REPORT: Fulham 0-1 Owls
A Ross Wallace stunner gave the Owls a welcome win at Fulham as Carlos Carvalhal’s men started 2016 in style.
Wallace lashed home from all of 30 yards in the first half by the Thames, giving Wednesday their third travelling triumph of the season.
It could have been more than 1-0 too as the visitors went close on numerous occasions but the three points were the target, which was duly achieved.
With Fulham the most prolific team in the Championship but owning one of the leakiest defences, Wednesday’s brief was clear – stop the hosts scoring while adding to their woes at the back.
And just two minutes in, Gary Hooper headed inches past the post from a Liam Palmer punt as the Owls started on the front foot.
Vincent Sasso, making a rare start, then saw a snapshot on the angle cannon into Jamie O’Hara near the goal line.
But Fulham hit back and an Emerson Hyndman strike from 12 yards brought the best out of a diving Joe Wildsmith midway through the first 45.
Moments later, Jamie O’Hara got perfect purchase on a shot from distance only to see the ball whistle inches wide – just before the Owls burst forward themselves and took the lead on 29 minutes.
Little seemed on for Wallace out on the far touchline but the Scot cut inside and unleashed a bullet of a shot that sailed into the top corner off the underside of the crossbar.
Fulham pressed for an equaliser in the latter stages of the opening period and the early throes of the second but Wednesday stood firm and almost doubled their advantage on 54 minutes.
Barry Bannan found the advancing Hooper with a peach of a delivery but the striker was foiled by Andy Lonergan, who was off his line to deal with the danger.
Next is was Atdhe Nuhiu’s turn to break and test Lonergan on the angle this time, to which the keeper was equal with an acrobatic save.
Fulham then out their stall for the leveller and Sasso thwarted Moassa Dembele with a perfectly timed last-ditch challenge – but the hosts were vulnerable to the counter and were nearly caught on 69 minutes.
Nuhiu flicked on for Hooper, who went scampering in on goal only to be denied once again by the alert figure of Lonergan.
The closing minutes saw more of the same from both sides and for all their efforts, Fulham could not break done a resolute Owls backline, who held out without concern to aid the maximum haul.
Wednesday: Wildsmith, Palmer, Loovens, Sasso, Pudil, Lee, Bannan, Wallace (Sougou 76), Forestieri (Helan 90), Hooper, Nuhiu (Joao 89)