ROSS Barkley’s double and a late Michail Antonio strike at managerless Ipswich helped secure Sheffield Wednesday their first away win the npower Championship this season and lifted them out of the bottom three.
Teenage midfielder Barkley, on loan from Everton, struck early in each half and Antonio steered home a third in the closing stages to lift the pressure on Wednesday manager Dave Jones, who celebrated his side’s first win in 10 league matches.
Barkley, 18, capped at every level for England from under-14s to under-21s, has hit top form for the Owls in recent weeks and proved the difference in a game between the Championship’s bottom two clubs.
Ipswich, who parted company with manager Paul Jewell on Wednesday, have yet to win a league game at Portman Road this season and their winless run has now stretched to 11 matches.
Caretaker-boss Chris Hutchings made three changes to the side that started in the midweek home defeat to Derby, with midfield pair Luke Hyam and Josh Carson, plus striker Daryl Murphy all returning.
Defender Anthony Gardner and strikers Jay Bothroyd and Chris O’Grady were recalled by Wednesday, who made a flying start.
The visitors attacked from the kick-off and when Lewis Buxton’s shot was blocked by Hyam following Antonio’s cross, Barkley rifled the ball home, low under Ipswich goalkeeper Stephen Henderson in the second minute.
Ipswich defender Luke Chambers headed his side’s first chance straight at Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland from Carson’s corner, while Hyam dragged his shot from the edge of the area wide.
Wednesday went close to doubling their lead in the 16th minute when Antonio’s goalbound header from Bothroyd’s cross was blocked by Ipswich defender Danny Higginbotham, but Ipswich were not without their chances.
Aaron Cresswell’s 20-yard free-kick flew over the crossbar, fellow midfielder Richie Wellens fired a 25-yard shot just over and Higginbotham headed Lee Martin’s free-kick narrowly wide in the 40th minute.
Ipswich stepped up their pursuit of an equaliser before the break as Higginbotham headed Cresswell’s free-kick over the crossbar and Carson’s stinging drive was well held by Kirkland.
Barkley and Ipswich striker DJ Campbell traded shots from outside the area after the restart before the visitors struck again.
Antonio headed the ball inside from the left and Barkley stepped inside on the edge of the area and arrowed a low 20-yard shot into Henderson’s bottom right-hand corner.
Hutchings sent on striker Michael Chopra for Murphy in the 60th minute, but Antonio went close to adding a third for the visitors with a stinging shot held by Henderson.
The Owls continued to look the more likely to add to the scoreline and the third goal arrived in the 81st minute.
Striker Chris O’Grady played the ball across the six-yard box and Antonio was left to convert the simplest of finishes from close range.
Chopra lashed a shot over the crossbar in the 88th minute for Ipswich, who have taken only two points from seven home games this season.