Old boy haunts Wednesday
Former Owls loanee Keith Treacy came back to haunt his ex-employers as Burnley beat Wednesday 2-0 on New Year’s Day.
The Clarets’ substitute – who proved an instrumental figure in the Owls’ surge to promotion last season – came up trumps in the second half to ensure the points went back over the Pennines.
First, Treacy gave Burnley the lead with an accurate long range drive before promptly winning a penalty converted by Ross Wallace to end Wednesday’s recent run of resistance.
With ten points stored from their last four games, the Owls were out to build on a productive Christmas calendar, while the Lancashire side arrived at Hillsborough with one win from the same sequence.
Dave Jones recalled Mamady Sidibe to his starting line-up but at the other end, the visitors were dealt a blow with the absence through injury of leading marksman Charlie Austin.
But it was a defender who engineered the game’s first incident of note 11 minutes in.
Right back Kieran Trippier picked up possession thirty yards out and advanced to unleash a fierce drive that beat Chris Kirkland and rattled the Kop crossbar to give Wednesday an early let-off.
The Owls responded with Kieran Lee forcing a near post save from erstwhile Wednesday keeper Lee Grant following good work down the left by Jeremy Helan and Michail Antonio.
Clarets skipper Jason Shackell then squandered an excellent opportunity on the volley after a well-worked free kick opened up the Wednesday rearguard.
And moments later, Burnley had a better chance still when Trippier delivered a teasing cross into the danger zone that somehow evaded the onrushing Sam Vokes.
The first half played out in the balance, with neither team taking any real control, although the Clarets certainly enjoyed the better of the chances.
And that was evidenced three minutes before the break when Chris McCann found a route on goal down the left side of the penalty area only to be denied by the alert Kirkland.
The Owls perhaps needed a little more impetus for the second period and set off that way with Helan making a now trademark dash into the penalty area before pulling back for Lee, who saw his whistling shot blocked.
Antonio’s effort on the rebound spawned a similar outcome, moments before the same player was thwarted by Grant following a cute through ball by Rhys McCabe.
Wednesday introduced Chris O’Grady for Sidibe on the hour but the next chance fell to Burnley when, with little appearing on from some distance, Wallace drilled in a screamer that the diving Kirkland parried round the post.
And on 63 minutes, the Clarets went one better and opened the scoring.
A loose ball found its way to Treacy 25 yards from goal and the wideman picked his spot right into the far corner to give his side the advantage.
Then, with 15 minutes to go and the Owls chasing the game, the points were sealed, with Treacy again at the heart.
The Irishman’s cross into the box was handled by Lewis Buxton, the referee pointed to the spot, and up stepped Wallace to conclude matters from 12 yards.
Still there was time for Treacy to hit the post with a rocket shot almost on the whistle as his side ultimately finished comfortable winners.
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, Mattock, Prutton (J Johnson 72), McCabe, Lee, Helan, Antonio, Sidibe (O’Grady 58)
Unused substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, Jones, Corry, Madine
Burnley: Grant, Ings, Vokes, Lafferty, Wallace, Trippier, Paterson (Treacy 41), McCann (Edgar 60), Shackell, Duff, Stock (Bartley 90)
Unused substitutes: Jensen, O’Neill, Stewart, Long