REPORT: Owls 1-0 Brighton
A late Leon Best strike sealed the Owls’ fourth consecutive win at Hillsborough on Tuesday against Brighton.
In what was a largely even affair with nothing between the two sides, it appeared the first goalless draw of the season at Hillsborough was looming.
But Best had different ideas when the on loan striker struck past the outstretched arm of Tomasz Kuszczak into the Kop net to win it at the last for the Owls.
While Wednesday were looking to respond after defeat at Doncaster on Saturday, Brighton were also aiming for a return to winning ways to edge closer to the play-off pack.
After a tentative start by both sides it was Brighton was created the first meaningful effort at goal on 15 minutes when Stephen Ward’s corner was glanced onto the crossbar by David Rodriguez.
That close call sparked the Owls into life and Jeremy Helan twice went close for Wednesday, narrowly missing the target on both occasions from out on the left.
Brighton, though, continued to look a threat on the counter and a last ditch challenge from Oguchi Onyewu prevented Will Buckley’s dangerous centre from reaching his team mates in the middle.
Both sides largely cancelled each other out during an even first period and the early throes of the second half followed the same pattern, with both sides showing intent, albeit without finding a breakthrough.
But as the hour mark approached, it was Brighton was almost unlocked the door.
Jake Forster-Caskey played an inch-perfect throughball to Buckley, but the midfielder was denied by Chris Kirkland, who gave the Brighton man no room for manoeuvre in the area.
But time and time again, Brighton were finding that killer pass to release the strikers and it was Rodriguez who was next in on goal, only again to be thwarted by a last ditch challenge from Kirkland.
Just as Brighton were knocking at the door, Wednesday had a double chance at the opposite end with Benik Afobe’s effort pushed wide by Kuszczak and Liam Palmer’s curling shot on the rebound skimming the bar.
Then with stoppage time approaching, it looked as though the points would be shared before Best struck with just minutes left on the clock.
The striker picked up possession midway inside the Brighton half and motored upfield before neatly tucking home a low left-footed strike from out on the left, to win three points for the hosts.
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Onyewu, Loovens, Mattock, Helan (Afobe 72), Lee, Palmer, Hutchinson (Coke 46), Best, Maguire
Brighton: Kuszczak, Saltor, Greer, Upson, Morrow, Ince, Andrews, Lingard, Forster, Caskey, Rodriguez (LuaLua 77), Buckley (March 83)