Ipswich Town 0 Sheffield Wednesday 3: Barkley proves the difference and lights fuse for Owls’ lift-off

Ross Barkley hits his second goal for the Owls at Ipswich.
Ross Barkley hits his second goal for the Owls at Ipswich.
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SHEFFIELD Wednesday chief Dave Jones said a performance like Saturday’s had been coming for a long time.

Celebrating his side’s first win in 10 league matches, Jones said: “Our performances have been good for five or six games.

“We’ve been dominating but the only thing we haven’t been doing is putting the ball in the back of the net.

“We feel hard done by not to have more points, but (on Saturday) we had to stick to what we believed in. We had to believe things would turn and Ipswich felt the full force.

“We’ve been playing well and working the ball into the box, getting into some great positions. But the final piece of the jigsaw has been our finishing, so it was nice to score three.”

Jones added it was important to silence the Portman Road fans as Wednesday stretched managerless Ipswich’s winless run to 11 matches.

“We knew they would have to come out and get the crowd behind them but it was us who started brightly,” he said.

“The second goal killed them and then we had a game of keep-ball.

“It’s a ruthless game and if you get it right, it can be disheartening for the other team.”

Ipswich caretaker-manager Chris Hutchings felt “angry and disappointed” after the home side’s limp performance.

Hutchings was in charge after Paul Jewell’s exit by mutual consent on Wednesday but the rock-bottom Tractor Boys’ fortunes showed no sign of improvement.

Teenager Ross Barkley’s double and a late strike by Michail Antonio helped secure the Owls’ first away win in the Championship this season.

Midfielder Barkley, on loan from Everton, struck early in each half.

Barkley, 18, capped at every level for England from Under-14s to Under-21s, has hit top form in recent weeks and proved the difference.

Defender Anthony Gardner and strikers Jay Bothroyd and Chris O’Grady were recalled by Wednesday, who made a flying start. They attacked from the kick-off and when Lewis Buxton’s shot was blocked by Luke 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 goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and there were chances at both ends before Wednesday doubled their lead after the restart.

Antonio headed the ball on and Barkley stepped inside on the edge of the area and arrowed home a low 20-yard shot.

The Owls continued to look the more likely to add to the scoreline and the third goal arrived in the 81st minute. O’Grady played the ball across the six-yard box and Antonio was free to convert.

Ipswich Town: Henderson, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Carson (Emmanuel-Thomas 78), Wellens, Hyam, Martin, Campbell (Mohsni 83), Murphy (Chopra 61). Unused substitutes: Loach, Drury, Smith, Reo-Coker.

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, Jones, Semedo, Bothroyd, Barkley, Corry (Jer Johnson 72), Antonio, O’Grady (Madine 82). Unused substitutes: Davies, Taylor, Mattock, Rodri, Pecnik.

Referee: R East (Wiltshire).

Man of the match: Ross Barkley.