Sheffield Wednesday 1 Swansea City 1: Owls blow their chance to rise above the Championship dead men

For just short of an hour, Sheffield Wednesday had a glimmer of Easter hope. Then, they dozed off at a corner and it was back to the Championship relegation zone.

Technically, the Owls have been outside of the bottom this season – after matchday one, when they were yet to win a point but had a better goal difference than some.

It has been awfully long time with some pretty dark days, especially the early ones under the mismanagement of Xisco Munoz.

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When they played the first half just right to take the lead through Bailey Cadamarteri and when the introduction of Djeidi Gassama started to make a second goal likely, it looked like this was finally going to be the day.

But Wednesday being Wednesday they found a way to shoot themselves in the foot and draw 1-1 with Swansea City.

It could turn out to be a crucial point, but the smattering of frustrated boos at full-time spelt out that nobody felt that way at the time.

Well, rising from the dead men would be a bit premature on Good Friday.

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Harry Darling and Jamal Lowe were both left in far too much space at a 76th-minute corner and when the former headed it at the latter, he had the presence of mind to control, swivel and equalise, and the good fortune for his use of the hand to go unnoticed.

GOAL: Bailey Cadamarteri celebratesGOAL: Bailey Cadamarteri celebrates
GOAL: Bailey Cadamarteri celebrates

The angles would have made it very difficult for the officials to see it in real time but defending like that deserved to be punished.

Had Ike Ugbo smashed his shot minutes earlier just under rather than onto the crossbar, had Gassama hit the target on 87 minutes, it would have been irrelevant or had just one of their stoppage-time chances been taken. But having given the rest of the division such a mammoth headstart, this season has never been about making it easy for themselves.

The first half was deadly dull, those in the front seats got soaked by a pre-interval downpour and even the press box wifi was worse than usual but when the whistle blew on it, Sheffield Wednesday were not just winning, they had scored from a set piece to scramble above the dotted line.

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The first 40 minutes were instantly forgettable, the Owls content to drop into a 5-2-3 shape when the Swans' centre-backs or goalkeeper had the ball and see what they could do about it. The answer was not very much.

A 15th minute shot by Josh Tymon from out wide which James Beadle beat away was the only shot they could manufacture out of 73 per cent possession.

It was hardly the torrent of chances at the other end that threatened when Liam Palmer's shot was blocked and Ugbo headed wide after 65 seconds, but it looked like Danny Rohl had got his tactics spot on.

Carl Rushworth made a meal of tipping a header from Bambo Diaby – drafted into the XI when Di'Shon Bernard was injured in the warm-up – over the bar.

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But as the frustration started to grow on the terraces Will Vaulks ought to have put the hosts in front in the 37th minute. Instead, he miskicked Pol Valentin's pull-back wide.

Fortunately for him, his side was in front just four minutes later.

Diaby helped a free-kick on to the back post where Cadamarteri – recalled after just three starts since January and no Owls goals since Christmas but one on his England Under-19s debut earlier in the week – put it in.

"Danny, Danny Rohl!" sang fans who seconds earlier had been struggling to contain their grumbles at his cagey tactics.

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The shock was so great the sky burst open, pouring a heavy shower onto the field.

Swansea restarted after the break with intent, Ronald Pereira Martin forcing a good save from Beadle and Nathan Wood putting a diving header wide in amongst three deflected efforts. The space Wood found at the 58th-minute corner was an unheeded sign of things to come.

But Rohl's decision to bring Gassama on just before it would turn the tide Wednesday’s way.

Although his control let him down when Marvin Johnson played him through, the winger was soon forcing a save, the hosts appealing in vain for a foul on Ugbo as he tried to get onto the rebound.

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Diaby headed wide, Johnson had a shot blocked and the pressure culminated in Anthony Musaba picking out Ugbo for a great chance in the 72nd minute after some excellent work to create it. His shot smashed against the crossbar.

To concede four minutes later sucked the life out of a 28,301 crowd who had been building to a crescendo.

Valentin missed the target in the 87th minute and Johnson poked an effort at Rushworth as the stoppage-time pressure built but it was already obvious to everyone – Wednesday had blown their chance.

Sheffield Wednesday: Beadle; Valentin, B Diaby (Bannan 71), Ihiekwe, Famewo, Johnson; Vaulks, Palmer (Iorfa 71); Ugbo (Smith 81), Musaba (Wilks 81); Cadamarteri (Gassama 56). Unused substitutes: Dawson, James, Hendrick, Charles.Swansea City: Rushworth; Key (Allen 70), Darling, Wood, Tymon; Fulton, Grimes; Ronald (Patino 83), Paterson (Govea 70), Placheta (Lowe HT); Cullen (Yates 64). Unused substitutes: Fisher, Cooper, Abdulai, Lissah.Referee: G Eltringham (County Durham).

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