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Sheffield Wednesday boss Gray: 'Lack of quality cost us'

Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray bemoaned his side's missed chances as they lost 1-0 at home to Wolves.

Stuart Gray Credit: Press Association

"Nobody means to miss deliberately, but for some reason today just wasn't our day. You couldn't fault our effort or commitment, but we just needed that little bit of composure," said Gray.

"Kenny Jackett gets into half-time thinking 'how are we still in the game?', but a lack of quality in front of goal has let us down today."

Gray felt that the Owls dominated the majority of the proceedings, and was unhappy over the defending for Clarke's winner.

"One thing we do know is that a lapse of concentration might cost you, and it did," Gray explained.

"The second half was far too open, but when you are on top like we were, you cannot believe that we haven't got a goal. One lapse of concentration has cost us either one point or three points.

"Coming off back to back wins you couldn't have wished for a better start. We could have been maybe 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes. We dominated with the ball and we dominated with the chances."

Wednesday leave it late to win at Blackburn

Claude Dielna came off the bench in injury time to score the winner as Sheffield Wednesday recorded a 2-1 Sky Bet Championship win at Blackburn.

Claude Dielna Credit: Press Association

The Frenchman had only been on the pitch for a minute when he curled in with the last attack of the game as Stuart Gray's side recorded a dramatic victory.

They went ahead early on through Kieran Lee's close range effort, which was soon cancelled out by Alex Baptiste.

Wednesday were resolute throughout and Stevie May forced a low save from Jason Steele but the best chances fell to the hosts, with Jordan Rhodes heading onto the post and Ryan Tunnicliffe forcing a flying save from Keiren Westwood.

But just as it looked like the spoils would be shared, Dielna popped up to give Wednesday a first Ewood Park success since 1999, ending Rovers' nine-match unbeaten run.

Lee came in for the suspended Jose Semedo for the visitors' only change and Wednesday were soon on the front foot as Steele blocked at the feet of Jeremy Helan and May.

But Gray's side were ahead in the third minute. May sprung the offside trap and although his shot was weak, Steele made a mess of gathering it and Lee was on hand to tap home.

Wednesday were quickest to everything but in Blackburn's first decent spell of possession, they equalised when Rhodes nodded down into the path of Baptiste and e wrapped his foot over the ball to fire past Westwood from 10 yards.

It settled Rovers, who looked in control - but they almost conceded again when Shane Duffy missed a routine clearance and May reacted to force a sharp low save from Steele.

There was a lengthy stoppage after Lewis McGugan had to be carried off on a stretcher after suffering a head injury - and Rovers almost caught the visitors out just after the resumption when Craig Conway whipped in a superb cross that Rhodes glanced onto the far post.

But Wednesday missed a glorious chance to retake the lead after 36 minutes when Glenn Loovens headed over a Royston Drenthe free-kick from five yards.

Wednesday were comfortable for the early exchanges of the second half but Rovers turned the screw as the contest wore on and substitute Tunnicliffe's thunderous volley after 72 minutes forced Westwood into a magnificent save to tip over the crossbar.

David Dunn flashed a shot wide late on but just as it looked like the spoils would be shared, substitute Dielna won it in the final minute of injury time with a 25-yard curling effort that flew past Steele via a deflection to record a first away win at the seventh time of asking.


Stevie May double secures Wednesday win

Stevie May bagged a brace as Sheffield Wednesday ended their 11-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over struggling Wigan.

Stevie May Credit: Press Association

The Scotland international scored either side of half-time after Chris McCann opened the scoring in the Sky Bet Championship clash at Hillsborough.

Owls striker Atdhe Nuhiu headed over in the opening stages before Wigan winger Callum McManaman cut inside from the right at the other end and tested goalkeeper Keiren Westwood at the near post.

The home side almost edged ahead with 18 minutes played when midfielder Jose Semedo, who has registered just one Wednesday goal in four seasons with the club, struck the left-hand upright with a low strike from the edge of the box.

Wigan midfielder McCann then went one better, opening the scoring in the 26th minute.

James McClean curled an inswinging corner into the box from the right and McCann sent a powerful header into the roof of Westwood's goal.

Wednesday did not have to wait long to respond and equalised a minute later with their first goal in four games.

On-loan midfielder Lewis McGugan's ball into the box was recovered by Austrian Nuhiu and he teed up unmarked strike partner May for a simple close-range finish past Latics goalkeeper Scott Carson.<

The quick reply lifted the home crowd and minutes later Dutch winger Royston Drenthe slipped through Jeremy Helan on the left but the full-back was denied by an outstretched arm from Carson.

McManaman's 20-yard shot was saved by Westwood 10 minutes prior to the the break before the Owls keeper turned Marc-Antoine Fortune's low shot behind for a corner.

The visitors almost regained the lead eight minutes after the restart when a scrambled goal-bound header was cleared off the line by McGugan following a Ben Watson corner.

