sport

Rain halts Wednesday clash

Sheffield Wednesday's Championship clash at home to Wigan was abandoned on Wednesday night due to a waterlogged pitch with the visitors leading 1-0.

Wigan boss Uwe Rosler was denied the chance of back-to-back wins for his new club as referee Keith Stroud abandoned their match at Hillsborough early in the second half due to a waterlogged pitch.

Wigan were clearly the better side in the first half and took a deserved 24th-minute lead through midfielder James McClean's first goal of the season.

The visitors missed a host of other first-half chances before persistent torrential rain, which got worse at the start of the second period, left the playing surface unplayable.

Stroud abandoned the match in the 59th minute after consulting with both his assistants.

Rosler made five changes for his first league game on the road in charge of Wigan and will have liked what he saw in the opening exchanges as skipper Ben Watson twice threatened.

Watson pulled an early cut-back off target after the home defence had been carved apart and then forced Wednesday goalkeeper Damian Martinez into a diving save to keep out his 25-yard free-kick.

Wednesday warmed to the challenge in the driving rain though and responded with a raking drive from Jacques Maghoma, who cut inside to test Wigan goalkeeper Scott Carson.

But Wigan took a 24th-minute lead through McClean, who benefited from a fortuitous ricochet when the ball bounced into his path off Wednesday centre-half Roger Johnson, before running into the penalty area unopposed to slide the ball under Martinez.

The visitors could have been out of sight within the next five minutes.

Wednesday defender Reda Johnson's last-ditch intervention cut out McClean's low cross and Martinez then saved brilliantly to deny Wigan striker Nick Powell after he had been played in by McClean.

Another sweeping move from the visitors after Wednesday had been caught dithering in midfield ended with left-back Stephen Crainey firing the ball into the side-netting.

Wednesday lifted the home crowd just before the break when Roger Johnson's header from Liam Palmer's fine cross was superbly saved by Carson.

Wednesday caretaker-boss Stuart Gray, in his fourth game in charge, sent on winger Jermaine Johnson and big striker Atdhe Nuhiu for midfield pair Seyi Olofinjana and Jeremy Helan at the start of the second half when the conditions took a turn for the worse.

Constant torrential rain began to leave puddles on the pitch, but that did not deter Palmer, who charged into the area on to Connor Wickham's pass and fired a shot against the outside of the post.

Neither side could come to terms with the surface water and it helped scupper Powell's attempt after he had been played through one-on-one with Martinez in the 52nd minute before referee Stroud conferred with both assistants about whether to continue play.

Another couple of minutes convinced Stroud it was time to call a halt to proceedings and the game was abandoned just before the hour.