski pulled off a superb reflex save after the frontman was played in by strike partner Jermaine Johnson’s neat flick.
The second half saw the tempo upped, with challenges flying in, and both sides conceding free kicks in dangerous positions.
Dann went close early on in the half, Kirkland doing well to smother the defender’s close-range header from an in-swinging free kick.
But Dann's aerial threat got its just desserts when he found space to nod in substitute Josh King’s excellent deep cross on 70 minutes.
In a tight game, a moment of quality decided matters with 13 minutes to go, and Jermaine Johnson provided it with an unstoppable low drive from 25 yards to blast the Owls back in front and set the game up for a tense finish.
Jeremy Helan’s bursting run from deep was unlucky not to be rewarded with a goal moments later but he fired over from inside the box.
The hosts demonstrated their character and resilience to hang on against a Blackburn side who pressed the Owls to the end of a hard fought contest.
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, R. Johnson, Coke, Holden (Lee, 59), Olofinjana, Helan, J. Johnson (Maguire, 85), Lita (Howard, 70)
Unused substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, McCabe, Prutton
Blackburn: Sandomierski, Lowe, Dunn, Rhodes, Dann, Williamson (King, 63), Kane, Morris, Hanley, Stewart (Kazim-Richards, 56), Jones
Unused substitutes: Usai, Givet, Pedersen, Gomes, Rekik