Goalscorer McCann then diverted McManaman's low cross wide of the Wednesday goal before May turned the contest in the Owls' favour in the 71st minute.

The summer signing from St Johnstone met Chris Maguire's cross from the left and his header hit both posts before being adjudged to have crossed the line.

Adam Forshaw narrowly failed to connect with McManaman's right-wing centre with 17 minutes remaining before the latter flashed an effort across goal as Malkay Mackay's men pushed for a leveller.

Wigan went close again in the 86th minute when McClean outpaced the Wednesday backline before rolling an effort towards goal which was cleared by Liam Palmer.

The away side were given four minutes of injury time in which to find an equaliser but Wednesday held firm to claim a second home success of the season.

Yorkshire derby ends all square

Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May and Huddersfield substitute Nahki Wells went closest to breaking the deadlock as the lunchtime Championship Yorkshire derby ended goalless at the John Smith's Stadium.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May made his Scotland debut this week but couldn't break the deadlock in the Yorkshire derby Credit: Press Association

May, who won his first full Scotland cap against England on Tuesday, fired in a 74th-minute shot which struck both crossbar and post, while Wells twice forced Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood into excellent saves after stepping off the bench in the 68th minute.

Huddersfield goalkeeper Joe Murphy pulled off the save of the game to deny Wednesday winger Royston Drenthe a last-minute winner, shortly after the Owls could have been awarded a penalty.

The West Yorkshire club extended their unbeaten home record to six matches, while Wednesday have drawn seven of their last 11 fixtures.

Diego Poyet, for Huddersfield, and Sheffield Wednesday's new loan signing Lewis McGugan both made their debuts for their respective clubs, while Murphy started in goal for the home side after Alex Smithies suffered a back spasm. Winger Royston Drenthe returned from suspension for the visitors.

West Ham loanee Diego Poyet made his debut for Huddersfield Credit: Press Association

McGugan fired a shot over the crossbar and Gary Taylor-Fletcher failed to connect properly with Jacques Maghoma's cut-back as Wednesday created the better early chances, while Huddersfield winger Sean Scannell sent two low crosses fizzing across the six-yard box at the other end.

Jacob Butterfield's slide-rule pass then carved open Wednesday's defence midway through the first half, setting Tommy Smith free on the overlap, and the right-back's raking cross was snuffed out by visiting centre-half Tom Lees' last-ditch near-post lunge.

Scannell turned neatly in the box to clip another inviting pass across the face of goal shortly before half-time as Town gained the upper hand, but a blue shirt failed to get on the end of it.

Wednesday left-back Jeremy Helan thwarted the charging Scannell with a timely challenge and on-loan centre-forward Grant Holt headed left-back Paul Dixon's cross over soon after the restart.

Butterfield dragged his shot off target after Harry Bunn's backheel on the edge of the box and Scannell again threatened to break the deadlock when he raced into shooting range and blazed an angled drive over the crossbar.

It needed something more incisive against a Wednesday defence that has kept 10 clean sheets this season and in the 68th minute Town boss Powell sent on striker Nahki Wells for Conor Coady.

Wells' response was almost instantaneous as he darted through on goal, only to see his shot parried by Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

But Wednesday went closest to scoring the game's opening goal in the 74th minute when May pounced in the box and lashed a rising shot which beat Murphy and struck the crossbar and then post before bouncing clear.

Wells then wasted a free-kick when he curled his effort high and wide after being hauled down by Wednesday skipper Glenn Loovens and blasted a shot straight at Westwood after finding himself in the clear with six minutes remaining.

Wednesday were denied a late spot-kick when substitute Chris Maguire went over Joel Lynch's challenge but was harshly booked for simulation.

Drenthe then sprang the offside trap in time added on, but his well-struck curling shot was brilliantly turned away by Murphy to ensure the spoils were shared.


Tonight's football results


Norwich City 1 Leeds United 1, Huddersfield Town 1 Brighton 1, Rotherham United 3 Fulham 3, Brentford 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0

League One

Bristol City 2 Bradford City 2, Colchester 2 Chesterfield 1, Port Vale 2 Scunthorpe United 2, Sheffield United 2 Yeovil Town 0, Doncaster Rovers 0 Leyton Orient 2, Barnsley 2 Notts County 3

League Two

Tranmere Rovers 0 Mansfield Town 0, Morecombe 1 York City 1

Milanic hails Leeds performance

Darko Milanic said his Leeds United side turned in their best display since he took over after fighting back to secure a 1-1 draw against Yorkshire derby rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

The best yet: Leeds Head Coach Darko Milanic was delighted with his side's performance Credit: Press Association

Leeds centre-half Giuseppe Bellusci steered home a 79th-minute equaliser to rescue a deserved point for his side after Chris Maguire's thumping finish had given Wednesday the lead early in the second half.

