19 September 2023

Darragh Lenihan earns Middlesbrough draw at Sheffield Wednesday

19 September 2023

Darragh Lenihan’s second-half goal cancelled out Anthony Musaba’s opener as Sheffield Wednesday drew 1-1 with Middlesbrough at Hillsborough on Tuesday night.

It was 23rd against 24th in South Yorkshire and both sides were without a win in any of their first six matches in the Championship this season.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Xisco Munoz made six changes to the team that lost 1-0 at home to Ipswich, with Bambo Diaby, Di’Shon Bernard, Pol Valentin, Barry Bannan, John Buckley and Ashley Fletcher joining the starting XI.

Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick made four switches from the 2-1 defeat away to Blackburn, with Lukas Engel, Riley McGree, Samuel Silvera and Josh Coburn coming in.

Wednesday had the first chance early on when Valentin shot from distance but Fletcher could only deflect it wide.

Play was stopped after 15 minutes when tennis balls were thrown on to the pitch by a handful of home fans protesting chairman Dejphon Chansiri’s running of the club.

Middlesbrough’s first opening came when Coburn cut back for Silvera, who would have put the visitors ahead if not for Akin Famewo’s block.

Josh Windass was forced off with an injury half an hour in and it was his replacement who gave the Owls the advantage in the 38th minute.

Bernard made a bursting run from the back, played a one-two with Valentin and squared the ball to Musaba who put the ball through the legs of keeper Seny Dieng.

Valentin was proving to be the biggest threat on Wednesday’s right and Fletcher nearly converted his low cross from the last chance of the half.

It was a completely different story in the second half which was dominated by Middlesbrough. Silvera had a shot from range saved by Devis Vasquez but it wasn’t long before his side got the equaliser.

Lenihan met Lewis O’Brien’s corner and the ball cannoned off the bar and just sneaked over the line to give Boro the leveller after 53 minutes.

Matt Crooks thought he had given the away side the lead moments later but his header was flagged for offside. Coburn then powered an effort inches wide after he shrugged off defender Diaby.

Middlesbrough continued to have the bulk of possession but could not make it count and nearly lived to regret it. The ball fell to George Byers on the edge of the box but the Owls substitute curled his effort wide of the mark.

The draw was of little benefit to either of the sides, with Boro remaining rooted to the foot of the table and the Owls still just one place above them.

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