Blackburn 1 Sheffield Weds 2: Dielna strikes late to reward Owls on road

Owls Atdhe Nuhiu upagainst Rovers duo of Alex Baptiste and Grant Hanley.
Owls Atdhe Nuhiu upagainst Rovers duo of Alex Baptiste and Grant Hanley.
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Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray felt his side’s better ‘composure’ was the difference as his side grabbed a dramatic late winner.

Kieran Lee’s close-range strike after two minutes was cancelled out by Alex Baptiste in a first half that saw Jordan Rhodes strike a post.

But Claude Dielna came off the bench in stoppage-time and grabbed a winner with the last attack of the game when his 25-yard curling shot beat Jason Steele via a deflection.

It ended a run of six away games without a win and Gray felt that Wednesday’s first win at Ewood Park since 1999 was reward for their consistent performances.

He said: “I thought we totally dominated the first 20 minutes. Kieran Lee got his goal and we had two or three more opportunities where we got in behind them and then we stopped doing what was getting us our success.

“We allowed Blackburn to come into the game and then there was a 20-minute period in that second half where we had to roll our sleeves up and dig in. They play to their strengths, get the ball into (Rudy) Gestede and play around there.

“But I thought we had a little more composure going forward. When Claude went on, it was to give us a bit more of an aerial defensive strength because we felt the ball was going forward a bit early.

“We had it done to us (a last-minute winner) at Millwall at home, it’s a horrible feeling and I feel for Gary (Bowyer, Blackburn chief) but I’ll take it. I believe these things will balance themselves out.

“I’m a great believer that the harder you work, it balances itself out for you. Performance-wise, we’ve been playing well. I think that’s 20 games and only four defeats so it’s not a bad record.”

There was a lengthy stoppage in the first half after Lewis McGugan was clattered by Lee Williamson in an aerial challenge.

Gray said: “He was knocked out. He’s a bit fragile but the medical side will look after that. He was totally out of it for two or three minutes. It was precautionary putting the (neck) brace on him.”

Wednesday’s win ended Blackburn’s nine-match unbeaten run.

Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Baptiste, Hanley, Duffy, Olsson, Conway (Dunn 82), Evans, Williamson (Tunnicliffe 66), Marshall, Rhodes, Gestede (Brown 67). Unused substitutes: Eastwood, Varney, Taylor, Songo’o.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Loovens, Helan, Drenthe (Lavery 76), Lee, McGugan (Mattock 35), Maguire, Nuhiu (Dielna 90), May. Unused substitutes: McCabe, Maghoma, Corry, Kirkland.

Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire).

Man of the match: Jordan Rhodes.