Wednesday too strong for Boro

Sheffield Wednesday secured their place in the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 win over Middlesbrough as goals by Steve Howard and Leroy Lita in the first half hour banished any fears of relegation at Hillsborough.

Last Updated: 04/05/13 at 20:22 Post Comment

Leroy Lita: Netted Wednesday's second

Leroy Lita: Netted Wednesday's second

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With the Owls just one point above the relegation zone, it would have been reasonable to expect them to be nervous but they dominated from the outset against a Middlesbrough side that offered little.

Howard put Wednesday ahead in the ninth minute with his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Hartlepool in March before Lita, another loanee, added a second after half an hour against his former club.

A crowd of 31,375 witnessed the game although many of them would have approached it with some trepidation.

Dave Jones' side had appeared to be pulling clear of danger before a run of just two points from the previous four games plunged the Owls firmly back into trouble.

Defeat at Peterborough last week saw the South Yorkshire side start the game fifth from bottom and just one point above Barnsley who occupied the third relegation spot.

However, they knew their destiny was in their own hands: win or equal Peterborough and Barnsley's results and they would be safe.

Jermaine Johnson screwed an effort well wide after shrugging off the attention of two defenders and Seyi Olofinjana blazed over as Wednesday made their attacking intentions clear.

However, they were given a warning when Curtis Main escaped the defence and forced goalkeeper Chris Kirkland to smother at the Boro man's feet.

But Wednesday were in front in the ninth minute when Howard judged his run well and ran on to an incisive low ball before firing an unstoppable shot past Jason Steele.

And they doubled their lead after half an hour when Lewis Buxton's inswinging corner was glanced home by Lita in a packed six-yard box.

Wednesday's pace was troubling the visitors and they almost got a third moments later when only a desperate goal-line clearance prevented Howard from getting his second of the day.

Kirkland gathered a teasing cross in first-half injury-time but the break arrived with rapturous applause for Wednesday who had all but booked their Championship spot for next season.

Boro offered more after the break and Christian Burgess headed narrowly over from Grant Leadbitter's corner.

However, any fears were soon assuaged and the Wednesday fans soon got down to celebrating securing their Championship status - the final whistle prompting a pitch invasion.

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1 Norwich 10 11 20
2 N Forest 10 10 20
3 Watford 10 8 20
4 Derby 10 9 19
5 Ipswich 10 6 18
6 Charlton 10 4 18
7 Wolves 10 3 18
8 M'boro 10 6 17
9 Sheff Wed 10 3 16
10 Reading 10 0 15
11 Blackburn 10 -2 14
12 Leeds 10 -2 14
13 Brentford 10 -3 14
14 Cardiff 10 0 13
15 Bournemth 10 1 12
16 Millwall 10 -3 11
17 Rotherham 10 -4 11
18 Huddersfld 10 -8 11
19 Brighton 10 -2 10
20 Birmingham 10 -6 10
21 Wigan 10 -2 9
22 Fulham 10 -8 7
23 Bolton 10 -12 5
24 Blackpool 10 -9 3

Updated Thu, 02 Oct 2014

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