Sports: Classy Sheffield Wednesday too much for Lincoln City

Sports: Classy Sheffield Wednesday too much for Lincoln City

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A spirited second half performance wasn’t enough for Lincoln City as Championship side Sheffield Wednesday ran out 3-1 winners at Sincil Bank.

The Imps were made to pay for a disastrous start that saw Jordan Rhodes put Wednesday ahead after a minute at Sincil Bank.

The Owls were two to the good midway through the first half when Adam Reach doubled the advantage, before Neal Eardley piled on more misery for Danny Cowley with a bizarre own goal on the hour.

Substitiute Jordan Adebayo-Smith grabbed a consolation for City late on, however.

The Imps made an uncharacteristically disastrous start and fell behind with 60 seconds on the clock. Lucas Joao played a sublime cross-field pass from left to right to find Adam Reach on the flank. The winger sent a pinpoint cross into the penalty area that Rhodes nodded home with ease.

Shell-shocked City were almost two down in the fifth minute as Steve Bruce’s men attacked with real intent.

This time Mose Odubajo skinned Neal Eardely twice on the Imps’ right before finding Rhodes inside the six yard box, but City were able to scramble the ball away. The ball then fell kindly for Joey Pelupessy who saw his strike cannon off the crossbar after taking an important deflection.

 

Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach, centre, celebrates scoring his side's second goal with team-mates Barry Bannan, left, and Joey Pelupessy
Sheffield Wednesday’s Adam Reach, centre, celebrates scoring his side’s second goal with team-mates Barry Bannan, left, and Joey Pelupessy
(Image: CameraSport – Chris Vaughan)

It took the Imps ten minutes to find their feet as Jack Payne won two free kicks in quick succession as he made headway into Owls territory. The second foul saw the midfielder pick himself up before curling a 25 yard free kick, which Kieren Westwood spilled behind for a corner.

Ten minutes later the Imps carved out their first real chance as John Akinde won possession just over the halfway line before finding Harry Anderson on the right.

Anderson advanced towards goal before laying the ball perfectly into the path of Akinde once more, but Westwood was quick off his line to deny him in a one-on-one situation.

Just as City were finding their feet they were undone by a sucker punch midway through the half. Reach, who was instrumental in the opener, cut in from the right and fired a low left-footed strike beyond the despairing dive of Josh Vickers into the far corner.

 

It could have got worse for Danny Cowley’s side moments later but Rhodes found the side-netting from an acute angle, before Steven Fletcher curled an effort against the crossbar on 33 minutes.

At the other end, meanwhile, Joe Morrell set Akinde free down the right and he pulled the ball back for Jorge Grant, who after adjusting his feet fired inches wide with Westwood beaten.

Joao then hit the bar for a third time for Wednesday after unleashing a thunderous 30 yard effort that rattled the woodwork before rebounding to safety.

Half Time: Lincoln City 0 Sheffield Wednesday 2

 

After the break a quiet opening came to life six minutes in as the visitors put together a move that consisted of 13 passes and ended with Rhodes’ shot deflecting behind for a corner.

After his initial corner was headed behind by Jason Shackell, Barry Bannan’s second found the head of Rhodes – only for Josh Vickers to make a diving save.

Another fine Owls move five minutes later almost increased their advantage, but this time Barry Bannan fired just wide from the edge of the area after latching onto Reach’s through ball.

Disaster struck on the hour for City, however, as Neal Eardley, under no pressure whatsoever, somehow hit a backpass into Vickers’ net from the 30 yards out, with the goalkeeper scrambling in vain.

With his side three goals down, boss Cowley introduced five substitutes two minutes later in the form of Matt Rhead, Bruno Andrade, Michael O’Connor and two trialists. Off went Harry Toffolo, Ellis Chapman, Joe Morrell, John Akinde and Jorge Grant.

Eight minutes later two further changes saw Jordan Adebayo-Smith and Trialist C replace Harry Anderson and Neal Eardley respectively.

It didn’t take long for youngster Adebayo-Smith to make an impact though as he pounced on a loose ball in the area to pull a goal back with 14 minutes to go.

Lincoln City's Jordan Adebayo-Smith scores his side's first goal
Lincoln City’s Jordan Adebayo-Smith scores his side’s first goal
(Image: CameraSport – Chris Vaughan)

Matt Rhead had the chance to add another for City three minutes later after a mix up in the Owls defence, but he fired straight at fellow substitute Joe Wildsmith when he had the majority of the goal to aim at.

Andrade then escaped down the right and he too went close, only for Wildsmith to divert the ball over the crossbar for a corner.

Full Time: Lincoln City 1 Sheffield Wednesday 3

City: Josh Vickers, Neal Eardley (Trialist C, 76), Cian Bolger, Jason Shackell, Harry Toffolo (Trialist A, 62), Joe Morrell (Michael O’Connor, 62), Jack Payne, Ellis Chapman (Trialist B, 62), Harry Anderson (Jordan Adebayo-Smith, 70), John Akinde (Matt Rhead, 62), Jorge Grant (Bruno Andrade, 62).

Subs not used: Grant Smith, Jordan Trialist D.



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