REPORT: Middlesbrough 2-3 Owls
Sheffield Wednesday continued their excellent start to the new season with an impressive win at Middlesbrough.
And the Owls exorcised a long-standing spirit along the way, posting their maiden victory at The Riverside Stadium.
Stuart Gray’s side headed into half time two goals up through Atdhe Nuhiu and Stevie May – the latter’s first for the club.
Nuhiu completed the job in the second period and despite Grant Leadbitter converting two penalties for Boro, it proved futile to prevent an Owls triumph.
The visitors were off to a dream start, going ahead after just six minutes.
A Jacques Maghoma corner was swung to the far post, where Glenn Loovens nodded back across goal and after a brief scramble in the six-yard box, Nuhiu forced over the line.
Boro were stung into life and Adam Reach drilled a low shot on the angle that Keiren Westwood flicked wide.
The hosts went closer still on 16 minutes when Leadbitter aimed a dipping free kick that came back into play off the top of the crossbar.
Wednesday hit the woodworks themselves midway through the first half. Maghoma delivered a low ball from the left into the box that May clipped goalwards only to see Tomas Mejis brush onto the post.
Then, four minutes before half time, the Owls went one better and doubled their lead.
Nuhiu glanced on from a deep diagonal free kick into the path of May, who made no mistake in placing over the advancing Mejias.
And things just got better for Wednesday ten minutes after the break. Maghoma floated an accurate set piece into the mix and Nuhiu was up first to power a firm header past Mejias.
The game appeared all but over in terms of the destiny of the points but Boro were still in pursuit of a response and Westwood had to be on his toes to deny Kike at his near post.
Moments later, Liam Palmer bravely went to ground in thwarting substitute Adam Clayton from a blistering hit just outside the penalty area.
And Boro did find the target on 72 minutes as Wednesday conceded a penalty for the second successive game.
Loovens tripped Kike after a skilful turn from the striker, the referee pointed to the spot and Leadbitter did the honours from 12 yards.
Coke headed against the post at the other end, which would have seen Wednesday out of sight if an inch across.
Then just as the Owls seemed to be cruising to the final whistle, Middlesbrough were awarded a second penalty two minutes into stoppage time.
Loovens was adjudged to have handled a Leadbitter shot and the midfield man stepped up to smash past Westwood.
Boro motored forward in the dying moments but to no avail and the Owls breathed a sigh of relief when the whistle sounded to close a compelling Championship contest.
Middlesbrough: Mejias, Damia (Clayton 46), Friend, Ayala, Leadbitter, Kike, Tomlin (Williams 66), Whitehead, Reach, Omerou, Adomah
Owls: Westwood, Palmer, Loovens, Lees, Mattock, Maghoma (McCabe 89), Semedo, Coke, Maguire, Nuhiu (Madine 70), May (Helan 81)