Sheffield Wednesday face unwanted replay after failing to take their chances in FA Cup

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

Late penalty shout as Argyle pair of Dann Scarr and Michael Cooper challenge Owls' Olamide Shodipo. Picture: Steve Ellis

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

Which was not a lot, in truth.

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But it was to no avail. No goals transpired in a watchable 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.

What a save from Owls keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to keep his team in the FA Cup. Picture: Steve Ellis

His look to the skies immediately after said it all on an afternoon when Wednesday produced 17 attempts on goal. Tellingly, just four were on target.

At the other end, Wing had a more emphatic contribution in clearing off the line after Bailey Peacock-Farrell made a splendid reaction save to deny substitute Jordon Garrick.

The ball would not go in. It just seemed destined that these two must do it all again. Which they now will at Home Park.

Owls manager Darren Moore reflected: “In the first half, it was slow from both teams. But we took the game more to them in the second half and on the balance of the play, we had the better chances.

Argyle's Dan Scarr keeps a close eye on Wednesday's Saido Berahino. Picture: Steve Ellis

“We had two or three chances where we could have done better and if there was one critique, it was in the final third where we chose that wrong pass and did not get the right touch on the ball.

“While I am happy at the clean sheet and not losing the game and getting that mentality, we could have been more clinical.

“With us being the home team, it was up to us to take the intiaitive to them, but in the final third, it just petered out and now we have another fixture to put in.

“It was a little bit more spirited in the second half, but we were still lacklustre in areas of the game and there were too many moments where it was too quiet and passive.”

A televised Sunday lunch-time fixture did not deter a good following from making the near 600-mile round trip from the south-west and Argyle’s Green Army were 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 – an ex-Owls player himself in Ryan Lowe.

Wednesday 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 Peacock-Farrell.

The Owls goalkeeper 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. The Owls 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 from the visitors.

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 far 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 Wing was in the right position to clear on the goalline to deny Yorkshire-raised Argyle substitute Garrick after Peacock-Farrell’s initial agility.

But a goal obstinately refused to arrive in what was an ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ type occasion after the majesty and exhileration of Sunderland.

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).