Controversial red card for Nsiala as Blues lose out at Hillsborough
Toto Nsiala scored his first goal for the Club and was then controversially sent-off as Town went down to two Lucas Joao goals.
The Owls opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Joao headed home from a free-kick but Blues were level before the break when Nsiala found the net from close range.
Nsiala was denied a second by Cameron Dawson before he was dismissed by referee Jeremy Simpson for what was judged a foul on Fernando Forestieri.
The decision enraged Town and a minute later, Joao forced the ball in from a corner.
Tayo Edun returned to the starting line-up following his one game suspension, replacing the injured Cole Skuse with Kayden Jackson handed his first Championship start in the two changes from the side that went down at Derby in midweek.
Janoi Donacien smashed a right footer over the bar inside the first minute, Edun off radar with his pass to Jackson as Town started the better, Gwion Edwards then threatening to get in down the right.
Nsiala headed wide from a corner, then Jon Nolan and Trevoh Chalabah had successive shots blocked as Blues’ pressing game forced Wednesday into mistakes.
Ellis Harrison fired well over from 30 yards, the signing from Bristol Rovers then going into referee Jeremy Simpson’s book for a reckless challenge.
Town had far the better of the opening 15 minutes but it was the Owls who went in front, Joao capitalising on some slack defending at a corner to head in at the far post.
Wednesday almost doubled the advantage soon after from another set-play, Jordan Thorniley heading wide from close range.
Nolan couldn’t take the ball in his path after slick passing around the Wednesday box, Harrison and Jackson unable to force the ball home after Cameron Dawson had spilt Jonas Knudsen’s fierce cross, then Harrison got behind the home defence but couldn’t make it pay.
Town were level five minutes before the break though, Nolan’s cross was eventually fed on by Luke Chambers and Nsiala headed past Dawson from eight yards.
Nsiala almost had a second in added on time, his header pushed out by Dawson on the line, then the ‘keeper did well to palm away Harrison’s effort as Town finished the half the stronger.
Bart Bialkowski smothered the danger from Marco Matias after Joao’s clever pass, Matias failing to test the Town ‘keeper soon after following Dawson’s long kick downfield, Knudsen then clearing off the line from Bannan after Harrison had tested Dawson at the other end in a frantic start to the second-half.
Bialkowski dealt comfortably with Atdhe Nuhiu’s header, Liam Palmer dragging his shot wide before Fernando Forestieri became the first substitute introduced, replacing Matias.
The Italian striker was on the end of Nsiala’s challenge that brought the controversial red card on 75 minutes, the defender getting to the ball first but referee Simpson reached for his pocket.
A minute later Wednesday were ahead, Joao forcing the ball into the net from another corner after he had initially hit the post. The goalscorer made way for Steven Fletcher for the last 10 minutes, Flynn Downes on for Edun.
Harrison couldn’t get his shot from inside the area following a ball over the top, the frontman then taking a knock that prompted a change with Freddie Sears introduced.
Nolan couldn’t find the target as Town pressed for a last gasp equaliser but that search for a first win under Paul Hurst goes on.
Sheff Wed: Dawson, Palmer, Pelupessy, Bannan, Thorniley, Lees, Joao (Fletcher 80), Nuhiu, Matias (Forestieri 72), Reach, Penney. Subs not used: Wildsmith, Baker, Fox, Hutchinson, Kirby. Booked: Bannan, Nuhiu.
Town: Bialkowski, Donacien, Chambers, Nsiala, Knudsen, Chalobah, Nolan, Edun (Downes 80), Edwards, Harrison (Sears 85), Jackson. Subs not used: Gerken, Spence, Kenlock, Roberts, Ward. Booked: Harrison, Knudsen.