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Match Report


Posted Tue 19 Feb 13 at 21:42 PM

Blues 0 Sheff Wed 0

Blues put in a much-improved display to collect a hard-earned point against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday evening.

Lee Clark’s men had numerous chances to break the deadlock but just failed with their final touch. However, one real positive was that they kept their first league clean sheet since their 2-0 success against Bristol City back on November 6.

Clark made no less than five changes to his starting XI. Nikola Zigic and Marlon King returned up front, with Callum Reilly and Jonathan Spector back in midfield. Mitch Hancox replaced the injured Paul Robinson at left-back, but there was no place in the matchday squad for either Morgaro Gomis or Ravel Morrison.

The Owls included former Blues centre-half Martin Taylor and ex-loanee Leroy Lita in their starting line-up.

Blues started the game extremely brightly and fashioned their first opening after just three minutes when Chris Burke took on and beat Danny Pugh before firing the ball a couple of yards over the bar.

King then tried his luck with a dipping volley from just outside the area that flew over the top. Moments later the same striker just failed to lift his chipped effort over Chris Kirkland after being played through by Jonathan Spector.

Blues were really pressing on now and Wade Elliott saw his strike held at the second time of asking by Kirkland.

Sheffield Wednesday went mightily close to taking the lead after winning a corner. The ball was sent in and met with a powerful close-range header from Miguel Llera. It looked to be heading straight into the back of the net but somehow Jack Butland managed to claw the ball away.

Having enjoyed such a positive quarter of an hour, the game entered a bit of a lull with most of the play taking place in the centre of the park.

But with half an hour played Elliott sent in a deep free kick, which Zigic just failed to get enough on and it flicked off his head and behind for a goal kick.

As the half drew to a close Blues were continuing to press and Elliott’s firm shot was blocked by Llera.

Half-time: Blues 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Wednesday came out after the break fired-up and had Blues under the cosh in the opening stages.

But Blues soon found their attacking rhythm again and had a decent shout for a penalty when Burke appeared to be tripped, but Referee Attwell waved play on.  

The game was flowing nicely now and Steven Caldwell had to be alert to dispossess Lita just as the Wednesday forward burst through on goal.

Referee Attwell was certainly not being generous to Blues as he waved away a clear foul on Marlon King by Antonio right on the edge of the box.

With the Wednesday man being the last player, he would surely have been sent off for a professional foul had he been penalised for his challenge.  

Blues were showing plenty of endeavour and passion, but were struggling to break Wednesday down. But they had glorious chance on goal when the ball found Zigic just five yards out but the Serb directed it just the wrong side of the post when he should have scored. A minute later his strike partner King saw his ferocious shot saved by Kirkland.

With 76 minutes played the impressive Spector sent in a cross from the right which Zigic headed just wide.

But it was not all Blues and Mitch Hancox was forced to clear the ball over his own bar under pressure.

Then just minutes after coming off the substitutes’ bench Gary Madine wasted a golden opportunity for his side as he headed Antonio’s free-kick wide from just six yards out.

The game really opened up in the final minutes as both sides sought out the win. Elliott’s free-kick was almost deflected into his own net by a Wednesday defender and then Hancox produced a game-saving tackle to take the ball off Jermaine Johnson’s foot with the Wednesday forward racing through on goal.

Full-time: Blues 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Blues: Jack Butland, Paul Caddis, Steven Caldwell, Curtis Davies, Mitch Hancox, Chris Burke, Jonathan Spector, Callum Reilly, Wade Elliott, Marlon King (Peter Lovenkrands, 83), Zigic.
Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Pablo Ibanez, Hayden Mullins, Wes Thomas, Nathan Redmond, Rob Hall.
Bookings: None.
Goals: None.

Sheffield Wed: Chris Kirkland, Lewis Buxton, Martin Taylor, Michail Antonio, Jeremy Helan, Danny Pugh, Connor Wickham (Jermaine Johnson, 66), Leroy Lita (Gary Madine, 78), David Prutton, Giles Coke (Rhys McCabe, 80), Miguel Llera.
Subs not used: Stephen Bywater, Jose Semedo, Joe Mattock, Kieran Lee.
Bookings: Coke (13), Antonio (59), Llera (87) , McCabe (88).
Goals: None

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Attendance: 15, 738 (1,953 Sheffield Wednesday fans).

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