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Match Report


Posted Tue 05 Apr 16 at 21:45 PM

Report: Sheff Wed 2 Rovers 1

Rovers were left to rue refereeing decisions once more as a Ross Wallace double downed Paul Lambert's side at Hillsborough.

After a first half that saw little in the way of goalmouth action, the game sprang into life seconds after the restart when Craig Conway headed home Darragh Lenihan's centre.

But then the match turned into Groundhog Day for Rovers, as like Saturday, they went from leading to finding themselves a man light and in a losing position.

As a foul and a handball were missed on halfway, Wednesday swiftly countered and Ross Wallace's centre looped off the unfortunate Adam Henley and into the back of the net.

It then got worse when goalscorer Conway was issued a straight red for a mis-timed tackle on Alex Lopez. The home side taking full advantage of the extra man as Fernando Forestieri teed up Wallace for his second of the match.

Rovers went for broke in the closing stages as they threw on a host of attackers, but it was the Owls who came the closest to adding to the goal tally when sub Aiden McGeady struck the crossbar in added time.

For the trip to Hillsborough Rovers made four changes from the side that lost to Preston at the weekend.

Grant Hanley returned from suspension to captain the side, replacing Shane Duffy who was serving his own one-match ban. Adam Henley, who scored in this fixture last season, replaced Tommy Spurr who missed the match with an achilles knock. Craig Conway and Matt Grimes also came into the starting eleven, with Tony Watt missing out with a groin injury and Hope Akpan dropping to the bench.

On a chilly evening in south Yorkshire it was an open start to the match with both sides looking to exploit the space that was available.

Whilst Rovers saw plenty of the ball in the opening moments, it was the home side with the first effort at goal. Ross Wallace with a speculative effort from distance that rolled through for Jason Steele to comfortably claim.

Rovers responded with good attacking play of their own. Danny Graham threading a ball through for the chasing Ben Marshall, but after beating Daniel Pudil, the full back's effort was well blocked by Glenn Loovens at the expense of a corner.

The Wednesday captain was injured in the process and although he attempted to play on, he was eventually unable to continue and was replaced on 26 minutes by Vincent Sasso.

Marshall saw another sight of goal soon afterwards but he fired high into the stand occupying the Rovers fans, before Graham struck well on the volley, but as Keiren Westwood saved low, the linesman's flag was raised for offside.

As the half wore on the home side came more into the game winning a series of corner kicks.

Lucas Joao headed over from a Wallace centre from the left, whilst Gary Hooper turned Hanley in the area but his poked effort was easily claimed by Steele.

Wednesday continued to threaten, but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock in the first half was a swerving shot from Alex Lopex. Steele struggled to claim but eventually held on at the second attempt.

Whilst there was little in the way of goalmouth action in the first 45, within 20 seconds of the restart Rovers were in front.

After getting the second half underway Lambert's side immediately went on the attack, Elliott Bennett playing the ball back to Darragh Lenihan and the Irishman's curling cross was superbly headed home at the back post by Conway.

But just like the match on Saturday, the game was turned on it's head by yet another piece of bad officiating.

Grimes looked to have been fouled from behind as he brought the ball under control, then a handball went un-noticed as the home side claimed possession. Quickly Hooper spread play wide to the right to where Wallace's centre deflected off the unfortunate Henley and looped over Steele and into the back of the net.

90 seconds later it got worse for Rovers as they were reduced to ten men for the third successive match. Mis-controlling in the centre of the park, goalscorer Conway lunged to regain possession, but missed the ball and caught Lopez high.

Referee David Webb immediately went for his top pocket and issued a straight red card to the Scotsman.

No stranger to playing with ten men, Rovers reorganised with Elliott Bennett moving from his supporting role with Graham up front to move to the left side of midfield.

But they had barely readjusted when the Owls grabbed the lead on 62 minutes. A long punt upfield from keeper Westwood was missed by a Rovers player, and as Fernando Forestieri dumped Marshall on his backside, he squared for Wallace on the penalty spot and he made no mistake to put the home side in front.

Rovers threw on Hope Akpan, Chris Brown and Simeon Jackson for Jordi Gomez, Bennett and Lenihan in the closing stages as they went for broke. But aside from a Marshall long throw that Elliott Ward glanced on, and an Akpan header that went wide, they didn't unduly threaten a Wednesday side that struck the bar in added time through substitute Aiden McGeady.

SHEFF WEDS: Westwood, Loovens (c) (sub Sasso 26 mins), Hooper, Lees, Lucas Joao, Lee, Lopez, Hunt, Wallace (sub McGeady 77 mins), Pudil, Forestieri.

Subs not used: Wildsmith (GK), Palmer, Matias, Nuhiu, McGugan.

Goals: Wallace 51, 62 mins

Booked: Lee

ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Hanley (c), Ward, Henley, Lenihan (sub Jackson 84 mins), Conway, Grimes, J. Gomez (sub Akpan 72 mins), Bennett (sub Brown 77 mins), Graham.

Subs not used: Raya (GK), Kilgallon, Lowe, Williamson.

Goals: Conway 46 mins

Booked: None

Off: Conway

Attendance: 21,803 (including 440 Rovers fans)

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