Wednesday continued their fine form as late goals from Deon Burton and an unfortunate Lee Camp own goal gave the Owls all three points in a grandstand finish against the Canaries at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Madjid Bougherra’s stunning half-volley from the edge of the City bar cannonned off the woodwork and hit Camp on the back before rolling over the line to give the Owls the 80th minute advantage they deserved. And a Deon Burton strike wrapped up all three points before a late flurry from the hosts saw Dion Dublin score what turned out to be a consolation.
Owls boss Brian Laws had a tough choice in midfield with the return of Kenny Lunt after suspension and it was Yoann Folly who dropped to the bench as Glenn Whelan continued in midfield following his impressive display in the win at Leciester last week.
But the Republic of Ireland U21 international ruled himself out of the visit of Birmingham City to Hillsborough next week after picking up an early booking to take his season tally to five.
Norwich were dealt a blow, or should it be the Owls were dealt a boost, before kick-off with the news that top scorer Robert Earnshaw failed a late fitness test. Earnshaw had been earmarked as the danger for the Owls but the defensive duo of Lee Bullen and Bougherra had Ryan Jarvis to deal with in his place.
The first chance of the half went to the hosts as Adam Drury robbed Bougherra of the ball down the left hand side and provided a dangerous looking cross for Peter Thorne to charge on to – but Tommy Spurr cleared the danger with a brace header inside the Owls box.
And Darren Huckerby had a great chance for the Canaries minutes later as the Owls failed to settle down but he screwed his shot well wide of goal as he went through one-on-one with Mark Crossley.
It looked as though Wednesday were keen to have shots on goal in the hope that more ‘screamers’ would come ala Leicester last weekend – but Kenny Lunt’s 30-yard effort was well turned round the post from Norwich ‘keeper Lee Camp before Chris Brunt sliced his shot wide when he should have done better.
Wednesday had found their feet and upped a gear in the latter stages of the first half and Marcus Tudgay had two good efforts on goal.
His first saw Shakell blocking his 2-yard drive for a corner before a defensive lapse from City gave the former Derby man another effort on goal from close range – this time Dion Dublin threw his body in the way to clear the danger.
And then just after the half hour mark Kenny Lunt saw another thunderous effort towards the Derby loanee Camp turned away after a neat Wednesday corner.
At the other end Peter Thorne was unable to turn his header goalwards after a fast break by Darren Huckerby down the left hand side – but the Owls finished the stronger as Camp was forced in to another fine save from Tommy Spurr after the left-back played a neat one-two with Chris Brunt at the edge of the City box.
Half-Time: Norwich City 0-0 Wednesday
There were no changes during the break and the Owls continued their domination after the restart as Lee Camp was forced in to action once again, this time from a 20-yard Chris Brunt effort.
The Canaries were clearly missing Welsh international Earnshaw but they still had to deal with the threat of former Manchester City and Leeds hitman Darren Huckerby on the left-hand side. Huckerby was Norwich’s main threat and his work enabled Etuhu to test Mark Crossley from long range – but the Fulham loanee comfortably dealt with the effort.
And as the game evened out, former Owls loanee Carl Robinson had a good chance on goal but was only able to head his effort straight in to the arms of Crossley from a dangerous Paul McVeigh cross.
The hosts has their best chance of the match on 67 minutes as Huckerby’s trickery produced a subline pass to find Andy Hughes through on goal but a superb tackle by Tommy Spurr saw the ball deflected out of play for a corner.
On 72 minutes City did have the ball in the net but Peter Thorne had his header chalked off after referee Woolmer adjudged Shackell to have obstructed Crossley from a Carol Robinson corner.
The breakthrough for the Owls came with ten minutes to go as Madjid Bougherra launched a superb half volley on the cross bar from long bar to see the ball rebound back off Camp and trickle over the line to give Wednesday a deserved lead.
And just minutes later the points looked to have been secured as Deon Burton capitalised on some sloppy Norwich defending to net the second, and his first from open play this season to send the travelling Wednesday fans barmy.
But if Wednesday thought the game was done and dusted, they could think again…
Adam Drury was fouled down the left and Carol Robinson swung a dangerous ball in to the box to allow Dion Dublin to net for the hosts minutes later and give Peter Grant’s men a ray of hope going in to the final five minutes.
Things could have got worse for Wednesday with just two minutes to go as referee Woolmer pointed to the spot for what looked to have been a handball by Owls’ skipper Lee Bullen – but Woolmer changed his mind after seeing the linesman raise his flag for offside.
But despite plenty of late pressure from the hosts Wednesday managed to hold on to pick up their third successive victory and lift them to 12th in the league – just three points off the play-offs as they go in to the crunch clash with Birmingham City at Hillsborough on Saturday.
Full-Time: Norwich City 1-2 Wednesday
Norwich (4-4-2): Camp; Colin, Dublin, Shackell, Drury; Hughes, Robinson, Etuhu, Huckerby; Thorne, Jarvis (McVeigh 59). Subs: Lewis, Henderson, Eagle, Spillane.
Wednesday: Crossley; Simek (Coughlan 88), Bougherra, Bullen, Spurr; Andrews (MacLean 66), Whelan, Lunt (Folly 82), Brunt; Burton, Tudgay. Subs: Adamson, O’Brien.
Brian Laws told BBC Sport
‘My ambition is the same as any player, I want to ply my trade at the highest level.
‘But this is a building process, we have to get into the position where we are a good Championship side and move on from there.
‘If we keep improving, as some stage we’ll get there, when that will be, I can’t tell you.’
Peter Grant told BBC Sport:
‘To be honest, it would have an an injustice to Sheffield Wednesday if we had got back into the game.
‘They were the better side and deserved to win. We’d be clutching at straws if we made a big deal of it.
‘What we saw today isn’t what I expect from this side and I seem to be saying the same thing on a regular basis, which is a bit worrying.’