Ipswich Town 0 Sheffield Wed 2: Wednesday respond to the rule of Laws

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The Independent Football

If you can't be good, be lucky. In Brian Laws' first match in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, he appeared to have instilled that doctrine in his players. Leading after an early strike through Marcus Tudgay, the Owls were forced on to the defensive for virtually the rest of the game - but it served them well.

The former Scunthorpe manager has only been in charge since the start of the week. He may need to get them to begin their defensive work higher up the pitch in the coming weeks but that was where the luck part came in to play at Portman Road.

Whereas the former Derby striker Tudgay took his chance, after only 11 minutes, Ipswich, time and again, spurned opportunities to draw level. That was partly down to some obduracy from the visitors but mostly through a great deal of profligacy by the hosts. Alan Lee, in particular, the Ipswich centre-forward, let a series of chances slip by, despite the prompting of Matt Richards and Gary Roberts on the flanks.

But Laws, after almost 10 years in charge of Scunthorpe, has moved from north Lincolnshire to south Yorkshire to find a club in a slightly resurgent vein.

Since Paul Sturrock's sacking, they have found some form in the way that so many clubs do when a new man takes over. That was Sean Macauley, who acted as caretaker and under him the Owls were unbeaten in four games. It was the least Laws could do to extend that run.

He had the good fortune - that element again - to play an Ipswich side on a downward turn. This loss means the Suffolk side have only won twice in their last eight games, leading to a serious test for their own new manager, Jim Magilton.

Tudgay had tested Shane Supple after six minutes and five minutes later he beat the Ipswich goalkeeper at the near post after a fine low pass from Wade Small.

The Owls' game plan then invited Ipswich to attack and twice within five minutes they should have scored, first when Lee shot wide from six yards and when Richards spooned the ball high over the crossbar.

Wednesday doubled their lead eight minutes from the final whistle when the unmarked Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra headed past Supple and any doubt this was the Owls' day disappeared when Lee Bullen headed against his own post two minutes later. The luck, all too clearly, was with Laws.

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