SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY progressed to the third round of the Capital One Cup following this hard-fought victory at home to Oxford United.
Wednesday created the lion’s share of chances and Atdhe Nuhiu struck the winner early in the second half.
Keeper Sam Slocombe came to Oxford’s rescue on more than one occasion, producing good saves to deny Tom Lees and Marco Matias.
The visitors had the first chance of the match when Cheyenne Dunkley got on the end of a corner, but his header went wide.
Wednesday’s first opportunity also came from a corner, taken by Ross Wallace, with a header from Lees saved by Slocombe.
The home side enjoyed a good spell, with Wallace putting a low shot wide and Kieran Lee trying a shot from distance which was comfortably saved by Slocombe.
Nuhiu also found himself in a promising position when Jack Hunt floated over a cross from the right, but he failed to direct his header on target.
The breakthrough came when Nuhiu scored with a close-range header after the Oxford defence failed to deal effectively with a cross from the left.
The visitors threatened to produce an instant response when Callum O’Dowda found himself in space inside the area, but he put his shot wide.
Alex MacDonald then sent over a cross which picked out Joshua Ruffels, who headed over.
Substitute Matias went close to increasing Wednesday’s lead midway through the second half when his far-post header forced a fine save from Slocombe.
Lee and Nuhiu found themselves two on one on the break, but they failed to take advantage as the Oxford defence managed to scramble the ball clear.
With the clock ticking down, Oxford were awarded a free-kick from the edge of the ‘D’ in the last minute of the game. MacDonald took it and his driven effort was not too far over, much to the relief of home keeper Lewis Price.
The result extends Wednesday’s unbeaten run at home since the start of the season to four games.
Sheff Wed: Price, Hunt, Lees, Sasso, Helan, Semedo, Wallace (Sougou 64), Lee, Lopez, Lavery (Marco Matias 64), Nuhiu. Unused substitutes: Palmer, Hutchinson, McGugan, Bus, Wildsmith.
Oxford Utd: Slocombe, Long (Sercombe 45), Mullins, Dunkley, Skarz, MacDonald, Ruffels, Lundstram (Rose 70), O’Dowda, Hoban (Hylton 77), Taylor. Unused substitutes: Baldock, Roofe, Wright, Crocombe.
Referee: D Webb.