Championship
StokeStoke City1Sheff WedSheffield Wednesday0

Stoke City 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday: Steven Fletcher nets late winner to sink former club

Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher took his season's goal tally to seven

Steven Fletcher scored a late winner against former club Sheffield Wednesday to end Stoke City's nine-match Championship run without a victory.

The game looked to be heading for stalemate until Tommy Smith's cross was nodded down to Fletcher, who slotted past Keiren Westwood from close range.

Owls midfielder Liam Shaw headed Barry Bannan's corner against the bar, while home keeper Angus Gunn comfortably saved Jordan Rhodes' header in a poor first half.

Tom Lees made a crucial block to deny Fletcher, and Jacob Brown teed up Joe Allen to send a low drive inches wide as the hosts improved after the break.

Potters boss Michael O'Neill made five changes from the side that were thumped 4-1 at Norwich, but the Owls edged a forgettable first half, light on chances and quality.

The hosts showed greater intent after the break as the visitors faded, but Westwood was not seriously troubled and City looked to be heading for a ninth draw in 13 games before a typical poacher's goal from Fletcher.

Jack Clarke had a great chance to seal it when found unmarked 10 yards out, but his weak header was palmed away by Westwood.

Stoke's first win of 2021 moved them up to eighth and within four points of the play-off places, while the Owls missed a chance to climb out of the relegation zone and stayed 22nd after only a third league defeat in eight games under caretaker boss Neil Thompson.

Reaction - O'Neill 'relieved' by Stoke win

Stoke boss Michael O'Neill:

"I'm relieved and pleased for the lads because they have given a lot. In recent weeks there have been games where we have deserved more.

"I thought we were always in control without being as effective as we could have been.

"In the second half we create chances but didn't look like we'd take one, but then Fletch did take one and we thoroughly deserved it. Hopefully now we can string some results together."

"He (Fletcher) looks back to the player he was before he got injured."

Sheffield Wednesday interim manager Neil Thompson told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"We had a couple of great set-plays and should have maybe capitalised, but the second half we never got started, never got out of the traps.

"If you give any team encouragement like we did for Stoke tonight then that pressure is going to tell.

"We sank back further and further, I thought we'd rode the storm, got up the pitch a little bit further and then we got a sucker-punch at the end."

Line-ups

Stoke

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gunn
  • 14Smith
  • 36Souttar
  • 6Batth
  • 3FoxSubstituted forTymonat 37'minutes
  • 4AllenSubstituted forCousinsat 89'minutes
  • 34ThompsonSubstituted forClucasat 77'minutes
  • 18Brown
  • 25Powell
  • 11McCleanSubstituted forClarkeat 77'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 21FletcherSubstituted forObiat 89'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Vokes
  • 12Chester
  • 13Obi
  • 20Oakley-Boothe
  • 22Clucas
  • 24Cousins
  • 32Bursik
  • 35Tymon
  • 47Clarke

Sheff Wed

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Westwood
  • 15Lees
  • 23DunkleySubstituted forPelupessyat 65'minutes
  • 19UrhoghideSubstituted forWindassat 88'minutes
  • 7K Harris
  • 26Shaw
  • 6HutchinsonBooked at 41mins
  • 10Bannan
  • 11Reach
  • 5Paterson
  • 20RhodesSubstituted forKachungaat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Palmer
  • 8Pelupessy
  • 13Börner
  • 14Penney
  • 17Dele-Bashiru
  • 18Windass
  • 24Brown
  • 28Wildsmith
  • 45Kachunga
Referee:
James Linington

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamSheff Wed
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home11
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tom Lees (Sheffield Wednesday) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Barry Bannan with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jacob Brown (Stoke City).

  5. Post update

    Kadeem Harris (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Jacob Brown.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Josh Tymon.

  8. Booking

    Jack Clarke (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Hand ball by John Obi Mikel (Stoke City).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. John Obi Mikel replaces Steven Fletcher.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Jordan Cousins replaces Joe Allen.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Danny Batth (Stoke City).

  13. Post update

    Elias Kachunga (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Josh Windass replaces Osaze Urhoghide.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jack Clarke (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Steven Fletcher (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Clucas.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Stoke City 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0. Steven Fletcher (Stoke City) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Harry Souttar following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Barry Bannan.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Sam Clucas (Stoke City).

  20. Post update

    Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich29177539241558
2Brentford29169455302557
3Watford30159638201854
4Swansea27158435152053
5Reading30156944341051
6Bournemouth291210743281546
7Cardiff30127114233943
8Middlesbrough30127113431343
9Stoke30101283433142
10Blackburn281161142311139
11Barnsley28116113134-339
12Preston30123153438-439
13Bristol City30123152941-1239
14Millwall2981472827138
15Luton29107122331-837
16Derby2997132130-934
17Nottm Forest2989122530-533
18QPR2789102632-633
19Huddersfield3096153444-1033
20Coventry29710122740-1331
21Rotherham2785143338-529
22Sheff Wed2997132131-1028
23Birmingham29610132135-1428
24Wycombe2947182251-2919
View full Championship table

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