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Match Reports

Report: Owls 2-2 Stoke

15 September 2018

The Owls came from 2-0 down to salvage a point from a Stoke side that showed their recent Premier League pedigree.

The Potters seemed to have too much for Wednesday, bursting into a 2-0 lead through Benik Afobe.

Marco Matias replied to give the hosts hope and after keeping Stoke at bay, Barry Bannan equalised with an exquisite set piece.

Wednesday had to recover from the worst possible start as Afobe struck just two minutes in.

Mame Diouf played in Afobe down the right angle of the area and the ex-Owls loanee unleashed a fierce shot that rippled the back of the Kop net.

Scenting blood, the visitors poured forward straight after the restart and Tom Ince was a whisker away with a curling left-footer.

But the former Huddersfield man was the architect for the second goal when it did come on 22 minutes.

Ince cleverly threaded through for Afobe, who advanced to calmly finish past Cameron Dawson.

But with Stoke squarely in the driving seat, the Owls hit back within a minute to halve the deficit.

Bannan drove a high ball chested by Steven Fletcher into the path of Matias and the Portuguese aimed accurately into the bottom corner.

Wednesday needed that lifeline and it was nip and tuck for the remainder of the first half.

Neither goalkeeper was troubled but the signs were far more encouraging for the Owls following the earlier double blow.

Wednesday were on the back foot again, though, after the resumption as Stoke rediscovered their stride.

Afobe and Ince went close, so too did Diouf, and the visitors looked the more likely to strike next.

The Owls had the occasional sortie – Adam Reach forced Jack Butland into a save from distance – but by and large Stoke bossed possession.

Dawson blocked from Diouf, Penney from the same player, as Gary Rowett’s side sought to make the points safe.

They were caught on the counter on 77 minutes when Butland dived low to thwart Matt Penney and four minutes later, Wednesday drew level.

Bannan won a free kick 20 yards out and rose to send an unstoppable effort past the rooted Butland and into the net off the post.

Wednesday: Dawson, Palmer, Lees, Thorniley, Penney, Bannan, Pelupessy (Nuhiu 68), Reach (Hector 88), Matias (Onomah 68), Fletcher, Joao

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