Wednesday and Norwich stalemate


The Owls have now gone seven games without a win, but it could have been even worse had the Republic of Ireland keeper not pulled off a string of impressive late stops to deny the visitors.

Norwich themselves have now gone five games without victory, but boss Neil Adams can take some comfort from the quantity of chances the Canaries made in the second half – even if their finishing was not as accurate as some of the build-up play.

Wednesday announced the loan signing of Gary Taylor-Fletcher from Leicester before kick-off, and the veteran forward was included among the substitutes as Stuart Gray made one change to the side which drew 0-0 at Brentford in the week – Claude Dielna starting at left-back due to Joe Mattock’s suspension.

Adams handed starts to Bradley Johnson, Lewis Grabban and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, with Kyle Lafferty suspended and Josh Murphy and Nathan Redmond dropping to the bench.

The two sides each spurned a golden opportunity during a scrappy first half – the impressive Jeremy Helan playing in Dielna down the left flank after eight minutes, only for his precise cross to be headed wide by Stevie May from six yards.

Four minutes later it was the visitors’ turn to be wasteful, with former Bournemouth striker Grabban – now without a goal in his last five games – shooting straight at Westwood when Russell Martin’s header found him in acres of space 12 yards out.

Kieran Lee volleyed over Atdhe Nuhiu’s 24th-minute knock-down as the hosts began to impose themselves on the game, and the former Austria under-21 international was almost the provider again four minutes later when he cut in from the left and bundled past Steven Whittaker, only for Canaries keeper John Ruddy to smother his low cut-back.

Johnson was perhaps fortunate to only receive a yellow card for a late challenge on Liam Palmer after half an hour, but the former Leeds man came close to opening the scoring four minutes later as Westwood made a sharp save to parry his 25-yard free-kick behind.

Norwich looked the more lively side after the break, and Martin headed substitute Gary O’Neill’s dangerous free-kick over the bar after 54 minutes.

At the other end Whittaker sent Helan sprawling with a clumsy challenge, which referee Stuart Attwell deemed to be just outside the penalty area.

Taylor-Fletcher came on for his debut and it was almost a goal-scoring one on 68 minutes as Dielna’s excellent long pass found him in the area only for the former Blackpool man’s first touch to let him down and allow Ruddy to cut out the danger.

May’s enterprising run moments later resulted in a cut-back to Palmer, who fired into the side-netting, before another O’Neill free-kick at the other end picked out Cameron Jerome, with Westwood making a smart save to deny the ex-Stoke striker.

Adams introduced Redmond to try and provide some cutting edge, and it almost paid off when the England Under-21 international’s run in from the right flank ended with a low 20-yard effort which Westwood did well to tip past the post.

Westwood’s best was yet to come, however, as he brilliantly parried away Jerome’s 77th-minute volley from a low Martin Olsson cross.

The visitors continued to press, and Martin passed up another clear opening when he headed O’Neill’s 82nd-minute corner wide despite being unmarked six yards out.