A spectacular long-range strike from the full-back Tommy Spurr lifted Sheffield Wednesday out of the Championship relegation zone last night, but they remain in deep trouble after being held to a seventh consecutive draw. Spurr drove in a precious goal nine minutes from time after Plymouth led for virtually the whole game up to then.
The Plymouth manager, Paul Sturrock, was given a rousing reception by Wednesday's supporters before kick-off, having guided the Owls into the Championship via the play-offs in his first season at the helm back in 2005. But any sentiment was put to one side when the visitors stunned Hillsborough by taking the lead inside 80 seconds.
The Hungarian midfielder Peter Halmosi lined up a free-kick 22 yards from goal and his left-foot strike was deflected off Deon Burton and looped into the far corner of the net, totally wrong-footing Lee Grant.
Wednesday gradually began to impose themselves and Jermaine Johnson fired wide at the near post before Ben Sahar played in Burton, who was denied by some excellent anticipation from the Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick.
Wednesday had an excellent opportunity to restore parity after 22 minutes when Adam Bolder raced clear but failed to find Sahar with a poor cross, which was intercepted by the retreating Paul Connolly.
After the break Plymouth's Jermaine Easter was a handful for the Owls' defence and Grant had to be alert to deny the Wales striker from 10 yards.
But it was Wednesday who finally drew level when a headed clearance was chested down by Spurr, who thumped an unstoppable left-foot drive past McCormick from 35 yards out.
Sheffield Wednesday: Grant, Gilbert, Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Johnson (Small, 64), O'Brien, Bolder, Songo'o, Sahar (Slusarski , 64), Burton. Substitutes not used: Burch, McMenamin, Wallwork.
Plymouth: McCormick, Connolly, Timar, Anderson, Sawyer, Halmosi (Clark, 65), Abdou, Nalis, Paterson (Fallon, 90), MacLean ( Mackie, 86). Easter. Substitutes not used: Doumbe, Summerfield.
Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).Reuse content