Date: 22nd March 2009 at 10:59pm
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Wednesday picked up their third draw on the spin as promotion-chasing Swansea City were held to a stalemate at a sunny Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon.

The Swans were desperate to pick up three points to keep up their promotion push after a dip in form which has seen them drift out of the play-off positions.

But Wednesday were equally as keen to prove that their season wasn’t finished and they showed plenty of fight, being unlucky a number of times not to find the back of the net.

Wednesday boss Brian Laws made two changes to the side that drew last time out against Watford, with Darren Potter returning from illness to replace Michael Gray in midfield, while Richard Hinds replaced Mark Beevers in defence.

Laws decided to stick with Francis Jeffers, who’d scored twice in the two games previous, despite the former Everton man missing training on Friday due to illness.

New loan signing Luke Varney could only make the bench after arriving from Derby County at the eleventh hour.

The Kop Band returned to the back of the Hillsborough Kop to bang their drums to the two teams running out.

And the bright and sunny weather brought out a decent crowd – and atmosphere – with the scoreline failing to live up to the billing.

But although the game was no spectacular, both sides carved out enough chances to break the deadlock, and on another no doubt would have.

Both sides started brightly, end-to-end exchanges making for an open early opening, and Swansea were first to show their attacking skills when Jordi Gomez flashed an effort over Lee Grant’s goal.

Gomez was to be a thorn in the Wednesday defence all afternoon, but the Swans, playing one in attack in Jason Scotland, couldn’t find the final ball.

At the other end, Marcus Tudgay had a rare off day, but he was first to threaten for the hosts when he attacked down the wing before firing a low effort just wide of the goal, with many in the ground thinking the ball had found the back of the net.

But the best chance for the visitors in the first half when Angel Rangel looked to have found a way through on goal, only for the unlikeliest of tackles to come from Jermaine Johnson, who cleared the danger despite a hunt of a foul on the Swansea man.

The first 45 minutes dimmed down midway through, with chances becoming few and far between.

It didn’t help Wednesday’s cause when the battling Sean McAllister had to come off injured, only to give a debut in the blue and white stripes to Luke Varney.

And the loan ranger made a good impression in his first showing for the Owls, not only showing the determination and work rate required, but also the skill for that little bit extra in the Wednesday attack.

Indeed, the best chance of the first half fell to the feet of the former Crewe man when he was baring down on goal only for Swansea stopper De Vries just a minute before the interval.

Half-Time: Wednesday 0-0 Swansea

Wednesday will have been looking to carry their momentum into the second half with a positive start.

But they were dealt another injury blow just a minute after the second-half whistle when Jeffers withdrew through illness, with Laws revealing post-match that the striker had been sick on the pitch a number of times.

Luke Boden came into the Owls midfield, with Tudgay reverting to the wing and Johnson going into attack with Varney.

The changes thwarted Wednesday’s attacking play and it was the visitors who looked the more likely to break the deadlock with the possession play, although not creating too many good chances in front of goal.

But it was Wednesday who had two golden opportunities to grab the three points with the best two chances of the match.

First Hinds’ header forced De Vries to make a top drawer save to deny his header from a Potter cross, while after the goalmouth scramble Tudgay fired a close-range effort straight at the ‘keeper when it was easier to find the back of the net.

Full-Time: Wednesday 0-0 Swansea

Wednesday: Grant, Buxton, Wood, Hinds, Spurr, Johnson, McAllister (Varney 36), Potter, O’Connor, Tudgay, Jeffers (Boden 49). Unused subs: O’Donnell, Simek, Beevers.

Swansea: De Vries, Williams, Britton, Pratley (Pintado 80), Scotland, Gower, Gomez, Monk, Bessone, Rangel, Allen. Unused subs: Orlandi, MacDonald, Collins, Dyer.