Ipswich Town 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Play-offs spot result of hard graft, says Carvalhal

Delighted to be in the Play Offs Owls Carlos Carvalhal.
Delighted to be in the Play Offs Owls Carlos Carvalhal.
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Sheffield Wednesday confirmed their place in the play-offs with a 1-0 win at Ipswich Town courtesy of Kieran Lee’s 77th minute winner.

A forgettable conclusion to football at Portman Road this season saw Wednesday just do enough to edge the match.

GOAL....Goal from Owls Kieran Lee that confirms a Play-off spot.

GOAL....Goal from Owls Kieran Lee that confirms a Play-off spot.

In a rare moment of quality from either side, Barry Bannan and Daniel Pudil combined to set up Lee for a confident first time finish into the far corner.

Both teams had half chances in the first half without truly threatening to break the deadlock, Adam Reach cutting in and firing wide for the visitors and Tom Lawrence only directing Freddie Sears’ cross straight at Keiren Westwood.

In an uneventful first half, a short corner for Ipswich saw David McGoldrick’s shot from the edge of the area force Westwood into a diving save with the ball heading into the far post.

Wednesday had calls for a penalty waved away after Glenn Loovens’ goalbound shot was deflected away by Jordan Spence five minutes before the interval.

The visitors almost took the lead four minutes after the restart when Ross Wallace cut inside and his speculative shot appeared to go through the hands of Bartoz Bialkowski but come back off the inside of the post.

The play-off chasers were still looking the more threatening with Bialkowski showing more adept handling when he held on to Steven Fletcher’s shot from the edge of the area on 54 minutes.

A flurry of substitutions saw one of them, Ipswich striker Dominic Samuel, make an instant impression as the Reading loanee missed the target with a downward header from Sears’ ranging cross in the 70th minute.

The opening goal of a poor match came in the 76th minute when Bannan played an incisive ball into Pudil and his low cross was turned in by Lee.

The lead should have been doubled four minutes from the end when a quick breakaway led to Lee playing in sub Fernando Forestieri but he scuffed his shot when through on goal.

The best Ipswich could muster is a half-chance for Emyr Huws who failed to hit the target from a tight angle following David McGoldrick’s devilish free kick in injury time.

Carvalhal said: “It’s something fantastic. We prepare very well for the games and this is a result of a lot of hard work. Six wins in a row is fantastic - that is something very special.

“We deserved to win today. It gives me satisfaction to see people around me happy: the chairman, the players and the fans.

“We have more points than we had last season and we are dealing with the expectations of our fans.

“This is a massive club but we can only look at ourselves. I will not think about who we might have in the semi-final or whether we might start home or away in the play-offs.”