Wednesday earn huge derby win

Ten-man Sheffield Wednesday sent Yorkshire rivals Barnsley into

the Championship relegation places after a crucial 2-1 victory at

Hillsborough on Saturday.

It had been a poor encounter which Barnsley had dominated until

Gary Madine ended a four-month wait for a goal when he finished

from close range in the 65th minute.

That goal inspired Wednesday and Reda Johnson made it two with a

header 12 minutes later and Madine should have put the gloss on it

but he missed from the spot before Lewis Buxton saw red following

two yellow cards.

However, with results elsewhere going against them, the Owls

were unable to put further distance between themselves and the

bottom three, meaning their quest for survival looks like going

down to the wire.

Barnsley’s fate will also not be decided for a few weeks as this

defeat, which rarely looked on the cards until the Owls’ opener,

ends a sequence of back-to-back wins and sees them drop back into

the bottom three, despite Jacob Mellis’ late consolation.

The opening exchanges lacked the intensity you would expect from

a South Yorkshire derby that had huge importance at the bottom of

the league, though Barnsley had the better of the first 15 minutes,

with Jim O’Brien dragging an effort wide and Chris Dagnall seeing

his shot spilled by Chris Kirkland.

After a lengthy period of poor quality play there was finally

some goalmouth action to savour shortly before the break as

Dagnall’s shot was well blocked by Miguel Llera and then Marlon

Harewood hooked wide from a good position at the far post following

a good cross from Tom Kennedy.

Having had no shots on target in the first half, Wednesday could

not be any worse after the break and they did force Steele into

some work, first from Leroy Lita’s tame header and then from a Reda

Johnson header, which the defender should have done better

with.

Those two efforts did little to spark the Owls into life,

though, as the Reds continued to be the better side and they almost

broke the deadlock on the hour. David Perkins found Reuben

Noble-Lazarus and the substitute unleashed a vicious effort that

Kirkland superbly turned over the bar.

David Flitcroft’s men continued to push and Kirkland was again

called into action when he got down well to keep out Jason

Scotland’s effort after the impressive Mellis burst into the

box.

Just as it looked like Barnsley were edging ahead, Wednesday

took the lead out of nowhere and against the run of play. Lewis

Buxton broke down the right after Jermaine Johnson’s pass and slid

a superb ball across the face of goal which Madine turned in at the

far post. Madine had been a virtual spectator until his timely

contribution and it was his first goal since early December, a run

of 13 games.

The deserved second eventually came in the 77th minute when Reda

Johnson had acres of space to head home Llera’s free-kick. It was

all Wednesday at this point and it should have been three but

Madine blazed his spot-kick wide after Bobby Hassell’s

handball.

However, Barnsley made a game of it in six minutes of added time

when Mellis smashed home from 16 yards as a previously drab game

ended in a flourish.