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Stevie May’s free kick eight minutes from time was enough to see Sheffield Wednesday beat Reading at Hillsborough.
On the back of six clean sheet in the Owls’ last nine games, goals were always going to be a rare commodity and so it proved in a cagey, tactical affair.
At the other end, Keiren Westwood was the hero for Wednesday, keeping out a first-half penalty from Glenn Murray which ultimately set the Owls up for victory.
Head Coach Stuart Gray named an unchanged side after Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Birmingham City.
The home side’s only genuine chance of the opening period came through May, who dragged a shot just wide of the far post from a tight angle.
Reading threatened in patches but failed to create any clear-cut openings, until the half-hour mark when Giles Coke tangled with Murray and a penalty was awarded.
The man on loan from Crystal Palace dusted himself down to take the spot-kick, but saw his effort tremendously saved by the legs of Westwood.
Ten minutes into the second half, Atdhe Nuhiu appeared to have his shirt pulled in the area by Jake Cooper but the referee waved away the home side’s penalty appeals.
Moments later, Westwood saved Cooper’s header from point-blank range, before the Reading defender again came close, this time being denied by the bar.
The game was beginning to open up and midway through the second half May fired just wide shortly after providing a chance for Nuhiu.
On 77 minutes, Nick Blackman’s long-range free kick brought out the best of Westwood again as he acrobatically tipped the strike wide.
Five minutes later, the deadlock was finally broken.
Cooper handled the ball on the edge of the area and May drove the resulting free kick into the net via a deflection to seal the points for Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Mattock, Loovens, Semedo, May, Palmer, Nuhiu, Maguire (Helan 76), Coke (Hope 64), Lees, Maghoma (Dielna 90)
Reading: Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Norwood, Cox (Mackie 73), Obita, Akpan (Guthrie 87), Murray (Pogrebnyak 67), Blackman, Taylor, Cooper