The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Wragg

AS­TON Villa crashed to their first home league de­feat for seven months and lost in­jured cap­tain John Terry for up to three months.

“Terry is in hospi­tal and it looks as if he’s got a bro­ken metatarsal, which is bad news for all of us,” said stunned Villa boss Steve Bruce.

Bruce also had to take off Robert Sn­od­grass, who had painkilling in­jec­tions be­fore the game for bro­ken ribs but could not make it to half-time.

“A bad af­ter­noon has got worse with the news that Terry has the in­jury and he will be out for some time,” added Bruce.

“Let’s hope it’s not so bad and it is go­ing to be six weeks rather than 12 when we get the re­sults from hospi­tal .

“Terry has been im­mense for us. It will get worse when we think it over. Get­ting beaten you ac­cept, but los­ing key play­ers is crit­i­cal for us.

“It’s this game we are in– it kicks you in the balls.”

Villa keep their place in the top five, while Wed­nes­day, af­ter a moder­ate start, are clos­ing in on the pro­mo­tion places. Look out Cham­pi­onship teams – Jor­dan Rhodes is back in the goals.

He fin­ished off Villa with a 23rd-minute strike, his sec­ond in suc­ces­sive games af­ter a ter­ri­ble run of 24 league ap­pear­ances with­out one.

For some­one with a ca­reer record of 194 in 396 that is as un­be­liev­able as some of Don­ald Trump’s tweets, and not what Sh­effield Wed­nes­day paid £10m for.

It’s also the first time Rhodes has scored in suc­ces­sive games for seven months – all won­der­ful news for Wed­nes­day boss Car­los Car­val­hal.

The Por­tuguese has come un­der pres­sure this sea­son but has kept cool.

“There is a mas­sive dif­fer­ence from what is said on the in­ter­net and the real fans,” he said. “So­cial me­dia is the en­emy of clubs.

“This is some­thing we ap­pre­ci­ate be­cause the com­mit­ment be­tween us and the fans was re­ally good, even in the bad mo­ments.”

Wed­nes­day climb to within two points of the top six on the back of this win and with three of the top six los­ing, a chal­lenge for the pro­mo­tion places is more than pos­si­ble.

Car­val­hal took Rhodes off with 18 min­utes left but by then Wed­nes­day had beaten a Villa team who put in their worst per­for­mances for weeks .

Adam Reach got Wed­nes­day off and run­ning with a ter­rific goal af­ter only 19 sec­onds. Wed­nes­day were in con­trol from that point apart from Chris Samba’s late, late goal.

To be fair Reach’s goal was won­der­ful; high on con­fi­dence, he looked up and cracked one in from 20 yards.

That was Reach’s third goal in three games in one week, a very good week with a draw against Barns­ley and wins against Mill­wall and Villa.

Rhodes also scored against Mill­wall and what a re­lief that must have been af­ter such a long wait for a goal.

Now he has re­mem­bered what to do he got an­other, with a typ­i­cal Rhodes goal from close range hav­ing been given the chance by Gary Hooper’s through ball.

The irony is that Bruce tried to sign Rhodes.

Villa had more of the play in the sec­ond half but with­out threat un­til Christo­pher Samba, on for Terry, turned in a goal in at the death.

It was their first home de­feat of the sea­son in front of their big­gest crowd. Some­thing else for Bruce to mull over to­day.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

RHODES WORKS: Jor­dan Rhodes cel­e­brates af­ter his sec­ond goal in as many games

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