REPORT: Newcastle 0-1 Owls
Glenn Loovens’ maiden goal for the Owls secured an outstanding win at table-topping Newcastle.
Wednesday served up a Boxing Day treat for the travelling thousands and those watching live on Sky TV as they turned in a resolute display to shock the hosts.
And overall, the Owls deserved the points, creative at one end and balanced at the other to post their fifth win from six Championship games.
Wednesday made an enterprising start at a sell-out St James’ Park, passing the ball well and keeping possession.
But given the home side’s attacking prowess this term, keeping Newcastle out was always a big ask and but for Keiren Westwood, the Owls would have been a goal down on 12 minutes.
Mo Diame showed good strength to tee up Dwight Gayle, who let fly on the angle but Westwood pulled off a fine reflex save to tip onto the crossbar.
Midway through the first half, Ciaran Clark had a better chance to open the scoring from a Matt Richie corner but headed wide of the mark.
Then the Owls sprung into life, first with Steven Fletcher bringing a fine save from Karl Darlow before the keeper denied Fernando Forestieri from the resulting corner.
It was all Newcastle for the remainder of the opening period but Wednesday were well organised at the back and went down the tunnel on an even keel.
And it could have been better just after the resumption when Barry Bannan presented Fletcher with a close range opening but Darlow was alert to spread himself and smother the danger.
The Owls pressed on, though, and were rewarded on 53 minutes.
Darlow made a stunning save from Tom Lees only to see Forestieri direct back across to Loovens and the skipper nodded home from close range to put Wednesday in front.
Newcastle responded with Yoan Gouffran glancing a header narrowly wide before substitute Christian Atsu forced Westwood into a smart diving save.
It was backs to the wall for the Owls as the clock ticked down and the Magpies poured on the pressure.
The introduction of Aleksandar Mitrovic was the last throw of the dice for Newcastle but it was Clark who had the best opportunity to level as the defender rose again from a Matt Ritchie corner and Westwood saved to leave the leaders frustrated – and the Owls buoyed.
Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Loovens, Pudil, Wallace (Nuhiu 90), Hutchinson, Bannan (Jones 80), Reach, Forestieri (Joao 77), Fletcher