Waghorn double wins it for Town
Martyn Waghorn’s first goals since December kept alive Town’s Play-Off hopes as Blues made it five games unbeaten on the road.
The August signing from Rangers volleyed in from close range early in the second-half to put Town in front.
Lucas Joao equalised for the Owls with a fine individual goal midway through the half before Waghorn took centre stage to find the net with a terrific free-kick seven minutes from time.
Luke Hyam started in one of two changes to the team that beat Preston last time out, Jordan Spence was preferred to Dominic Iorfa at the back. Cole Skuse making his 200th appearance for Town.
Adam Webster was switched on to clear from Atdhe Nuhiu’s header after the ball threatened to break for Jordan Rhodes, Luke Chambers then equally alert to the danger of the former Blue.
Liam Palmer failed to get on the end of Adam Reach’s toe-poke into the box, while at the other end Joe Wildsmith was at full stretch to tip Jonas Knudsen’s cross away from underneath his bar.
Muzzy Carayol’s pace was prominent again, the winger finding Waghorn 25 yards out but he pulled his shot wide. Waghorn then close to returning the favour for Carayol but Glenn Loovens covered the danger.
Reach was well wide with a 30 yard free-kick as both ‘keepers stayed relatively untroubled in the first 25 minutes, Palmer’s cross causing some concern in the Town box as Nuhiu challenged but Spence did enough to quell the threat.
Freddie Sears replaced the injured Carayol in an early change for Blues and seconds later the game exploded into life with Bart Bialkowski denying Nuhiu with a brilliant save from close range.
Nuhiu, who scored Wednesday’s last minute equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Portman Road earlier in the season, was providing a good outlet for the home side and he showed a neat touch down the flank before seeing his cross cleared by Chambers.
Wildsmith held firm after Callum Connolly had flicked on Waghorn’s free-kick, then from another Waghorn delivery, Sears was denied after the ball broke in his direction in the box.
Knudsen’s drive was deflected wide as Town pressed for an opener, Cameron Carter-Vickers launching a rocket that blitzed just past the post.
A flowing Wednesday move ended with Nuhiu’s shot deflecting off Chambers for a corner, Blues seeing out the danger until half-time.
Joao replaced Rhodes at the break, the former Blue taking a knock. Five minutes into the second-half Town were ahead, great work by Sears down the right, Connolly headed the delivery back across goal and Waghorn volleyed in.
Town were denied a second straight after, Wildsmith doing superbly to tip over Connolly’s header after more good approach play by Sears.
Nuhiu was smothered out inside the box after Jacob Butterfield carved out an opening, Joao inches away from getting on the end of a cross, then Carter-Vickers tracked his run into the box and saw out the danger.
The ever-willing Sears rounded Wildsmith after Loovens was short with a backpass but Knudsen couldn’t get his shot in from the pullback as Town looked to extend the advantage.
Nuhiu was wide after Butterfield’s clever chip back into the danger area but on 70 minutes the Owls were level, Joao finishing off superbly after teasing Town’s defence.
Hyam made way for Grant Ward in Town’s second change, Bialkowski quick off his line to hack clear as Joao threatened again.
Ward went down under Loovens’ challenge in the box with Town appealing for a penalty but on 83 minutes Town were ahead again, Waghorn whipping in a trademark free-kick into the far corner to take his goal tally to 12 for the season and maintain Mick McCarthy’s record of never losing as a manager at Hillsborough.
Sheff Wed: Wildsmith, Jones, Fox, Rhodes (Joao 46), Butterfield, Loovens, Lees, Palmer, Nuhiu, Reach, Boyd. Subs not used: Dawson, Pelupessy, Pudil, Preston, Abdi, Venancio. Booked: Boyd.
Town: Bialkowki, Spence, Webster, Chambers, Carter-Vickers, Knudsen, Skuse, Connolly, Hyam (Ward 74), Carayol (Sears 26), Waghorn (Garner 88). Subs not used: Crowe, Iorfa, Celina, Garner, Gleeson. Booked: Carter-Vickers, Chambers.