Huddersfield 0-2 Sheffield Wed

By Ian WoodcockBBC Sport at the Galpharm Stadium

Two second half goals gave Sheffield Wednesday a pivotal win at promotion rivals Huddersfield Town.

Gary Madine's early header was tipped on to the bar by Town keeper Alex Smithies before Danny Ward flashed an effort just wide for the hosts.

Miguel Llera gave the Owls the lead with a wonderfully struck free-kick after the break.

Minutes after hitting the crossbar, Nile Ranger wrapped up the win with a fine finish after a defensive error.

It was Wednesday's first win at Huddersfield since May 1984 and sees them keep pace with Steel City rivals Sheffield United, who lead the Owls by two points.

For Town, who have now lost two of their last three, they are now six points outside the automatic promotion spots with five games to play.

In a fiery Yorkshire derby atmosphere it was the Owls who settled quickest and Madine's header, from a long throw into the Town box gave them a platform to build on.

Llera's free-kick from distance curled just wide with Smithies beaten before Town began to exert some pressure of their own with Ward firing just wide after a neat pass inside from Jordan Rhodes.

The winger came close again just before the interval when his free-kick, after Danny Batth was booked for obstructing Alan Lee, went just over the bar, as Town finished the half with some momentum.

Roared on by a large and vocal travelling support, the Owls drew first blood when Sean Morrison was adjudged to have fouled Batth and Llera's set piece evaded Smithies' despairing dive to nestle in the bottom corner.

The goal rocked Town and but for a superb double save from custodian Smithies, from Michail Antonio and Ranger, they would have quickly found themselves two down.

Ranger again went close with a lobbed effort from Chris Lines's pass that hit the crossbar before eventually getting his goal after a defensive error on the halfway line by Tom Clarke left him to run through on goal and finish with aplomb.

Lee Novak stung the palms of Owls keeper Stephen Bywater and Antony Kay headed just wide, but the Terriers were second best all game and look set for a third successive crack at the play-offs.


Huddersfield Town boss Simon Grayson told BBC Radio Leeds:

"I'm hugely disappointed, we've lost the game at a crucial stage of the season. There was not much in it between both teams.

"They started the game probably a little bit better than us, but for 25 minutes of the second half I thought we were the dominant team.

"We've got to learn how to respond after a goal or certain situations of the game, as there was still plenty of time to get back into it.

"It doesn't end our automatic promotion hopes but it certainly dents them."

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones tells BBC Radio Sheffield:

"The first 20-25 minutes in the first half we should have been in front and then we allowed them [back in].

"But I felt the second half we were all over them and got the ball forward a little bit quicker.

"I thought every time it broke down we were too open and gave them opportunities, so second half we didn't do that."

"And with four or five minutes to go and 2-0 up we shut the game down."

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