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20 April 2013

Tabb's first goal for the Cllub cancelled out by Lita as Blues claim a share of the spoils at Hillsborough to all but confirm Championship safety


Town all but confirmed their Championship status after drawing 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Jay Tabb opened the scoring after 12 minutes, his first for the Club, before Leroy Lita hit back for the hosts midway through the second half.

The point sees Blues move six points clear of the bottom three, with just two Championship fixtures remaining.

Mick McCarthy made one change to the side that beat Crystal Palace in the week, with Jay Tabb coming in for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who dropped to the bench.

Town made a bright start to the game and almost took the lead after five minutes, but Tommy Smith’s header was cleared off the line by Owls defender Miguel Llera.

The hosts responded soon after and Scott Loach made a smart save to deny Jermaine Johnson’s goalbound header from Kieran Lee’s right-wing cross.

However seconds later Blues broke the deadlock, in bizarre circumstances. Carlos Edwards took a long throw in which dropped just over the head of Luke Chambers but hit Tabb on the knee and the ball nestled in the bottom corner after 12 minutes.

Town came close to extending the lead five minutes later as Luke Hyam volleyed goalwards from 25 yards but Chris Kirkland made a fine save to tip the ball over the top.

Just before the half-hour mark Tabb tried his luck from range but the midfielder couldn’t add to his earlier strike as the ball sailed just over the bar.

Blues were good value for their lead but Wednesday did give them a scare just before half-time, as skipper Anthony Gardner tried to  scramble the ball over the line from a corner but Smith was in the right place at the right time to hook away the danger as Town went in ahead at the break.

Town started the second half well and good work from Edwards down the right saw him cross for Frank Nouble but the striker was just unable to make connection and the ball broke clear after 47 minutes.

Shortly after, a placed effort from Daryl Murphy almost found the corner but sailed just the wrong side of the post with Kirkland rooted to his line.

However Town were soon undone as the Owls drew level after 58 minutes. A counter-attack was charged down by Dave Jones’ side with Steve Howard releasing Chris Maguire down the right who crossed for Lita, who made no mistake from seven yards as he slammed the ball home.

Wednesday were now in the ascendency and Llera almost fired the hosts in front but he could only head wide from six yards out.

Good pressure from Nouble saw him rob Llera of the ball in the middle of the park though and he released Edwards down the right, but the skipper’s effort was charged down and looped behind for a corner after 63 minutes.

Both sides were going all out for the win and first Hyam saw an effort blocked wide by Llera before Wednesday attacked at the other end, with Lita only being denied a second goal by the offside flag after initially directing a header past Loach

Blues came within a whisker of retaking the lead with ten minutes remaining, as a Cresswell throw was dropped by ‘keeper Kirkland but Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ hooked effort was scrambled off the line by a Wednesday defender.

That was the way it stayed as both sides had to settled for a share of the spoils, with Blues now switching their attentions to Saturday’s clash with Birmingham at Portman Road.

Wednesday:Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, Helan, Coke, Olofinjana, Lee (Howard 24), Pugh, Johnson (Maguire 27), Lita. Subs not used: Bywater, Taylor, McCabe, Mattock, Prutton.

Town:Loach, Stearman (Kisnorbo 67), Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam, N'Daw, Tabb (Wordsworth 81), Murphy (Emmanuel-Thomas 79), Nouble. Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Kisnorbo, Hewitt, Drury, Chopra.

Att: 23,630






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