Sheff Wed win late after pen miss costs Stoke

9 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Anthony Musaba struck a 91st-minute winner as Sheffield Wednesday moved off the foot of the Championship table with a 1-0 victory at Stoke.

Cameron Dawson was the Owls' other hero, saving a second-half penalty from Ryan Mmaee as Wednesday extended their unbeaten run to three games.

"Sacked in the morning" were the chants aimed at Potter boss Alex Neil after Musaba broke away to fire the ball past City's rookie keeper Tommy Simkin.

A day after his 19th birthday and recalled recently from a loan spell at National League side Solihull Moors, the teenager could do nothing to prevent Wednesday's priceless winner which saw them leapfrog South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham.

In contrast, opposite number Dawson kept out Mmaee's 64th-minute spot- kick as City failed to win for a sixth successive game to up the pressure on disconsolate Neil.

Danny Rohl's team have now collected seven points from a possible nine as they won away from home for the first time this season.

The game certainly came to life after a miserable opening period.

Bookings for Wednesday pair Akin Famewo and Marvin Johnson plus Stoke's Wouter Burger were the lowlights of an opening half devoid of goalmouth action.

Simkin could not have wished for an easier introduction to his Championship career, comfortably saving a Di'Shon Bernard header when eventually called upon.

And apart from punching away a deflected Lyndon Gooch shot, Dawson was equally unemployed.

The growing dissatisfaction among home fans manifested itself with half-time boos.

The mood did not improve as Wednesday were an upright away from taking the lead in front of their travelling supporters.

Fortunately for Stoke, George Byers could not squeeze his effort inside Simkin's left post.

Eventually, there was home applause, albeit sarcastic in nature, when Josh Laurent fired wide after 55 minutes. The skipper's attempt was followed by: a chant of "We had a shot' from the Boothen End.

Dawson did well to block Bae Jun-ho's close-range effort soon after Mmaee shot wide, while Burger had another chance blocked.

Then came a rare moment of drama as referee David Coote adjudged Famewo had pushed Laurent in the six yard box

It looked soft from a Wednesday perspective. Dawson though came to the rescue by diving to his left to keep out Mmaee's equally tame effort.

Little had been seen of Wednesday as an attacking force in the second half until substitute Michael Ihiekwe headed wide from Will Vaulks' 71st-minute corner.

Stoke continued to carve out the better chances and Gooch's raking cross from the right was met by Mmaee who could only poke his close-range effort into the gloves of grateful Dawson.

Michael Rose almost broke the stalemate but he was spared the embarrassment of an own goal as his clearance drifted wide for a visitors' corner.

But two minutes into stoppage time Djeidi Gassama threaded the ball through for match winner Musaba.

The managers

Stoke's Alex Neil:

"I came here to do well but ultimately of late we have not won enough games. I need to take my medicine and get on with it. I can assure everyone I am doing my best and utmost to make the right decisions.

"I feel at the moment every decision I am making is going the wrong way. When people describe things as a lonely place being a manager, this probably epitomised it.

"But everything is salvageable. We are not even at Christmas yet. This is my hardest job to this point. But it makes me more determined to double down and try to see it through. Ultimately, that is not going to be my decision."

Sheffield Wednesday's Danny Rohl:

"It is fantastic at the moment but there is a long way to go. It was a tough one to get something here. But I told my players we had firstly to stay in the game and then there will be the right time to be more offensive and attack them more.

"We had a fantastic moment and it (the penalty save) was a key moment for us.

"In the past it hasn't always been easy for Cameron. He has had some negative voices against him but he saved a point against Leicester and was the hero of the key moment."

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