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Back to winning ways

1 January 2014

Wednesday were back to winning ways at Hillsborough on New Year’s Day against Blackpool.

It was the perfect start to 2014, with goals after the break from Connor Wickham and Chris Maguire sealing the win for Wednesday, who climbed out of the bottom three.

The victory and three points was exactly what the Owls deserved, having remained largely untroubled throughout the 90 minutes and producing arguably their best home display of the season.

Following a 1.30pm pitch inspection, the game was given the go ahead by the match officials in the wet conditions at Hillsborough.

Blackpool headed into the game aiming to arrest their slide down the Championship with five defeats from six.

And the visitors were immediately under pressure as Jacques Maghoma advanced towards goal and fired an early warning shot which Matt Gilks gathered.

The early action was lively and the Owls created a superb chance to hit the front after 12 minutes.

Maghoma, who looked bright throughout the early exchanges, beat his man down the left before cutting back for Wickham, whose first time hit was crucially blocked by Gary MacKenzie.

Maguire then fizzed a low shot with the outside of his boot inches wide but it was Blackpool who carved the best chance of the opening period on 35 minutes.

Thomas Ince fed Dan Gosling in the area and, as the midfielder was blocked out by a combination of good defending and goalkeeping by Liam Palmer and Chris Kirkland, Roger Johnson’s clearance cannoned back off Tyler Blackett and hit the upright before the danger was cleared.

After a high tempo first 45, the game exploded into life in the early minutes of the second period as the Owls got their noses in front through dangerman Wickham.

Reda Johnson’s low ball into the area fell to Wickham, who had plenty to do with the ball slightly behind, but the striker adjusted well to thump into the bottom corner, despite the best efforts of Jack Robinson on the line.

And things were to get better moments later for Wednesday, who doubled their advantage through Maguire.

Wickham burst powerfully into BlackPool's 18-yard box and delivered the most inviting of centres across goal, leaving Maguire with the simple task of slotting into the Kop net. 

With Wednesday in the ascendancy, the Owls almost put the result beyond doubt when Wickham cleverly lobbed Gilks from the angle but the ball just dropped the wrong side of the post.

Maghoma continued to trouble the visitors, as the Blackpool backline could only watch the winger charge into the area with menace but his shot was beaten away by Gilks.

Blackpool rallied late in the game but to no avail as the Owls hit the ground running with the perfect start to 2014.

Owls: Kirkland, Palmer, Loovens, Roger Johnson, Reda Johnson, Lee, Semedo, Maghoma, Maguire (Antonio 89), Wickham, Nuhiu (Jermaine Johnson   76)

Blackpool: Gilks, Blackett (Delfouneso 64), Robinson, Cathcart, MacKenzie, Ferguson, Gosling, Martinez (Chopra 57), Fuller (Davies 77), Ince, Bishop

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