Sheffield Wednesday earned their first away victory of the season as Connor Wickham grabbed the only goal in their game at Watford.

Wickham scored with a 20-yard free-kick for his fifth goal for the Owls since joining on loan from Sunderland.

Watford, who suffered their fifth-successive home defeat, had more chances but could not get an equaliser.

Sean Murray and Ikechi Anya had efforts saved by Damian Martinez before Fernando Forestieri shot wide late on.

The win, Sheffield Wednesday's second in three games, failed to move the Owls out of the bottom three but has taken them to within one point of 21st-placed Charlton.

But Watford, who came third in the Championship in 2012-13 and lost in the play-offs, have now failed to win in nine games and dropped into the bottom half of the table for the first time this season.

Connor Wickham on form

  • Connor Wickham has scored five goals in his last seven games since joining Sheffield Wednesday on loan from Sunderland in November
  • However, Wickham has only managed four goals in 40 matches in all competitions for Sunderland since joining them for £8.1m from Ipswich Town in June 2011

Gianfranco Zola's side started brightly as Murray's corner picked out Marco Cassetti but the unmarked defender could not direct his header underneath the crossbar.

The hosts created another opening when Nyron Nosworthy's ball forward picked out the run of Anya but, after side-stepping Roger Johnson on the edge of the area, the Scottish international was unable to hit the target with his right-footed shot.

Wednesday took the lead in the 24th minute after Wickham converted a free-kick he had won after being fouled by Nosworthy.

That proved to be the visitors' only shot on target with Murray and Anya frustrated by Martinez as Watford pushed to score their first goal in four home matches.

But Watford continued to be wasteful, and their afternoon was summed up in the last minute of injury-time when Diego Fabbrini fed Forestieri, but with only Martinez to beat from six yards out he stabbed the ball wide.

Sheffield Wednesday caretaker boss Stuart Gray:

"I thought we deserved it. I'm pleased for Connor because he stays out after training and practises those free-kicks, so it was no fluke as such.

"The pleasing thing is obviously getting the clean sheet with a great away win.

"Watford are a good side, we felt at the start of the game we could hold our own if we could keep the crowd quiet because they've not been scoring at home or winning at home and I don't think it was a smash and grab."

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola:

"We tried to do something different, just to play one striker less and to have a more balanced team. We created some chances but they weren't enough.

"What is the real problem? I don't know. We are not going through a good moment in terms of confidence because we produce chances but it's difficult for us to score.

"And when they (the opposition) attack, they do it once and then they score so that certainly doesn't help the confidence of the players. That is what is creating a lot of pressure with the players and everyone.

"I know football is about results and results are more important than anything. I understand that and I'll see what is the best thing to do."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Watford

  • 30 Bond
  • 19 Faraoni (Fabbrini - 49' )
  • 27 Cassetti
  • 16 Murray
  • 33 Nosworthy
  • 17 Hall (McGugan - 81' )
  • 03 Bellerín
  • 29 Thorne
  • 09 Deeney
  • 07 Battocchio (Forestieri - 69' )
  • 21 Anya

Substitutes

  • 01 Almunia
  • 04 Angella
  • 08 McEachran
  • 10 McGugan
  • 11 Forestieri
  • 18 Pudil
  • 20 Fabbrini

Sheffield Wednesday

  • 26 Martinez
  • 22 Palmer
  • 03 Johnson
  • 27 McPhail (Olofinjana - 75' )
  • 08 Johnson Booked
  • 36 Loovens
  • 20 Lee Booked
  • 06 Semedo
  • 29 Wickham Booked
  • 10 Maghoma (McCabe - 88' )
  • 17 Helan Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 Kirkland
  • 11 Johnson
  • 16 McCabe
  • 21 Corry
  • 32 Llera
  • 34 Nuhiu
  • 35 Olofinjana
Ref: Phil Gibbs
Att: 15,476

Match Stats

Shots

10 2

On target

2 1

Corners

7 4

Fouls

14 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Watford 0, Sheffield Wednesday 1.

90:00 +5:46 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Watford 0, Sheffield Wednesday 1.

90:00 +4:20

Attempt missed. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Diego Fabbrini.

90:00 +2:41

Offside, Sheffield Wednesday. Rhys McCabe tries a through ball, but Connor Wickham is caught offside.

90:00 +0:50

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

90:00 +0:50

Josè Semedo (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:48

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

89:48

Glenn Loovens (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:20

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Reda Johnson.