Milanic's wait for his first win in charge is extended to three matches, but his side showed enough in spells to suggest a morale-boosting victory is just around the corner.

Wednesday were grateful to goalkeeper Kieren Westwood, who tipped over a goalbound first-half blockbuster from Leeds midfielder Rudy Austin and made superb saves to deny lively Leeds striker Mirco Antenucci twice in the second period.

"We had a good game, yes," said Milanic, whose first game last weekend ended in a 2-0 defeat at Brentford before a goalless midweek draw against Reading.

"We had a good game with a lot of energy with a lot of good play also in the last third, which is what we missed in the last game.

"We had some very good actions, we played well and we had some very good opportunities, but the goalkeeper was extremly good.

"After they scored it was very difficult and we lost a little bit of calm.

"But after we made it 1-1 I believed that we could win the game.

"We played against a team who were very quick to get behind the ball and there was not a lot of space, but we did it sometimes very well.

"The players here have quality, but we have to do somethings better in the game."

Milanic refused to be drawn on whether he felt his side could mount a play-off challenge.

"My job is to improve the team," he added. "I have to see the players on the field in a big game like this and they have the quality, yes.

"There's enough quality. But my job is to improve them like I said.

"We're working very hard to make a good team.

Wednesday routed Leeds 6-0 at Hillsborough the last time the two sides met in January, but Owls manager Stuart Gray said they fell below the standards they had set so far this season having lost only two of their 10 league games prior to kick-off.

Below par: Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray said Sheffield Wednesday were not up to scratch Credit: Press Association

"That wasn't us," Gray said. "We didn't pass it as well as we'd passed it and our ball retention wasn't good.

"Second half we tried to get more physical presence and more of a focal point up front and we got a foothold in the game and a great goal from Chris Maguire.

"At the end of the day you're not always going to get it your own way. You need to dig in and we had Kieren Westwood pulling off some fantastic saves.

"But then I thought after we got in front we'd go on and win the game."

Bellusci rescues point for Leeds

Leeds defender Giuseppe Bellusci rescued a point for his side with a deserved late equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Yorkshire derby rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Bellusci to the rescue: The Italian's late goal earned Leeds a point Credit: Press Association

Bellusci to the rescue: The Italian's late goal earned Leeds a point

The Italian centre-half applied a striker's finish when he steered home a bouncing ball in the 79th minute to cancel out Chris Maguire's effort earlier in the second half.

Wednesday crushed Leeds 6-0 when the sides last met in January at Hillsborough, but were fortunate to take the lead at Elland Road and were grateful to goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, who thwarted the home side on several occasions.

Leeds head coach Darko Milanic has still to taste victory after three games in charge, but there were signs of an enterprising team in the making.

The Owls' impressive start to the season could easily have stalled after their recent Capital One Cup walloping at Manchester City, but, under popular manager Stuart Gray, they displayed a resilience that has been lacking in recent campaigns.

The hosts were the more effective side going forward in the first half, but had nothing to show for their dominance.

Alex Mowatt dispossessed Jose Semedo in midfield and threaded a fine pass into Souleymane Doukara's path inside the penalty area, but the French striker dragged his low right-footed shot just wide.

Rudy Austin then lashed in a dipping 30-yard effort from out of the blue that Westwood tipped over the crossbar.

Leeds countered swiftly in the 26th minute and more incisive interplay ended in left-back Gaetano Berardi's thumping drive ricocheting off Mowatt.

Striker Mirco Antenucci then looked to have put the home side ahead when he latched onto Austin's slide-rule pass to slip the ball under Westwood, but he was deemed offside.

Leeds manager Darko Milanic gestures from the dug-outWednesday's best chance in the first period fell to striker Stevie May, who headed right-back Liam Palmer's cross inches wide of Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri's right-hand post in the 44th minute.

Leeds twice threatened early in the second half when Antenucci's lob over Westwood was cleared by Palmer and the Wednesday goalkeeper made a fine save with his foot to deny the lively Italian again soon after.

But it was the visitors who stole the lead in the 52nd minute. Jacques Maghoma found Maguire on the right side of the penalty area and the winger arrowed a right-footed shot into the bottom-right corner of Silvestri's net.

Westwood then denied Leeds again with another superb save from Antenucci's rising shot after he had been played in by strike partner Doukara.

May spurned a golden chance to double Wednesday's advantage when he pulled a low shot wide after a clever turn in the box.

Leeds built up a head of steam as they chased a late equaliser. Austin's shot was blocked by Palmer, but, when Mowatt's excellent free-kick bounced to Bellusci on the left edge of the area, the centre-half side-footed the ball cleanly on the half-volley into the bottom corner to haul his side level in the 79th minute.

Wednesday substitute Gary Madine's low effort was saved by Silvestri and Austin fired off target at the other end before the sides settled for a point apiece.

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