Report: Middlesbrough 1-0 Owls
The Owls put up a gutsy show on Teesside after conceding just 44 seconds in but just fell short against top of the table Middlesbrough.
Christhian Stuani’s strike proved the difference but Wednesday, having made six changes from the side that beat Birmingham on Boxing Day, slowly but surely hauled themselves back into the contest and on another day might have claimed a point.
But the home side flexed their promotion credentials to hang on to their lead and run out winners at their almost impregnable Riverside Stadium home, where the Owls were off to the worst possible start.
Inside the first minute, Stewart Downing crossed from the left and into the path of the advancing Stuani and the Uruguayan powered home from close range.
Stuani threatened again on the 15-minute mark, this time forcing Joe Wildsmith into action following a deep George Friend feed.
But after weathering the early storm Wednesday grew into the game, albeit without causing any real concern in the Boro backline.
And as the rest of the first half unfolded, the contest was even in terms of opportunities but the hosts were good value for their lead overall.
Carlos Carvalhal introduced Fernando Forestieri and Daniel Pudil for the second half and the Owls certainly looked a better proposition in the second 45.
Forestieri went close with a stabbed effort on the hour as Wednesday offered much more in the final third.
Barry Bannan tried his luck from distance but straight into the arms of Dimi Konstantopoulos before a Pudil header was cleared off the line by Daniel Ayayla.
The closing stages saw Wednesday press for the equaliser and they were almost camped in the Boro half right to the final whistle but that all-important breakthrough just would not come.
Wednesday: Wildsmith, Hutchinson (Pudil 46), Loovens, Semedo (Forestieri 46), Wiggins, Helan (Nuhiu 68), Joao, Lee, Sougou, Bannan