Dave Jones was able to breathe one almighty sigh of relief and if he treated himself to a nice glass of something last Saturday evening I can understand why.
Wednesday recorded their first win of the season, thumping promotion fancies Reading 5-2 at Hillsborough to ease the pressure.
Reading weren’t just beaten, they were battered as Wednesday went in at half time 3-1 up thanks to goals from Matty Fryatt and Michail Antonio as well as a Sean Morrison own goal. Fryatt then doubled his tally whilst debutant Connor Wickham opened his account.
That victory took Wednesday outside the relegation places and despite the revival not complete, green shoots of promise are apparent; Wednesday are now 1/14 for a bottom half finish (6/1 for a top half finish) and 4/11 to stay up (2/1 to be relegated) and the new 5/4 favourite in the betting for ‘Top South Yorkshire Club’ with BetVictor, Donny Rovers 11/8 and Barnsley 3/1.
Jones’ men next travel to Derby County, with the Rams suffering their first loss since Steve McClaren’s arrival last month, going down 2-1 to Championship favourites QPR. Wednesday are the 16/5 outsiders, Derby 5/6 and the draw 11/4 but with momentum against the Rams, maybe Wednesday are worth chancing at the prices?
Fryatt was in sparkling form against The Royals; he is 13/2 to score first, 2/1 to score anytime and 10/1 to a repeat of last week’s brace. Connor Wickham netted on debut and he is 23/10 to once more get on the scoresheet.
Shrewd punters amongst us will be tempted into the 11/5 for Wednesday in the draw no bet market, which looks a touch steep at BetVictor.
* Sheffield United’s fine run of form ended with a 2-0 defeat away at Shrewsbury, after back to back wins over Port Vale and Crewe at Bramall Lane, the latter in Nigel Clough’s first game in charge at the club.
The loss at The Shrews was tainted further with Febian Brandy receiving his second straight red of the season and now must serve a four game suspension, starting with The Blades’ FA Cup first round trip to Colchester United on Saturday.
Colchester are eight places higher in League One, but Clough’s men have the momentum and are the 7/5 favourites with BetVictor, The U’s 9/5 and the draw 12/5. BetVictor’s new ‘Win and both teams to score’ market looks to offer the value here, United 18/5, whilst a 2-1 win can be backed at 9/1.