Owls ready to kick-on, says de­lighted Luhukay

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

FIVE changes did the trick as Sh­effield Wed­nes­day climbed above As­ton Villa to 10th.

Wed­nes­day man­ager Jos Luhukay, who made the changes, said: “I am very proud of my team after the de­feat at Not­ting­ham For­est in mid­week.

“To play at Villa Park against a very good team... I think it was our best away per­for­mance since I have been at Sh­effield Wed­nes­day.

“We had a lot of good chances and made a very good first goal, but after Villa quickly equalised we had to keep a good feel­ing to score a sec­ond goal.

“It was a fan­tas­tic win and I feel good. After this win we can move for­ward even fur­ther. What im­pressed me was the team spirit. It was our third game in seven days and the play­ers showed great char­ac­ter.

“On the ball we played re­ally well and this is the way I want Wed­nes­day to play. To win at Villa Park against such a big club made me so happy.”

Goals from Marco Ma­tias and Steven Fletcher con­demned Villa to their first Cham­pi­onship home de­feat of the sea­son as their lack of cut­ting edge was ex­posed.

The Owls took the lead when Ma­tias buried his 49th-minute, 18-yard shot into the bot­tom cor­ner. John McGinn lev­elled five min­utes later with his first goal for Villa, a spec­tac­u­lar 20-yard shot on the vol­ley, but the Owls won it with Steven Fletcher’s 66th-minute goal – his sec­ond goal in suc­ces­sive games.

Both strik­ers were de­nied be­fore Fletcher headed over a cross from Adam Reach and, after Daniel Pudil had cleared off the line from Conor Houri­hane, Fletcher was again foiled, this time by Alan Hut­ton, be­fore fi­nally hit­ting the tar­get with a bul­let header from Joey Pelu­pessy’s de­liv­ery.

Wed­nes­day had been the bet­ter side in the first half and a spec­tac­u­lar over­head kick from Fletcher flew nar­rowly wide, but there were few chances at ei­ther end in that open­ing pe­riod.

Villa man­ager Steve Bruce was left to state: “That was only my fifth home de­feat in 100 games with Villa, and twice against Sh­effield Wed­nes­day. We found it very dif­fi­cult against a very re­silient and or­gan­ised Sh­effield side, who played five at the back and four in front of them. The crowd was ter- rific, but I un­der­stand there are some I can never win over.”

As­ton Villa: Ny­land, El­mo­hamady, Ch­ester, Je­d­i­nak, Hut­ton, Adomah (Bo­lasie 68), Houri­hane, McGinn, Gre­al­ish, Kod­jia (El Ghazi 78), Abra­ham. Un­used sub­sti­tutes: Tuanzebe, Whe­lan, Bree, Bjar­na­son, Bunn.

Sh­effield Wed­nes­day: Daw­son, Lees, Hec­tor, Pudil, Baker, Pelu­pessy, Ban­nan, Pen­ney, Reach, Fletcher (Nuhiu 78), Marco Ma­tias (Lu­cas Joao 84). Un­used sub­sti­tutes: Fox, Onomah, Wild­smith, Kirby, Pre­ston.

Ref­eree: D Webb (County Durham).

PIC­TURE: STEVE EL­LIS

ON TAR­GET: Sh­effield Wed­nes­day striker Steven Fletcher, third left, is con­grat­u­lated after his goal at Villa Park.

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