SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 1
FULHAM last night suffered a shock away defeat to newly-promoted Championship side Sheffield Wednesday as manager Dave Jones’s home team extended their unbeaten run.
Striker Gary Medine’s second-half penalty was enough for victory against a Fulham side that began without Moussa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Bryan Ruiz, John-Arne Riise, Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric and lacked the same attacking intent that had previously produced seven goals in two Premier League games.
It was against Queens Park Rangers and Manchester United that those goals had been scored but that flair was last night absent as the organised Owls limited manager Martin Jol’s men to a solitary shot on goal.
“There’s a real feel-good factor around the place at the moment,” said Jones, under whom Wednesday have not lost in their last 18 games.
“But you can’t take it for granted otherwise this game will kick you in the teeth. So we just have to keep doing what we’re doing, and hopefully this will continue.”
Last night’s victory means only a second run to the tournament’s third round in 10 seasons for Wednesday, who would have doubled their lead in the 77th minute had Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer not superbly saved to touch Nejc Pecnik’s threatening 20-yard shot on to the bar.
Before Fulham defender Brede Hangeland had an effort disallowed for offside, full-back Stephen Kelly had clumsily challenged Chris Maguire in the penalty area and it was from there that Madine scored to give his side an ultimately match-winning lead.
QUEENS Park Rangers last night secured their first victory of the season after goals from Shaun Wright-Phillips, Bobby Zamora and Jose Bosinga inspired a 3-0 victory over League One Walsall, and manager Mark Hughes afterwards admitted that he wishes to secure the signing of a new central defender as well as Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
He said: “That [central defence] is the one area that we haven’t been able to address but we’ll keep looking at options.”