Fernando Forestieri struck a late winner to seal Sheffield Wednesday’s third-successive victory with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
The Italian striker was in the right place at the right time to score his 14th goal of the season with just seven minutes left.
Forestieri had a running battle with Town skipper Mark Hudson which led to the centre-back coming close to being sent off.
Hudson was booked in the 44th minute for a foul on Forestieri and was given a final warning by the referee in the 55th minute. He was replaced by Martin Cranie two minutes later as Terriers head coach David Wagner took the hint.
Wednesday cemented their place in the play-off positions after registering a fifth clean sheet in six matches.
The first half was evenly-matched and closely fought with neither side allowed time to dwell on the ball.
Wednesday’s Ross Wallace had a long-range effort deflected for a corner before the home side won a corner of their own when Harry Bunn’s shot was deflected behind.
Philip Billing met Karim Matmour’s kick with a flying header which seemed to be blocked by team-mate Nahki Wells with his back to goal.
Forestieri’s reverse pass set Aiden McGeady free and he would have been through on goal but for 6ft 5in Billing’s out-stretched leg.
Wallace had another shot from distance which struck Joel Lynch full in the face with keeper Jed Steer diving to his left just behind him. Matmour rounded McGeady but dragged his finish wide.
Tackles began to fly as half-time approached with neither side giving an inch.
Dean Whitehead was given a lecture by referee Iain Williamson for bringing down Forestieri 30 yards out, while the free-kick from Wallace clipped the top of the wall as Steer made a flying save.
Keiren Westwood was called into action for the first time five minutes before the break to hold Tommy Smith’s clever volley.
After Hudson went off, Wednesday turned the screw and Hunt’s cross was picked up in space by McGeady but he fired a shot past Steer only for Lynch to head off the line.
The visitors should have scored in the 73rd minute when former Huddersfield right-back Jack Hunt missed a glorious chance, scooping over Atdhe Nuhiu’s cross.
Wednesday sealed the points in the 83rd minute when sub Lucas Joao, who scored twice against Town at Hillsborough, drove forward down the left and crossed for Forestieri to slide home at the back post.
Huddersfield: Steer, Smith, Hudson, Lynch, Husband, Whitehead,
Billing, Lolley, Matmour, Bunn, Wells. Subs: Davidson, Scannell,
Paterson, Murphy, Cranie, Huws, van La Parra.
Sheff Wed: Westwood, Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Bennett, Wallace,
Lopez, Lee, McGeady, Forestieri, Hooper. Subs: Palmer, Turner,
Marco Matias, Nuhiu, McGugan, Lucas Joao, Wildsmith.
Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire)
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