FULL TIME: EXETER CITY 0-2 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
HALF TIME: EXETER CITY 0-1 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
Managerless Sheffield Wednesday put their League and Coronavirus issues aside as they beat League Two Exeter City in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Owls were without interim manager Neil Thompson and his assistants because of an outbreak of the virus which closed the club’s training ground ahead of the tie.
Onto the match and Adam Reach gave the Owls the lead as he fired past Lewis Ward after Barry Bannan’s free-kick over the top of the City defence.
Callum Paterson’s late goal from close proximity secured the triumph for Wednesday.
The victory was a third progressive triumph for Wednesday since Tony Pulis was replaced as manager and regardless of the club’s Coronavirus issues, the Owls had the option to pick a moderately strong side.
Sheffield Wednesday made three changes from the team which beat Derby County on New Year’s Day. However, it was the League Two side that threatened first, with Exeter nearly being two goals up inside the initial five minutes. as Matt Jay sent a first-minute divining header wide and Ryan Bowman shot straight at Joe Wildsmith when played through by Jay soon after.
As the first half progressed, Wednesday’s quality began to show and Exeter center-back Rory McArdle was caught out by Barry Bannan’s long ball from inside his own half, Reach got the wrong side of him and smashed the ball past Ward at his near post.
McArdle ought to have levelled the scores eight minutes after half-time when Josh Key flicked on a corner, yet the centre-back managed to float a back-post header into the arms of Wildsmith.
As the cup-tie progressed, Wednesday’s Chase, Reach and Bannan all had efforts on target on, while Nicky Law put a chance over the bar for Exeter as he stretched to meet Jake Caprice’s cross from the right.
In the final stages of the match, Patterson was set up by Shaw’s amazing run from midfield as burst toward City’s goal he cut the ball back for the Scotland international to score for the third game in a row.
Exeter City manager Matt Taylor told BBC Radio Devon:
“We made too many unforced errors today, we worked hard out of possession but we didn’t use that ball well enough.
“They were there for the taking, we had opportunities, we created opportunities, we got in good positions.
“Our keeper’s not had a shot to save in anger and we’ve got beaten 2-0.”
Sheffield Wednesday coach Andy Holdsworth:
“The lads have been professional in everything they have done today. The remit was to get through to the next round, and we have done that.
“The commitment, desire, and the work ethic of the lads to go and win the game were pleasing. It was a professional performance from the lads and they deserve everything they have got.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going as well. Neil (Thompson) has come and done really well in the last three performances and got the points. Winning games breeds confidence in players and is what we have done today.”
My man of the match would have to be Ryan Bowman as he was a thorn in the opposition and my flop of the match would have to be Rory McArdle as he kept losing concentration and his passing was horrific!