Sheffield Wednesday 0 Plymouth 0: Unwanted replay in Devon for Owls

A CUP REPLAY in deepest Devon in mid-November is probably about as welcome for Sheffield Wednesday as the first hard frost of winter.

Hillsborough. Picture: PA.

You sensed, belatedly that those in blue and white twigged onto the fact with the hosts offering in the final half-hour possessed far more urgency and freneticism than what he preceded it.

Which was not a lot,

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But to no avail. No goals transpired in a watchable televised finale which saw Wednesday throw bodies into the box, Plymouth survive a penalty appeal when Dan Scarr tangled with Olamide Shodipo and Lewis Wing blaze over when well placed in stoppage-time.

His look to the skies immediately after said it all.

At the other end, Wing made his presence felt in a more emphatic way in clearing off the line after Bailey Peacock-Farrell made a splendid reaction save to deny fellow replacement Jordon Garrick.

It just seemed destined that these two must now do it all again. Which they now will at Home Park.

A televised Sunday lunch-time fixture did not deter a good following from making the near 600-mile round trip from Devon and Argyle’s Green Army were further rewarded by the sight of a first half which showed just why they are enjoying such a strong and competent season.

An opener may have not arrived, but the comfort in possession, fluidity and movement of those in Plymouth jerseys caught the eye and reflected well upon their manager - a former Wednesday favourite himself in Ryan Lowe.

The Owls themselves barely threatened with their best moment coming when Saido Berahino - who replaced Lee Gregory in the only change from the starting line-up who wiped the floor with Sunderland - supplied Dennis Adeniran, whose angled low shot was held by Michael Cooper.

Much of the first-half play was in front of the sparsely-attended Kop and Wednesday survived a couple of threatening moments.

The first arrived early when Panutche Camara, an athletic midfielder with energy and guile, dispossessed Barry Bannan and powered forward before swapping passes with Ryan Hardie - with the Bissau-Guinean’s low shot saved by the feet of Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The Owls keeper got into a spot of bother on the half-hour with some indecision providing a clear sight of goal for visiting captain Joe Edwards, whose effort was deflected just wide following an assist from Ryan Hardie, whose link-up play and pace unhinged Wednesday at times.

Wednesday themselves were neat on the ball for spells, but not overly dangerous where it mattered with their final-ball options letting them down.

The sight of Hardie not coming out at the second half will have been a relief for Wednesday, who needed to do a fair bit more in the final third with Berahino underwhelming alongside Florian Kamberi and Theo Corbeanu and Callum Paterson struggling to get into the game.

Unfortunately, it did not improve with Argyle a whisker away from going in front when a dipping shot from Conor Grant - in his 100th appearance - flew just over following patient build-up.

Set-pieces looked Wednesday’s best route as opposed to open play with a triple change from Moore just before the hour mark being an indicator of his desire for his side to start asking several more questions to Plymouth’s backline who had it too easy.

It helped do the trick with the introduction of Fisayo Dele-Bashiru in particular changing the narrative.

His clever backheel set up Liam Palmer, who shot straight at Cooper when well placed before the Plymouth keeper did well to tip away a shot from Berahino.

It was better from Wednesday and they had their moments in a hectic finale, while a combination of first Peacock-Farrell and then Wing denied Yorkshire-raised Argyle substitute Jordon Garrick.

But a goal obstinately refused to arrive.

Sheffield Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell; Palmer, Dunkley, Johnson; Paterson (Hunt 60), Adeniran (Dele-Bashiru 58), Bannan, Wing, Corbeanu (Shodipo 75); Kamberi (Gregory 60), Berahino (Sow 85). Substitutes unused: Wildsmith, Brown, Byers, Luongo.

Plymouth Argyle: Cooper; Wilson, Scarr, Galloway; Houghton; Edwards (Agard 85), Camara, Mayor (Broom 63), Grant; Jephcott (Shirley 90), Hardie (Garrick 45). Substitutes unused: Burton, Gillesphey, Randell, Law, Jenkins-Davies.

Referee: A Backhouse (Cumbria).

Attendance: 7,261