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Sky Bet Championship

Hillsborough (ATT 31,375) 4th May 2013 - Kick off 12:45 Ref: A Haines

Sheff Wed Sheffield Wednesday vs Middlesbrough M'boro

Sheff Wed 2

S Howard (9)
L Lita (31)

ft

M'boro 0

Steve Howard and Leroy Lita goals help Sheffield Wednesday beat Middlesbrough

Last Updated: 04/05/13 8:22pm

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Leroy Lita: Netted Wednesday's second

Leroy Lita: Netted Wednesday's second

Sheffield Wednesday secured their place in the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 win over Middlesbrough as goals by Steve Howard and Leroy Lita in the first half hour banished any fears of relegation at Hillsborough.

With the Owls just one point above the relegation zone, it would have been reasonable to expect them to be nervous but they dominated from the outset against a Middlesbrough side that offered little.

Howard put Wednesday ahead in the ninth minute with his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Hartlepool in March before Lita, another loanee, added a second after half an hour against his former club.

A crowd of 31,375 witnessed the game although many of them would have approached it with some trepidation.

Dave Jones' side had appeared to be pulling clear of danger before a run of just two points from the previous four games plunged the Owls firmly back into trouble.

Defeat at Peterborough last week saw the South Yorkshire side start the game fifth from bottom and just one point above Barnsley who occupied the third relegation spot.

However, they knew their destiny was in their own hands: win or equal Peterborough and Barnsley's results and they would be safe.

Jermaine Johnson screwed an effort well wide after shrugging off the attention of two defenders and Seyi Olofinjana blazed over as Wednesday made their attacking intentions clear.

However, they were given a warning when Curtis Main escaped the defence and forced goalkeeper Chris Kirkland to smother at the Boro man's feet.

But Wednesday were in front in the ninth minute when Howard judged his run well and ran on to an incisive low ball before firing an unstoppable shot past Jason Steele.

And they doubled their lead after half an hour when Lewis Buxton's inswinging corner was glanced home by Lita in a packed six-yard box.

Wednesday's pace was troubling the visitors and they almost got a third moments later when only a desperate goal-line clearance prevented Howard from getting his second of the day.

Kirkland gathered a teasing cross in first-half injury-time but the break arrived with rapturous applause for Wednesday who had all but booked their Championship spot for next season.

Boro offered more after the break and Christian Burgess headed narrowly over from Grant Leadbitter's corner.

However, any fears were soon assuaged and the Wednesday fans soon got down to celebrating securing their Championship status - the final whistle prompting a pitch invasion.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 12 24
2 Derby County 12 23
3 Middlesbrough 12 23
4 Norwich City 12 21
5 Nottingham Forest 12 21
6 Ipswich Town 12 20
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 20
8 Charlton Athletic 12 19
9 Bournemouth 12 18
10 Brentford 12 18
11 Sheffield Wednesday 12 17
12 Cardiff City 12 16
13 Blackburn Rovers 12 16
14 Leeds United 12 15
15 Rotherham United 12 15
16 Reading 12 15
17 Huddersfield Town 12 15
18 Millwall 12 13
19 Wigan Athletic 12 11
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 11
21 Birmingham City 12 11
22 Fulham 12 10
23 Bolton Wanderers 12 8
24 Blackpool 12 6