Anderson strikes early but Antonio header denies Town the win
Town had to settle for a point at Hillsborough despite taking an early lead through Paul Anderson.
The wideman rounded off a break to beat Chris Kirkland with a crisp right foot finish on 12 minutes but Wednesday responded immediately with a header from Michail Antonio.
Cole Skuse hit the post with a terrific strike in the first-half and Jermaine Johnson smashed an even better effort against the bar from 30 yards in the closing stages as the honours were shared.
Mick McCarthy kept with the same side that drew with Derby in midweek and just like at Pride Park, Town were quick out of the blocks.
Daryl Murphy’s lay-off from Aaron Cresswell’s cross was hacked clear by Roger Johnson, then Murphy had a shot blocked after linking up well with Ryan Tunnicliffe.
Murphy was prominent for Blues in the early action and he did well to find space on the left, Chris Kirkland coming to Wednesday’s rescue.
Despite Town’s early attacking threat, it was the home side who had a gilt edged chance to open the scoring on 11 minutes, Dean Gerken saving well from Atdhe Nuhiu from point blank range.
Seconds later Town were ahead, a quick break left David McGoldrick in on the left, he fed Anderson and the summer signing from Bristol City finished in style.
It took Wednesday only a minute to level the scores though, Nuhiu heading back across goal and Antonio converting from six yards.
In a free-flowing game, Murphy and McGoldrick were both denied inside the Sheffield box, then Skuse rattled the inside of the post with a 20 yarder.
Terrific interplay between Luke Hyam and Tunnicliffe saw the Manchester United loanee thread a pass through the home defence but Kirkland was quick off his line to deny McGoldrick as Blues looked the far more likely to add to the scoring.
Wednesday were forced into a change before the break with Jose Semedo replacing Giles Coke and the Owls should have been ahead going into the interval when Matty Fryatt was clear in on goal but Gerken did brilliantly to divert the strike over the bar.
Murphy headed wide from Cresswell’s corner as Town began the second-half on the front foot. Wednesday responded with Reda Johnson doing likewise at the other end.
Wednesday made a second change with Jermaine Johnson on for Reda Johnson just before the hour but it was Blues who continued to carve out the chances, Kirkland first reacting quickly to punch clear on the edge of his box, the former England international then getting his angles right to beat out Murphy’s effort.
Gerken stood tall again at the other end to deal with Lewis Buxton’s free-kick, his counterpart in the Owls’ goal keeping out Anderson’s low drive at the nearpost as the points hung in the balance.
McGoldrick sent a screamer just over, before Tunnicliffe showed great desire to make a 50 yard run back and clear the danger after Antonio had broken down the flank.
Jermaine Johnson smashed a 30 yarder against the bar in a sensational strike on 75 minutes, Tommy Smith picking up a booking for a foul as the Owls enjoyed their first spell of pressure in the game.
Jay Tabb replaced Anderson for the closing stages, Frank Nouble also joining the action with Murphy making way while Tyrone Mings came on for his first appearance since recovering from a knee ligament injury but Blues couldn’t find that elusive winner.
Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Reda Johnson (J.Johnson 57), Roger Johnson, Llera, McPhail, Coke (Semedo 43), Antonio, Helan, Fryatt (Palmer 74), Nuhiu. Subs not used: Dawson, Zayatte, Maghoma, McCabe. Booked: J.Johnson.
Town: Gerken, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell, Anderson (Tabb 78), Hyam, Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Murphy (Nouble 85), McGoldrick (Mings 90). Subs not used: Loach, Hewitt, Edwards, Wordsworth. Booked: Smith