Defensive shortages see Owls slump to defeat

INJURY-HIT Sheffield Wednesday crashed to their first defeat of the season last night against Burton Albion.

Gary Hooper nets from the penalty spot.

A makeshift Owls defence had no answer to the Brewers’ vibrant attack as Nigel Clough’s side stormed to their first win in the Sky Bet Championship thanks to goals from Kyle McFadzean, Jackson Irvine and Lloyd Dyer.

Former Sheffield United defender McFadzean had Albion in front after seven minutes, sweeping home Matty Palmer’s free-kick after Stuart Beavon had been brought down 25 yards out.

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The lead lasted just five minutes as referee Neil Swarbrick spotted some shirt-pulling from McFadzean at a Wednesday corner and pointed to the spot. Gary Hooper stepped up and beat Jon McLaughlin from 12 yards despite the Albion goalkeeper going the right way.

Wednesday looked to take control of the contest but could not find their way through the Albion rearguard despite muted shouts for another penalty when John Mousinho sent Hooper sprawling with a well-timed challenge midway through the half.

Tom Naylor also had first-half shouts for a Burton spot-kick when he went to ground under a challenge from Sam Hutchinson but in stoppage time Albion capitalised on a defensive reshuffle for the visitors when Liam Palmer replaced skipper Jose Semedo – standing in at centre-half for the injured Tom Lees – Irvine rising high to head home Mousinho’s cross for his first goal in English football since joining from Ross County.

Wednesday sent on Fernando Forestieri for the second half after a difficult couple of days for the mercurial forward and Atdhe Nuhiu also came off the bench early in the second half to try to turn the game around.

Burton keeper McLaughlin then thwarted Steven Fletcher and Barry Bannan as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.

Dyer sealed victory for Albion with 13 minutes to go by stealing in at the back post.

Burton: McLaughlin, Mousinho, McFadzean, Turner, Akins, Naylor, Palmer (Choudhury 83), Irvine, Dyer, Beavon (Flanagan 75), O’Grady. Unused substitutes: Williamson,Butcher, Bywater, McCrory, Harness.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Semedo (Palmer 45), Hutchinson, Pudil, Wallace, Lee, Bannan, Abdi (Forestieri 46), Fletcher, Hooper (Nuhiu 58). Unused substitutes: Wildsmith, Joao, Buckley, Vermijl.

Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).