Murphy and Chambers on target as Town get back on track
Luke Chambers’ first goal of the season got Town back to winning ways.
The skipper powered in a header midway through the second-half to edge Blues in front after Daryl Murphy’s 19th goal of the campaign had cancelled out Kieran Lee’s opener for the visitors.
Murphy and Darren Ambrose both struck the woodwork either side of the break but Chambers came up trumps to give Blues a first win in four games and keep the Club firmly in the promotion hunt.
Town made five changes to the side that went down at Rotherham at the weekend. Freddie Sears was handed his first start since arriving from Colchester, with Teddy Bishop and Stephen Hunt returning to midfield. Ambrose began his first League game in his third spell at Blues, while Jonathan Parr replaced Tyrone Mings at left-back.
Ambrose was prominent in the early stages, swinging in a couple of right wing crosses that Tom Lees got his head on to clear. The Wednesday skipper was undone by Murphy on 15 minutes though, Town’s leading scorer winning a header to get himself free inside the Owls’ box, his fiercely struck shot going just wide of the far post.
Bishop almost found Sears with a reverse pass but it was Wednesday who took the lead with virtually their first attack on 20 minutes, Will Keane headed on from a free-kick and Lee found the roof of the net after Town failed to deal with the loose ball.
Blues responded with Murphy bursting deep into the Wednesday half and then testing Keiren Westwood with a blistering shot that warmed the ‘keeper’s hands.
Jeremy Helan had a shot blocked by Bishop, Parr then seeing his cross at the other end go under Claude Dielna’s feet six yards out.
Stevie May dragged his shot wide after Keane led a Wednesday break, then Tommy Smith thumped a header just wide from a corner.
The Owls were looking dangerous on the counter and Smith timed his tackle well to rob Keane of possession after May’s 50 yard run and pass had set him up.
Sears went close from Ambrose’s cross as the game opened up, Ambrose testing Westwood with a header from 15 yards.
Cole Skuse fired at Westwood from distance, the ‘keeper holding firm, Town’s midfielder doing well at the other end to block May’s effort before Murphy brought the first-half to a close with a header that bounced back of the inside of the post.
Mings replaced Hunt at the break, Parr pushing on into midfield and the Norway international won a corner inside the first minute of the second-half, Christophe Berra’s header going wide.
The goal that Town had threatened finally came on 52 minutes, Sears sent in a delicious cross and Murphy guided his header past Westwood to level the scores.
Parr clipped the ball over the bar as Town threatened a second before Mick McCarthy made a second change, Kevin Bru on for Bishop just short of the hour.
Ambrose was inches away from putting Town ahead, his header from Mings’ cross hitting the post, then Mings sent a right foot effort just wide from the edge of the box.
Town took a deserved lead on 67 minutes, Chambers thumping home brilliantly with his head from Bru’s excellent cross after Murphy’s persistence had won possession.
Keane had an immediate chance to respond for the Owls but Berra got across to block from close range.
Murphy attacked another ball at the far post as Town looked to tie up the points before a final blast of referee Stuart Attwell’s whistle signalled a deserved and a welcome victory.
Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Parr, Skuse, Ambrose, Bishop (Bru 57), S.Hunt (Mings 46), Murphy, Sears (N.Hunt 85). Subs not used: Gerken, Clarke, Tabb, Anderson.
Sheffield Wed: Westwood, Vermijl (Buxton 66), Lees, Dielna, Mattock, Hutchinson (Melo 59), Helan, Lee, McGugan (Nuhiu 66) , May, Keane. Subs not used: Kirkland, Palmer, Bus, Maghoma. Booked: Henderson.