Owls fightback denies Hatters
By Chris Stanton. Last Updated: 23/09/05 9:30pm
A brace from Luton's Steve Howard sandwiched an impressive Sheffield Wednesday revival inspired by David Graham in a 2-2 draw at Kenilworth Road.
In a lively start to proceedings it took just two minutes for the home side to seize the initiative when Glenn Whelan's foul on Kevin Nicholls gave Luton a free kick on the right of the penalty area some 25 yards from goal.
Nicholls dusted himself down to swing over a perfectly flighted free kick which Howard dispatched with a fine header, beating David Lucas high to the goalkeeper's left.
Lucas was called into action to more successful effect when saving from Sol Davies before Wednesday issued their riposte, Lee Peacock's fierce drive from the edge of the area being parried by Marlon Beresford.
The warning went unheeded and from a corner Lee's finely judged header - the defender's first goal for more than a year - levelled the scores.
Despite the setback Luton were playing the more constructive football and Warren Feeney tried to place a shot into the far corner only for Lucas to deny him.
On the half hour Feeney had another opportunity and Nicholls was yet again the orchestrator; his slide rule ball picked out Dean Morgan, who in turn found Feeney but he failed to make sufficient contact allowing Lucas to save.
Chris Brunt's fierce drive to the near post forced Beresford to parry before The Owls had a glorious chance to snatch the lead just before half time
Brunt's equally well struck free kick deceived Beresford who could only repell the shot out to Graham six yards from goal. Graham seemed certain to accept the gift only to shoot horribly wide.
Having played second fiddle to an impressive Luton in the first half Wednesday started the second with significantly more intent.
Peacock shot into the hoardings when well placed before Wednesday took the lead when the former's flick found strike partner Graham who struck low and hard to put the visitors ahead on 64 minutes.
To the dismay of Paul Sturrock that lead lasted just two minutes when, from another fine Nicholls delivery, Howard ghosted in to claim his second header of the game and his fourth goal of the season.
Bad almost became worse for Wednesday when Feeney was denied by a point blank stop from Lucas, however in truth the Northern Ireland striker's finish was far from accomplished.
Another run and shot from Graham had Beresford scrambling before Steven Robinson and Chris Coyne almost struck a late winner for the home side which on the balance of play Sturrock could not begrudge his opposite number Mike Newell.
The point moves Wednesday off the bottom of the table at the expense of Burnley while Luton are also upwardly mobile replacing rivals Watford in third.
Sky Bet Championship
|23||Brighton and Hove Albion||23||20|