Ipswich Town 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1 – Dull defeat apt end to home campaign

Emyr Huws and Ross Wallace battle during the first half of Ipswich Town's 1-0 ome defeat to Sheffiel

Emyr Huws and Ross Wallace battle during the first half of Ipswich Town's 1-0 ome defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town lost 1-0 to promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday in a dire final home game of the season.

It was an apt way for the curtain to come down on football at Portman Road in 2016/17 with a boring match summing up what has been a forgettable and frustrating campaign.

Kieren Lee guided home a near post finish in the 77th minute to settle an uneventful affair and seal the South Yorkshire side a play-off spot for the second successive season.

Ipswich, who finish the season at relegation-battling Nottingham Forest next Sunday, are on track for their lowest league finish since 1959 (16th or below).

Wednesday’s full-backs pushed on from the off and that allowed their wingers to drift inside. Adam Reach, out on the left, did just that before firing a low shot wide from the edge of the box.

Town’s first chance came after good work by Grant Ward and a low cross by Freddie Sears. Unfortunately, Tom Lawrence, under pressure, hit his shot into the ground and keeper Keiren Westwood comfortably collected.

It wasn’t until the 20th minute that either side threatened again. Westwood had more to do this time, diving to his right to keep David McGoldrick’s curling effort out following a short corner routine.

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The Owls forced several corners but were never able to create any real opening. The closest they came to scoring prior to the interval was when Steven Fletcher nodded down a deep free-kick and Glenn Loovens’ snap-shot was blocked by Jordan Spence.

There was a major let-off for Town three minutes after the restart when Wallace let fly with a speculative shot from 25 yards out. The ball appeared to go through the arms of keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, but came back off the inside of the post instead of finding the top corner.

Both managers made changes, but it did little to lift a dire spectacle.

It always looked like one goal would win it and Wednesday found the breakthrough in the 77th minute. Barry Bannan’s slide pass found overlapping left-back Daniel Pudil and his low cross was guided home at the near post by Lee.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Bialkowski; Spence, Chambers (cpt), Berra, Kenlock; Skuse, Huws; Sears (Moore 85), Ward (Samuel 69), Lawrence (Rowe 64); McGoldrick.

Unused subs: Gerken, Emmanuel, Dozzell, Pitman.

SHEFF WEDS (4-4-2): Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Loovens (cpt), Pudil; Wallace (Forestieri 69), Lee, Bannan, Reach; Hooper (Semedo 80), Fletcher (Rhodes 69).

Unused subs: Wildsmith, Sasso, McManaman, Nuhiu.