Sheffield Wednesday squandered a one-goal lead against Derby County last night and drew the game 1-1 after a late penalty for the home side.
The Owls visited Pride Park looking to build on their recent two wins in a row when they headed to Pride Park to face a Derby side languishing in lower mid-table after key departures at the end of last season.
Garry Monk’s side were hoping for their third successive win after victories at Charlton and at home to Brentford but could only draw after a late penalty cost them another two points in their pursuit of the top six.
The disappointing draw drops the Owls out of the play-off places where Preston North End take their place, with Wednesday in eighth and just one point behind them.
Here, we take a look at three things we learnt from Garry Monk’s side after their draw at Pride Park last night…
Steven Fletcher is the key man
Yet another goal for the Scottish international, as he latched onto a Barry Bannan through-ball and curled a first-time effort into the far corner from outside the penalty area to give Wednesday a deserved lead in the first half against Derby.
This was Fletcher’s 11th league goal of the season in 20 games, showing just how good his current form is under Garry Monk. Since his appointment, Fletcher has become the focal point of Monk’s attack, linking up with everyone around him to help create and convert chances.
Already, this season is his joint-most prolific to-date for the Owls with another 25 league games to add to this tally and potentially double it. If Wednesday are to seriously push for promotion this season, Fletcher’s contribution will be vital.
They needed to capitalise
As formidable as Fletcher’s form has been this season, it does seem as if there is little help for him up top for the Owls.
Wednesday were completely dominant in the first half but did not make it count and they were left to rue that as Derby salvaged a point late on. The honus is seemingly falling squarely on Fletcher’s head at the moment and if he isn’t the one on the end of a chance, it typically goes begging, which doesn’t bode well going forward.
As the game wore on with Wednesday only having one goal to show for their dominance over the Rams, it did become more and more of a threat that Derby could nick a goal and a point, which Monk will know has to change.
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Individual errors need to stop
The game swung on a late penalty incident where Moses Odubajo was deemed to have brought down Derby’s Jack Marriott in the box. He can feel hard done by as it appeared that the two were both pulling each other as they tumbled to the ground, however, he gave the referee the chance to give a decision by getting caught on the wrong side of Marriott.
To top off a disappointing night, Odubajo was sent off for a second bookable offence and is now suspended for their next game.
It has been a recurring theme in their season under Garry Monk with each of their games where they have dropped points recently stemming from an individual error or two. They cannot expect to pick up any consistent momentum in their push for the top six if they don’t find a way to rid themselves of these costly errors.