REPORT: Sheffield Wednesday v Wanderers

Revitalised Wanderers couldn’t quite end Sheffield Wednesday’s club record unbeaten run but pushed the title favourites all the way to end their winning streak and secure a prized point at Hillsborough.

Victor Adeboyejo’s second goal in three games cancelled out an early strike from Lee Gregory as the Whites denied Wednesday a sixth successive victory and the chance to further tighten their grip on top spot in League One.

The Owls extended their undefeated streak to 23 games but certainly knew they’d been in a fight against a Wanderers’ side that got their play-off push moving back in the right direction with the ideal send-off ahead of Wembley.

Ian Evatt’s men don’t play again until their big date with Plymouth Argyle on 2 April.

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And they will now go into the Papa Johns Trophy final with momentum restored following two defeats in three games after an impressive performance which the manager ranked as one of their best away from home this season – which might have yielded even more had Dion Charles been awarded the second-half penalty he seemingly should have been.

Wanderers brought back former Wednesday favourite Kieran Lee as one of three changes to their starting line-up.

And Lee almost made an instant impact as he forced the first of a couple of early corners the Whites couldn’t capitalise on in a bright start.

It didn’t take long for Wednesday to find their stride, though, as they looked to continue their remarkable run.

James Trafford, whose latest call-up by England’s Under-21s had been confirmed earlier in the day, made a superb save to keep out a snap-shot from Gregory.

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But with 10 minutes gone – and after Josh Windass had twice threatened the goal –Trafford was powerless to stop Gregory putting the Owls ahead when his shot from 10 yards out took a deflection to fly into the roof of the net after the visitors hadn't cleared a throw-in.

That gave the leaders the platform they wanted and the Whites had to dig deep to stay in the contest as leader Ricardo Almeida Santos majestically held things together around him.

And having done that, they built up some momentum of their own to equalise 10 minutes before half time.

Wanderers had targeted Wednesday’s left side as a possible avenue of attack and it was that flank they exploited to force the leveller.

Josh Sheehan had looked one of the Whites’ most composed performers on his return to the side and it was the midfielder who started the move by working the ball wide for Conor Bradley to release Gethin Jones.

Jones then looked up and pull the ball back perfectly for Adeboyejo to smoothly sweep home a vital goal from 15 yards out and his 15th of the season.

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That goal injected confidence back into the Wanderers’ ranks as they went toe-to-toe with the home side and looked more than their match in an entertaining start to the second half.

It was gripping stuff as the two sides battled for supremacy, Wanderers dominating possession and dealing well with any threat that came their way on the break and surely asking as many questions as any previous visitor to Hillsborough this season.

Evatt utilised his substitutions to try and maintain the tempo and with 20 minutes to go the Whites thought they should have had a penalty when Charles got in behind the Owls’ defence and looked to be bundled to the ground by Aden Flint.

Attacking the end housing a superb and vocal away following of close to 2,750, Wanderers carried an increasing threat of their own and after Wednesday struggled to deal with a free-kick from Declan John, substitute Cameron Jerome volleyed just over the top.

The Whites looked capable of finding a winner as they finish full of running, while Wednesday had one last chance for Liam Palmer he struck over the top.

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There was to be no late drama but Wanderers had made their point as they left their league campaign in good shape with a slightly bigger gap above those trying to catch them in the play-off places and the chance to plan for Wembley in upbeat mood.

Wanderers: Trafford; Jones, Almeida Santos, Toal; Bradley, Dempsey (Morley 72), Sheehan, John; Lee (Shoretire 72); Charles (Kachunga 80), Adeboyejo (Jerome 61). Substitutes: N’Lundulu, R Williams, Mbete.

Booked: Santos

Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson; Palmer, Flint, Famewo; Hunt, Dele-Bashiru, Vaulks, Bannon, James (Johnson HT); Windass (Smith 60); Gregory (Adeniran 79). Substitutes: Stockdale, Brown, Bakinson, Alimi-Adetoro.

Booked: Bannan

Referee: Sam Purkiss

Attendance: 29,230

Read Time: 4 mins