LEE GHOSTS IN TO WIN IT FOR OWLS

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Brind­ley

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.”

PIC­TURES: Si­mon Davies/ProS­ports

LEE-DING ROLE: Kieran Lee cel­e­brates the equaliser, in­set

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