LEE GHOSTS IN TO WIN IT FOR OWLS
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY’S ‘ghost’ became a Hillsborough hero for the second home game running to settle a highly entertaining afternoon.
Two-goal midfielder Kieran Lee, whom manager Carlos Carvalhal claims doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, popped up with a 91stminute winner that scarcely helped the boss’ nerves.
Earlier Henri Lansbury blasted Forest into a half-time lead with a 30yard piledriver as the visitors played their full part in an all-action Championship clash.
“He’s a ghost,” Carvalhal said of Lee. “He’s a player coaches like. I said a week after I came that I appreciated his ability and he could be a fantastic player for us.”
But the manager doesn’t want too many more last-gasp heroics.
“If my players are trying to kill me, they are doing a good job,” he added. “One more game like that could finish me off.
“We created a lot of chances throughout the game against a tough and organised opponent.
“Forest had their chances too, but the team with more of the ball, chances and offensive play was us.”
Anyone who leaves an Owls game before the final whistle is plain daft.
This was the fourth late drama in five starts and buried the memory of last weekend’s defeat at Birmingham.
Wednesday edged it, as Carvalhal said, but there were encouraging signs, too, for Forest.
For the first time this season they were beginning to look resolute defensively before they fatally allowed Lee free rein to nod in a Ross Wallace corner in the 68th minute.
To be fair, the Reds survived a number of scares before going in front.
Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic saved well from both Wallace and Steven Fletcher inside the first 17 minutes – a period during which Gary Hooper should have scored with an angled shot.
When Stojkovic did spill a Fletcher header, the outstanding Michael Mancienne nipped in to save Forest – not for the last time either.
Mustapha Carayol played a part in Forest’s goal with a skilful run and pass that capped a fine first-half display. Lansbury’s ambitious shot took a slight deflection and looped over Keiren Westwood.
It could have been still worse for Owls as Apostolos Vellios let fly two minutes later only for Westwood to make a fine save.
Westwood was the hero early in the second as he got his fingertips to a superb Vellios header after full back Eric Lichaj charged down the left flank.
After Wednesday’s equaliser, both sides tried to win it. Stojkovic punched out Jack Hunt’s blast and a chip from Wallace was brilliantly headed off the line by Chris Cohen. At the other end, Matt Mills saw his header saved by Westwood.
Fletcher played a key role in the winner, doing well to find Lee whose scooped finish finally floored Forest.
Forest head coach Philippe Montanier said: “It is not easy to come to Sheffield and I am disappointed that we lost at the end of the game.
“I can correct our mistakes but not the two decisions that went against us.
“We should have had a throw-in before the first goal and Ben Osborn was fouled before their second. Those decisions have killed us.
“We defended very well for most of the game and had some good counter-attacks. I will continue to work with my players.”
LEE-DING ROLE: Kieran Lee celebrates the equaliser, inset