Result: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Cardiff City 1 - Keane penalty saves Owls on Milan’s farewell day

Departing Owls chaiman Milan Mandaric says goodbye to fans before the match. Photo: Steve Ellis
Departing Owls chaiman Milan Mandaric says goodbye to fans before the match. Photo: Steve Ellis

It was not the ideal leaving present but a Will Keane penalty rescued a point for the Owls on Milan Mandaric’s big send off at Hillsborough.

The out-going chairman gave an emotional address to fans before the game, thanking them for their support over his four years in charge.

Owls' Chris Maguire fires in a shot. Photo: Steve Ellis

Owls' Chris Maguire fires in a shot. Photo: Steve Ellis

But rather than a party ambiance, the atmosphere at Hillsborough in the hour that followed was rather flat due to a poor Owls showing, particularly after Kenwyne Jones put Cardiff ahead just seven minutes in.

For the first half at least, the flat atmosphere was matched by a performance of a similar ilk from Wednesday.

But they improved after the break with the introduction of Jose Semedo at half time, plus the addition of deadline day signings Lewis McGugan and Sergiu Bus.

Chris Maguire had both the paltry two chances for the home side in the first half, both of which saw him go close to scoring.

He kicked off the game with the first effort, drilling a shot from 25 yards which drew an acrobatic stop from Cardiff keeper Simon Moore.

Former Owls loanee Jones proved the party pooper as he gave Cardiff the lead.

Jones produced the most simple of headers from a Scott Malone cross on seven minutes with Keiren Westwood rooted to his line.

But the popular forward refused to celebrate in front of Wednesday supporters.

Cardiff had started the brighter with former Chesterfield striker Eoin Doyle forcing a corner after a strong run down the right.

And, after Jones’ opener, Doyle really should have doubled Cardiff’s advantage. Racing clear onto Jones’ wonderful backheel, Doyle hooked his shot well wide from 12 yards out.

Cardiff looked the much more composed side in the first quarter of the game as the Owls struggled for fluidity, particularly in the final third.

Too often, long balls out of the back found the heads of opposition defenders, who were enjoying a comfortable afternoon.

The visitors were inches away from adding a second on 26 minutes. A corner found Doyle who flicked a header which dropped just wide of the far post.

Maguire’s yellow card on 27 minutes was his tenth of the season, ensuring he will miss the next two games through suspension.

Jones drilled wide after a cutback from Doyle on 31 minutes as Cardiff continued to look the more likely to score.

But Maguire went close to drawing Wednesday level seven minutes from the break. Picking up the ball on half way, he drove forward before drilling inches wide from the edge of the box.

That effort was the Owls’ first since Maguire’s early chance.

Westwood failed to come out as Tom Lees attempted to shield the ball, allowing Doyle to take possession and shoot with the Owls keeper tipping the effort away from danger.

The Owls came out from the break with real intent and spent the first few minutes camped deep within Cardiff territory.

Stevie May hit the post in the opening seconds of the second half as the Owls looked to get back on level terms.

Released clear on goal, May’s first touch took him to the right but he clipped a shot which clipped off the far post.

Will Keane was denied with a lunging block from Bruno Ecuele Manga as he spun onto Sam Hutchinson’s low pass.

Sam Hutchinson hooked the ball over the bar from a superb position after Kieran Lee flicked on a chipped pass from debutant Marnick Vermijl.

Then came the equaliser. Debut substitute Bus was pushed in the back by Matthew Connolly and after referee Kevin Wright signalled for a penalty, Keane sent Simon Moore the wrong way with 15 minutes to go.

The unlikely figure of Semedo almost put the Owls in front.

Semedo embarked on a surging run into the box and his deflected shot dipped, dropping just over the bar.

And substitute McGugan produced a fine save from Moore with a long range strike.

Claude Dielna got on the end of a McGugan corner as the Owls continued to push for an unlikely winner.

Wednesday had all the play in the final few minutes but could not produce anything to truly test Moore.

Owls: Westwood, Vermijl, Lees, Dielna, Mattock (Bus 62) , Maguire (Semedo 46), Lee (McGugan 75), Hutchinson, Helan, Keane, May.

Subs not used: Kirkland, Palmer, Maghoma, Nuhiu

Cardiff: Moore, Peltier (Connolly 65), Malone, Manga, Whittingham, Jones, Doyle (Revell 64), McAleny (Noone 82), Gunnarsson, O’Keefe, Morrison.

Subs not used: Wilson, Fabio, Adeyemi, Harris.

Referee: Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire)

Cards: Yellow: Maguire 27, Hutchinson 90 (both Wednesday), Whittingham 36, Doyle 59, Revell 84, Gunnarsson 90, Jones 90 (all Cardiff)

Att: 22,344