Maddix leveller still looks in vain

Sheffield Wednesday 2 Watford 2

The Wednesday captain, Danny Maddix, salvaged a point four minutes into stoppage time with his first goal of the season, but First Division survival still looks a target beyond Chris Turner's bottom-of-the-table side, who face relegation for the second time in four seasons.

A first senior goal for Watford substitute Jason Norville eight minutes from time looked to have lifted the FA Cup semi-finalists after a run of four straight League defeats, but Maddix's near-post header from virtually the last move of the game spared Wednesday a third reverse in four games.

Even so, with still five points to make up on 21st place and safety, the odds are stacked against the Owls escaping the drop, which leaves them facing the grim prospect of playing in the Second Division only three years after dropping out of the Premiership.

Watford's declining form has raised questions about their own survival. Their manager, Ray Lewington, said afterwards: "Wednesday would probably look at us and say we are well safe, but I don't feel we can relax until we get to 50 points."

Worryingly for Lewington, already with concerns over Marcus Gayle, Heidar Helguson and Allan Nielsen, full-back Paul Robinson and loan- signing Michael Chopra also picked up injuries yesterday.

With Michael Reddy's fine play on the right flank creating a string of opportunities, Wednesday were the better side initially, and it was against the run of play that Watford went ahead after 33 minutes. A corner from the right was not cleared by the home defence, and when the ball reached Tommy Smith the striker managed to turn and tuck the ball past Kevin Pressman from eight yards out.

Wednesday's response was positive, and it took a superb save by Alec Chamberlain, pushing the ball over the bar, to keep Ashley Westwood off the scoresheet. But such near-misses have been all too familiar at Hillsborough this season, with good approach play often lacking a finish.

The absence of Shefki Kuqi – with Finland in Italy – hardly helped yesterday, but Wednesday were given a lifeline when the referee, Neale Barry, decided that Chamberlain's collision with substitute Lloyd Owusu after 65 minutes merited a penalty.

Owusu, limping heavily, lasted only five minutes more but the damage looked accidental and the penalty award, along with a yellow card for the goalkeeper, somewhat harsh.

It mattered not to Lee Bradbury, on loan from Ports-mouth, who slotted home his second goal for Wednesday and gave an edge to the game's final phase, with neither side seemingly interested in settling for a point.

Norville, the 19-year-old forward who had replaced Chopra, looked to have had the last word for Watford when he dispossessed Dean Smith and then finished with some style with the 82rd minute.

The Wednesday substitute Grant Holt, signed from non-League Barrow only on Thursday, missed one chance to level the scores again, but Maddix, who had not scored since November 2001, chose a timely moment to end that barren run.

Sheffield Wednesday 2
Bradbury pen 66, Maddix 90

Watford 2
T Smith 33, Norville 82

Half-time: 0-1 Attendance: 17,086

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence