Sheff Wed’s winless run continues with draw against Watford

31 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

Sheffield Wednesday’s winless run extended to three matches as they recorded a 0-0 draw at home to Watford in the Championship.

The Owls sit five points from safety after failing to take a number of chances at Hillsborough, while the visitors’ fourth draw in five league games left them three points off the play-off places.

Both sides looked eager to return to winning ways in an entertaining first period in which they each hit the woodwork, firstly the visitors through Matheus Martins before Ike Ugbo rattled the inside of the post for Wednesday.

The hosts went within inches of a breakthrough in the second half when Di’Shon Bernard was denied by Ben Hamer, but they could not find a winner.

Watford looked the more dangerous through the early stages down the right side and Vakoun Bayo’s deflected goal-bound effort tested the concentration of James Beadle.

The Yorkshire side settled into the contest and skipper Barry Bannan let rip with a rocket from 25 yards which was tipped behind by a diving Hamer.

Watford were denied an opener by the frame of the goal on the half-hour mark.

Di'Shon Bernard and Ismael Kone battle for the ball

Image: Di’Shon Bernard and Ismael Kone battle for the ball

After Tom Dele-Bashiru was brought down just outside the box, Martins’ central free-kick deflected off the wall and Beadle could only watch on as the ball hit a post.

Watford were knocking on the door and should have taken the lead when Dele-Bashiru slipped through Bayo, he passed beyond the onrushing Beadle into the path of Martins who somehow hit the side-netting with an empty goal at his mercy.

It was Wednesday’s turn to strike the post just before the break when Ugbo rifled an effort onto the inside frame of the goal. Anthony Musaba could only guide his rebounded header into the grateful grasp of Hamer.

The chances continued in the second half and Watford went close when Ismael Kone drilled just wide of the target.

Barry Bannan tries his luck from distance

Image: Barry Bannan tries his luck from distance

Wednesday’s decision-making in defence allowed the visitors to put pressure on the goal and the Hornets came close once again when substitute Yaser Asprilla dispossessed Pol Valentin before firing straight at Beadle.

Wednesday thought they had finally opened the scoring midway through the second half. Bannan’s inswinging free-kick found Bernard at the back post who thought he nudged beyond Hamer, only for the Hornets keeper to stop the ball on the line at the second time of trying.

Bannan’s set-pieces were causing problems for the away side and the Owls captain delivered a floater on to the head of Michael Smith who diverted wide.

Wednesday continued to fight until the final whistle but Hamer was once again the saviour for Watford who magnificently kept out Musaba’s 20-yard strike which looked to be heading into the top corner.

The managers

Sheffield Wednesday’s Danny Rohl:

“We did well as a team but I believe if we do this in the next 17 games we will achieve our goals because this performance is not a performance from a relegation side.

“Of course we need some luck to win some games and the decisions today were not easy to take, but this is football.

“When I arrived the club had no belief, the club in trouble, no positive energy… whereas now my team goes into every game with the conviction we can take something.

“Everyone should be proud of what we have done since I arrived here. As long as I am the manager we will fight for everything.”

Watford’s Valerien Ismael:

“We will take the point, the pitch was awful and difficult to play football.

“We knew that before and prepared the guys but it was really bad. That’s why it was difficult for us to control the ball as usual and struggled a bit more than usual.

“Nonetheless we had some great chances in the first half to score but we were disciplined, calm and focused on our game.

“It was a tough away game but we finally have a clean sheet after two months and 15 games, but we take what we can get at the minute.”

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