FURIOUS OWLS BEATEN AFTER FORESTIERI RED
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY boss Carlos Carvalhal was left fuming at Fernando Forestieri’s red card which he claimed was the turning point in the Owls’ loss to Preston.
Joe Garner’s header secured the win seven minutes after Forestieri was sent off having received a second yellow for trying to handle the ball into the net.
It was a first defeat in eight league games for Wednesday, while Preston are up to 10th having lost just one of their last nine Championship matches.
It was Forestieri’s first yellow card which had Carvalhal seething. The Italian was booked for diving, and Carvalhal said: “The first yellow card is unbelievable because it was a clear foul to us and he gives a yellow to Fernando.
“If he doesn’t go down he will be in front of goal in the area with a very clear chance to score a goal.
“The second yellow seems correct even. Though he doesn’t touch the ball he’s tried to put his hand on the ball and the referee therefore was correct.
“The game was balanced, we both created chances and in the second half we looked as though we would score, but the red card changed it.
“Even with 10 players we took risks and the players fought until the last second to try to win the game.”
Grayson, who celebrated his three-year anniversary at Preston this week, said his side claimed a big scalp by beating the promotionchasing Owls and singled out the defensive display.
“We’re delighted, we knew it would be a tough test for us,” said Grayson. “Wednesday are going really well and they are a massive football club – we’ve got a big scalp today.
“Our defenders want to defend. Some defenders want to be ballplayers but our lads want to defend. They want to get hurt, to tackle and make sure they do everything required to keep a clean sheet.
“There’s been talk about Joe Garner not scoring but he thoroughly deserved his goal. He always puts his body on the line and gives you so much to the team even when he’s not scoring.”
The hosts had the first chance after 10 minutes when Greg Cunningham’s left-wing cross picked out fellow full-back Calum Woods, but he struck wide from 12 yards.
And the Preston pressure continued a minute later when Adam Reach whistled a strike from 20 yards inches over the bar.The hosts were successfully silencing the vast away support.
Were it not for the excellent Westwood, Preston would have taken the lead after 27 minutes, but the keeper sprung low to his right to save Garner’s header from Paul Gallagher’s free-kick.
Sheffield Wednesday are the Championship’s top scorers, but the chances continued to fall for Preston as another Gallagher free-kick made its way to Tom Clarke, but he thrashed wide when unmarked from eight yards.
Ross Wallace’s free-kick on the hour sparked panic in the Preston area and eventually fell to Daniel Pudil, who volleyed over the bar from 12 yards.
The crucial moment came in the 66th minute when Wednesday’s top scorer Forestieri was dismissed, and seven minutes later Preston made the extra man count. Woods’ left-wing cross found Garner at the far post, and his bullet header from six yards gave Westwood no chance.
The visitors pushed for an equaliser and Lucas Joao looked certain to tap home Gary Hooper’s cross after 83 minutes, but a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Clarke denied him.
TIGHT BATTLE: Daniel Johnson and Barry Bannan fight for the ball Inset: Preston celebrate