Date: 3rd December 2006 at 8:05pm
Written by:

Three second-half wonder goals helped the Owls continue their impressive form under Brian Laws as they climbed up the table thanks to an emphatic 4-1 victory away at Leicester City at the weekend.

Goals from Chris Brunt, Glenn Whelen and Marcus Tudgay capped off a fine day at the office for Wednesday after Brunt had opened the scoring with a controversial first-half penalty and Foxes captain Paddy McCarthy was sent off for a second bookable offence just after the break.

Laws made two changes to the side that swept aside West Brom in midweek with youngster Tommy Spurr coming in at left-back in place of the injured John Hills while Yoann Folly returned in place of the suspended Kenny Lunt.

And the Owls’ confidence showed as early as the second minute as loanee Wayne Andrews pounced on a poor defensive clearance from Paddy McCarthy to send a low shot racing by Conrad Logan in the Leicester goal.

But the Foxes, fresh on the back of three consecutive defeats, got back in the game as Elvis Hammond and Josh Low began to cause Spurr problems down the Leicester right and had the best of the early chances for the hosts.

Tricky-winger Levi Porter, the pick of the bunch for a lacklustre Foxes outfit, also had a chance for Rob Kelly’s men – but Mark Crossley didn’t have a save to make in the opening 45 minutes.

And it was the Owls who duly took advantage of a controversial decision by referee Rob Styles to award a penalty kick after Wayne Andrews was felled inside the Leicester box minutes before the break.

Chris Brunt was in no mood to look a gifthorse in the mouth and powerfully slotted the ball home to give Wednesday the half-time advantage.

Half-Time: Leicester 0-1 Wednesday

Rob Kelly brought former Nottingham Forest midfielder Gareth Williams on to replace Danny Tiatto at half-time but his plans were scuppered just five minutes in to the second half as captain Paddy McCarthy was shown a second yellow card for a foul on former Manchester City team-mate Glenn Whelen.

And the Owls capitalised on their one-man advantage as Chris Brunt doubled his tally for the afternoon with a superb long-range effort which gave Conrad Logan no chance and should have seen the Owls secure all three points against a poor 10-man Foxes team.

Marcus Tudgay could have made sure of all three points minutes later as he sent a long-range effort of his own agonisingly wide before Logan made a superb close-range save from Deon Burton after Wayne Andrews slipped the Owls striker in from the right.

But the Foxes continued to press for a breakthrough and it came in fortunate circumstances as Stephen Hughes fired a long-range effort which took a huge deflection off an Owls defender and ended up in the back of the net to spark the hosts in to some form.

The goal lifted the hosts and Hughes saw another effort from the edge of the box before Madjid Bougherra was in the right place at the right time to block Elvis Hammond’s goalbound effort on the line.

But the Owls stubborn defence soaked up the City pressure and Wednesday regained their two goal advantage on 70 minutes as Glenn Whelen fired home a contender for goal of the month which struck the underside of the bar before finding the back of the net and sending the 3,400 travelling Wednesdayites barmy.

Marcus Tudgay was also in on the act minutes later as his power saw him see off the challenge of Richard Stearman before racing towards goal and unleashing a superb effort to make it 4-1 and wrap up the victory for Brian Laws’ men.

Leicester: Logan; Stearman, McCarthy, Kisnorbo, Maybury; Low (McAuley 51), Tiatto (Williams h-t), Hughes, Porter; Hume, Hammond (Fryatt 85). Subs: Henderson, McAuley, Welsh.

Wednesday: Crossley; Simek, Bougherra (Coughlan 86), Bullen, Spurr (O’Brien 86); Andrews, Folly, Whelan, Brunt; Burton (MacLean 74), Tudgay. Subs: Adamson, McAllister.

Player Ratings

Crossley 8
Had little work to do but the work he did was top class. Could do nothing with the goal which took a massive deflection en route to the back of the net

Simek 7
Kept pace well with the tricky Levi Porter and dealt with everything that was thrown at him.

Spurr 6
Struggled in the first half as Leicester focussed on Spurr as the weak link in the Owls’ defence.

Bullen 7
Lead the defensive line well and continued his impressive form after being recalled to the Owls defence.

Bougherra 7
Made an important clearance off the line from Elvis Hammond which was pivotal in the match.

Andrews 7
Slowly regaining his fitness and is proving to be a shrewd loan signing by Brian Laws.

Whelen 7
Outstanding goal but the Owls were missing Kenny Lunt in the centre of the park. Did well in the latter stages as the Owls kept the ball with some neat passing moves.

Folly 7
Ran tirelessly for the entire 90 minutes and thwarted anything the Foxes had to throw at him.

Brunt 8
Scored a double as he gave the Owls a 2-0 lead and seems to have improved his game as a whole since the arrival of Laws. Vital man-of-the-match.

Tudgay 8
Another wondergoal through the Owls top scorer and continued pushing for further goals. Great desire and hunger from the former Derby man.

Burton 7
Showed since of frustration after being denied from close-range but was vital in holding the ball up well and working tirelessly to win every ball.

Maclean 7
Continued on from Deon Burton by winning balls and linking the play well.

O’Brien 6
Came on for Tommy Spurr late-on to strengthen the left-hand side defensively, but didn’t have much work to do by a lacklustre Foxes attack.
Came on for Bougherra in the latter stages but didn’t have much time to have an impact on the game.

Brian Laws told BBC Sport:
‘Funnily enough we had a great shooting session in training on Thursday but I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like this.

‘Penalty aside, they were three of the best goals I’ve seen in a long time.

‘You are usually lucky to see one of those but we’ve scored three and that’s amazing. We may have been comfortable but we still had to work hard for it.’

Rob Kelly told BBC Sport:
‘Even when we were down to 10 they didn’t carve us open, but they scored three goals you don’t expect to see all season never mind in one match.

‘Losing four-one at home is a bad result, that’s obvious and I am certainly not running away from it.

‘But we will be back in on Monday working hard to try to turn it around.’