WEDNESDAY 1 TOWN 2
Paterson and Clayton net on their return
Adam Clayton and Martin Paterson produced on their return to the side with two clinical finishes to put Sheffield Wednesday to the sword.
Paterson’s first of the season – his 50th league goal – was created by Clayton, who worked space superbly before picking out the Northern Ireland international.
After missing a couple of good chances, Clayton put the contest to bed midway through the second half with a low finish to earn the Terriers a deserved victory.
Wednesday were poor in the first half, but improved when Jermaine Johnson was introduced who forced Alex Smithies into two smart saves with efforts from range.
Connor Wickham scored a very late consolation, but Town held on to continue their impressive recent form at Hillsborough.
Mark Robins made six changes from the side that lost to Birmingham last time out for the trip to Hillsborough.
James Vaughan returned to captain the side, while Adam Clayton, Martin Paterson, Joel Lynch, Jonathan Hogg and Tommy Smith – who made his league debut – were all drafted in.
Town had scored seven goals in their last two visits to Hillsborough and within twelve minutes had added their eighth. It was a combination that Town had been missing that created the goal, with Paterson latching on to Clayton’s superb reverse pass to set Robins’ men on their way.
It was a goal that Town’s early play had deserved with Clayton, Oliver Norwood and Hogg dominating the play from the middle of the park.
Tommy Smith, who made his professional debut at Hull in the Capital One Cup, looked assured in place of injured Captain Peter Clarke and made a couple of vital interceptions during the half, one of which denied Connor Wickham a goal scoring opportunity.
Wednesday, who had one just once all season - were booed off at half-time – and you could understand why. Their main attacking outlet, Michail Antonio, was getting dominated by Joel Lynch and Paul Dixon, while in attack Wickham and Matty Fryatt were starved of the ball.
Dave Jones introduced Giles Coke and Jermaine Johnson during the interval, but it was Town who continued to dominate at the start of the half and they should have gone two ahead. Dixon’s deflected shot fell perfectly to Vaughan six yards out, but he failed to hit the target on his return.
Paterson also missed a good half chance on his left as Town continued to pass up chances.
Johnson had started the half brightly and was having a far bigger impact than Antonio. His delivery in the 53rd minute almost created the equaliser, but Fryatt failed to connect under pressure from Lynch.
The winger also forced Alex Smithies into a full length save as Wednesday began to up the ante on the hour mark.
Wednesday’s buoyancy was well and truly sunk just a few minutes later, though, when Clayton marked his return to the side with a well-controlled finish after Norwood’s drive had been blocked.
With Wednesday fans heading for the exit, Johnson showed no signs of giving up and forced Smithies into another full length save from range.
Connor Wickham fired home a late free-kick to earn Wednesday a consolation, but Town held on to record a much needed three points.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies; Joel Lynch, Anthony Gerrard, Tommy Smith; Paul Dixon, Adam Clayton (Oscar Gobern, 89), Oliver Norwood, Jonathan Hogg, Adam Hammill; Martin Paterson (Jazz Richards, 88), James Vaughan
Ian Bennett, Murray Wallace, Duane Holmes, Danny Ward, Sean Scannell
Bookings Wednesday: Stephen McPhail 32, Migual Llera 44
Bookings Town: Adam Clayton 14, James Vaughan 30, Tommy Smith 84, Alex Smithies 90