Owls sting the Hornets
The Owls produced a battling and determined performance on Saturday to emerge with three points from the clash with Watford.
A first half Connor Wickham free kick was enough to settle matters at Vicarage Road as Wednesday claimed their first win on the road this season.
The victory over the Hornets was also the Owls’ first clean sheet of the campaign – a reward that came after a resolute away display.
Last season’s play-off finalist went into the clash without a win since mid-October and on the back of four straight defeats on home soil.
But out to arrest that run, the Hornets had an early sight of goal when Cristian Battocchio broke free down the right before fizzing a dangerous ball into the middle that had too much pace for Troy Deeney to connect.
Watford’s early pressure continued and Marco Cassetti had a golden chance to register the first goal on seven minutes but powered his header over the bar from Sean Murray’s corner.
Ikechi Anya fired over another warning shot for Watford after composing himself well from 18 yards but the Hornets were made to pay for those missed chances.
Wickham took charge at a set piece from just outside the area and hit a fierce strike over the wall that positively flew past Jonathan Bond in the Hornet’s net.
Nyron Nosworthy made a vital last ditch challenge to stop Jacques Maghoma in his tracks as the Owls threatened to strengthen their grip on the game.
Five minutes before the interval, Watford were celebrating what they thought was the equaliser when Anya hit home from Deeney’s feed but the goal was ruled out for an offside call.
Still, Watford continued to push for a leveller and looked certain to do so but for a fine double save from Damian Martinez.
First Murray struck from outside the area and as Martinez saved, the rebound fell to Anya with the Owls keeper still on the deck, but the Arsenal loanee quickly narrowed the angle and thwarted the Hornets once again.
The home side began the second period on the front foot and enjoyed good spells of possession as the game approached the hour mark.
Wednesday survived a nervy goalmouth scramble in the 64th minute as Watford pressed for the equaliser but a combination of effective goalkeeping a resolute defending saw the Owls hang on to their slender lead.
There was a sense of frustration amongst the home faithful who watched on as Watford failed to capitalise from promising positions.
But with the Owls defending deep and holding on to what they had, it was set to be a nervy five minutes of time added on – as signalled by the fourth official.
And Watford almost did find their way through when Fernando Forestieri went clean through on goal but sidefooted wide of the target as Wednesday posted three vital points on the board.
Watford: Bond, Bellerin, Battocchio (Forestieri 69), Deeney, Murray, Hall (McGugan 81), Faraoni (Fabbrini 51), Anya, Cassetti, Thorne, Nosworthy
Owls: Martinez, Palmer, Roger Johnson, Loovens, Reda Johnson, Lee, Semedo, McPhail (Olofinjana 75), Maghoma (McCabe 88), Helan, Wickham