REPORT: Derby 1-1 Wednesday
Wednesday were held to an entertaining 1-1 draw with Derby in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the iPro Stadium.
After a neck and neck first half, Barry Bannan smashed the Owls in front on 69 minutes with a sensational strike from 25 yards, which clipped the crossbar on the way in.
But Rams substitute Darren Bent snatched a late equaliser on 82 minutes after thumping home a header from Johnny Russell’s deep cross.
There was just one change to the Owls starting XI that drew 1-1 with MK Dons on Tuesday, with the suspended Ross Wallace replaced by Aiden McGeady on the right side of midfield.
The hosts had a couple of half chances during the opening period, with Chris Martin testing Keiren Westwood with a low shot which the Irish shot-stopper was equal to.
Jacob Butterfield was next to try his luck with as he tried to whip one in the bottom corner but Westwood again got down well.
It was midway through the first half when Wednesday had their first notable chance of the match.
McGeady teed up Bannan to strike from the edge of the area, which forced the unsighted Scott Carson to push the ball into the path of Gary Hooper, but Rams defender Richard Keogh nipped in to clear their lines.
Westwood was again called into action at the other end of the pitch when Craig Bryson let fly with a fizzing drive from distance but he sublimely tipped over the crossbar.
A smart passing move between Tom Ince and Russell saw the latter close in on goal from a narrow angle; but despite beating Westwood to the ball his looped cross was cleared to safety by Glenn Loovens.
Darren Wassall’s men managed to carve out one final chance before referee Lee Mason sounded his whistle for the break, with Ince curling a free kick less than a foot wide of the top corner.
The visitors burst out of the traps after the interval, and Derby fans had keeper Carson to thank after the ex-Owl produced a stunning save to deny Forestieri’s long range effort.
Derby retaliated with a couple of chances of their own but somehow couldn’t find a way past the in-form Westwood.
The Wednesday goalkeeper denied Russell from point-blank range after Cyrus Christie’s cut-back before denying the same player again moments later with a trailing leg.
A tight game needed a goal, and fresh from his inclusion in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, Bannan stepped forward to fire the Owls in front.
After a neat one-two with Hooper, Bannan curled a delightful shot from 25-yards over the diving Carson and in off the underside of the bar.
Wassall threw poacher Bent on for the Rams with ten minutes to go and the former England striker had an immediate impact as he nodded home at the back post from a Russell cross.
The home side pressed for a winner, but after somehow beating the offside trap Nick Blackman couldn’t get the ball out of his feet inside the six-yard box, with Westwood swiping the ball from his feet.
Wednesday: Westwood, Loovens, Hooper (Joao, 73), Lees, Lee, Lopez, Hunt, Pudil, McGeady (Matias, 68), Bannan, Forestieri (Helan, 85)