Date: 8th April 2007 at 3:48pm
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The Owls kept their slim hopes of a play-off place alive by stretching their unbeaten run to eight games thanks to victory against Dave Jones’ Cardiff City at Ninian Park on Saturday.

Leon Clarke celebrated his first start for the club since joining in January by opening the scoring before Deon Burton grabbed the winner in the second half to give Wednesday all three points after Roger Johnson had levelled for the hosts on the stroke of half-time.

Owls boss Brian Laws made just the one change to the side that won at Crystal Palace last week with Leon Clarke being given his first start for the club after completing a successful loan spell at League One side Oldham.

The former Wolves man came in to partner Deon Burton in the Owls attack with Steve Maclean being the man to drop to the bench.

And Clarke carried his fine form from Oldham straight in to the clash with the Bluebirds as he had the Owls first chance on goal just minutes in when he ran at the City defence and sent an effort just wide.

But the Owls had to withstand some heavy pressure from the promotion-hopefuls and once again had on-loan stopper Iain Turner to thank for a number of top class saves which kept the Bluebirds at bay.

Roger Johnson saw his back post header thwarted before top-scorer Michael Chopra turned neatly inside the Owls box and forced a superb save from the Scottish international.

But it was Wednesday who broke the deadlock seven minutes before the break as some patient build-up play from the visitors resulted in Deon Burton picking the ball up on the left and supplying a superb cross for Clarke to fire by City stopper Forde to send the travelling Wednesday fans mad.

But the hosts received a boost going in to half-time with an unlikely leveller as Roger Johnson headed home a Kevin McNaughton cross.

Half-Time: Cardiff 1-1 Wednesday

Johnson’s late leveller had certainly given City the momentum as the second half got under way – with the hosts piling forward to try and turn the game on its head from the whistle.

And new-signing Warren Feeney thought he’d put the hosts in front just two minutes after the restart but the Owls had Turner to thank once again for producing a top-class save to deny the former Luton and Stockport man.

City kept coming forward and had Wednesday on the back foot for the opening ten minutes of the first half with Michael Chopra coming close again with an overhead kick while Paul Parry also came close as the hosts’ frustrations grew in front of goal.

But Wednesday continued to hit back and regained the lead with their first meaningful attack of the second half as Glenn Whelan put Brunt in down the left for the Northern Irish international to deliver a superb cross for Burton to head home at the second attempt.

The goal was almost a carbon copy of the goal which Burton grabbed at Selhurst Park last week, and it made it three in three for the former Derby hitman.

The hosts were desperate for the points in the race for the play-offs and again piled the pressure on Wednesday late-on to try and get something from the game, but it wasn’t to be for the Welsh side.

Matthew Green had their best opportunity with ten minutes to go as Turner was caught off his line but the City player could only smash his shot in to the side netting.

But City’s hopes of a fightback were dashed in the late stages as former Leeds player Simon Walton was sent off for a late challenge on Peter Gilbert which left the Owls bench hoping the injury wasn’t too serious.

Full-Time: Cardiff 1-2 Wednesday

Cardiff: Forde, McNaughton, Purse, Johnson, Ledley, Whittingham (Thompson 75), McPhail, Walton, Parry, Feeney (Green 82), Chopra. Subs Not Used: Alexander, Flood, Gunter

Wednesday: Turner, Bullen, Watson, Wood, Gilbert, Tudgay, Whelan, Lunt (Folly 84), Brunt, Clarke (Lekaj 90), Burton (MacLean 86). Subs Not Used: Adamson, Spurr.