87:52

Héctor Bellerín (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

87:52

Foul by Reda Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday).

87:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Rhys McCabe replaces Jacques Maghoma.

85:00

Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

83:39

Offside, Watford. Sean Murray tries a through ball, but Diego Fabbrini is caught offside.

83:38

Attempt blocked. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

82:11 Booking

Booking Jeremy Helan (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card.

81:51

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

81:51

Foul by Reda Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday).

80:09 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Lewis McGugan replaces Fitz Hall.

79:41

Offside, Sheffield Wednesday. Damián Martinez tries a through ball, but Connor Wickham is caught offside.

79:19

Diego Fabbrini (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:19

Foul by Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday).

78:47

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

78:47

Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Seyi Olofinjana replaces Stephen McPhail.

70:50

Foul by Sean Murray (Watford).

70:50

Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the right wing.

69:00 Booking

Booking Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

68:48

Diego Fabbrini (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:48

Foul by Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday).

68:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Fernando Forestieri replaces Cristian Battocchio.

67:35

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

67:35

Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:05 Booking

Booking Kieran Lee (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

65:59

Diego Fabbrini (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:59

Foul by Kieran Lee (Sheffield Wednesday).

65:12

Foul by Sean Murray (Watford).

65:12

Josè Semedo (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:13

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Liam Palmer.

64:04

Attempt blocked. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by George Thorne.

61:58

Attempt blocked. Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kieran Lee.

60:49

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jeremy Helan.

58:58

Diego Fabbrini (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

58:58

Foul by Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday).

58:19

Héctor Bellerín (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:19

Foul by Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday).

57:07

Diego Fabbrini (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

57:07

Foul by Josè Semedo (Sheffield Wednesday).

56:22

Offside, Sheffield Wednesday. Glenn Loovens tries a through ball, but Connor Wickham is caught offside.

54:10

Foul by Diego Fabbrini (Watford).

54:10

Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:53

Offside, Watford. Ikechi Anya tries a through ball, but Héctor Bellerín is caught offside.

49:13

Marco Cassetti (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:13

Foul by Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday).

48:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Diego Fabbrini replaces Marco Davide Faraoni because of an injury.

48:21

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

46:04

Delay in match Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) because of an injury.

45:00

Second Half begins Watford 0, Sheffield Wednesday 1.

45:00 +2:05 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Watford 0, Sheffield Wednesday 1.

44:36

Attempt saved. Ikechi Anya (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

44:35

Attempt saved. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

43:17

Kieran Lee (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:17

Foul by Ikechi Anya (Watford).

41:06

Attempt saved. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

40:41

Offside, Sheffield Wednesday. Jacques Maghoma tries a through ball, but Reda Johnson is caught offside.

40:08

Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

39:26

Offside, Watford. Troy Deeney tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

37:46

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Liam Palmer.

36:22

Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:22

Foul by Nyron Nosworthy (Watford).

32:35

Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:35

Foul by Fitz Hall (Watford).

32:19

Foul by Glenn Loovens (Sheffield Wednesday).

32:19

Cristian Battocchio (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:29 Booking

Booking Roger Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card.

30:51

Attempt missed. Ikechi Anya (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Marco Cassetti.

28:54

Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:54

Foul by Ikechi Anya (Watford).

28:27

Foul by Jeremy Helan (Sheffield Wednesday).

28:27

Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:42

Attempt missed. Nyron Nosworthy (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

27:09

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Reda Johnson.

25:22

Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Marco Davide Faraoni.

23:22 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 0, Sheffield Wednesday 1. Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

22:29

Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:29

Foul by Nyron Nosworthy (Watford).

21:49

Kieran Lee (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:49

Foul by George Thorne (Watford).

20:32

Foul by Jeremy Helan (Sheffield Wednesday).

20:32

Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:44

Attempt missed. Ikechi Anya (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Nyron Nosworthy.

15:26

Foul by Glenn Loovens (Sheffield Wednesday).

15:26

Héctor Bellerín (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

14:40

Reda Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:40

Foul by Héctor Bellerín (Watford).

14:01

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

12:56

Delay in match Troy Deeney (Watford) because of an injury.

12:52

Foul by Reda Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday).

12:52

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:29

Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Marco Davide Faraoni.

11:06

Foul by Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday).

11:06

Fitz Hall (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:08

Attempt missed. Marco Cassetti (Watford) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sean Murray with a cross following a corner.

6:51

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jeremy Helan.

6:21

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Glenn Loovens.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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