Sheffield Wednesday (Away)

Jun 1, 2023 | 2023 A Season in Review

Hillsborough Wednesday 26th October 2022

Sheffield Wednesday 1

Smith (45+2)

Bristol Rovers 1

Coburn (60)

Referee: Oliver Langford Attendance: 22,006

After taking a point against league leaders Plymouth Argyle, Rovers travelled to Yorkshire to take on third placed Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Once again manager Joe Barton made changes to his starting XI, leaving Harry Anderson and Luca Hoole on the bench whilst bringing in Josh Coburn and James Gibbons.

Although Wednesday made the early running and were out of the blocks quickly, the first real chance of the game fell to Rovers with only five minutes on the clock. Loft won possession inside the Wednesday half, allowing Aaron Collins to seize on the ball.

He raced into the area where he faced a one on one situation with goalkeeper David Stockdale. The striker delayed his shot, though, and the shot stopper was able to save with his legs.

At the other end Bobby Thomas made the first of several important blocks of the evening and Lee Gregory headed over while Josh Windass saw his effort saved by James Belshaw.

Having surrendered possession to the home side for close on 15 minutes Rovers gradually played their way into the game and the Wednesday fans, so noisy at the start of the match, were silenced when they realised it wasn’t going to be an anticipated walkover for their side.

James Gibbons almost opened the scoring with an own goal, but Belshaw managed to save to ease his team mates blushes but then, with Rovers seemingly heading to the half time break all square, they conceded the night’s opener.

We were deep into stoppage time when George Byers was allowed too much time by Lewis Gordon and he was able to cross to Michael Smith who powered a header past Belshaw to give Wednesday the lead.

If anyone thought that sgnalled the end for Rovers then they were very much mistaken as Barton’s side came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half, though Belshaw did make one outstanding save from Lee Gregory in the 53rd minute after Gordon was again caught out down the left.

On the hour mark, though, and in front of 780 travelling Gasheads who included former loan defender Connor Taylor in their ranks, Rovers conjured up a magical equaliser.

Evans collected the ball some thirty yards from goal and sent the ball forward to Collins. However, the striker sold the Wednesday defence a dummy and allowed the ball to pass between his legs. Waiting behind him for the opportunity was Coburn, who calmly lifted the ball over Stockdale and into the roof of the net.

It was the striker’s third goal in five league games and after the game he was dubbed the Teesside Haaland by goalkeeper Belshaw.

That was the end of the scoring for the night, but not the drama; with three minutes remaining Anderson became the first Rovers substitute to be substituted this season when he went off with what was later thought to be a groin strain.

And then, with the 90 minutes up, Belshaw produced the save of the evening when he spectacularly touched Smith’s header over the bar and Stockdale, not to be outdone, saved with his legs once more to deny Collins.

Sheffield Wednesday: Stockdale, Palmer, Ihiekwe, McGuinness, Brown (Wilks, 68), Johnson, Byers, Bannan, Windass, Smith, Gregory (Dele-Bashiru, 79).

Substitutes: Dawson, Iorfa, Mighten, Paterson, Vaulks.

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw, Gibbons, Thomas, Gibson, Gordon, Evans, Rossiter, Finley, Collins, Coburn (Sinclair, 81), Loft (Anderson, 31) (McCormick (87).

Substitutes: Connolly, Clarke, Hoole, Jaakkola.


There were no former Rovers players in the Sheffield Wednesday side

Yellow card issued to Jordan Rossiter

Sam Finley was skipper

Three substitutes used

First time this season a Rovers substitute (Harry Anderson) is substituted

Eight games undefeated in all competitions

Game was live on SKY

Ten added minutes

(Photos courtesy of JMP)

Keith Brookman