Wednesday climb with victory
Second-half goals from Connor Wickham and Chris Maguire gave struggling Sheffield Wednesday a winning start to the new year as they beat Blackpool 2-0 at Hillsborough.
Wednesday were on top from the start and were full value for their victory against a Blackpool side who rarely posed problems for the home defence.
The match only went ahead following a pitch inspection which took place 90 minutes before kick-off after heavy overnight rain.
The rain continued as the game got underway and it was Wednesday who made the early running, without seriously testing Matt Gilks.
The Blackpool goalkeeper comfortably dealt with Jacques Maghoma's low shot and Roger Johnson's long-range effort.
Maghoma then set up a chance for Atdhe Nuhiu whose shot from inside the area struck a defender.
Reda Johnson was the next Wednesday player to threaten when he headed on target but the effort was easily saved by Gilks.
Maghoma and team-mate Maguire both shot wide while at the other end, Barry Ferguson put a free-kick over.
Blackpoool went close to scoring with their first attack of note.
Tom Ince slipped the ball through to Dan Gosling whose shot was saved and Roger Johnson's clearance rebounded off Tyler Blackett and the ball hit a post.
In the closing stages of the half, Reda Johnson put a ball across the face of goal but there was no-one there to apply the finishing touch.
Wickham scored the opening goal of the game six minutes after the re-start when his low drive went in off defender Jack Robinson.
Maguire made it 2-0 on the hour, scrambling the ball over the line from close-range after Wickham fired goalwards.
Maguire raced on to a good through-ball from Roger Johnson and attempted to chip the advancing Gilks but put the ball wide of the goalkeeper's left-hand post.
In a rare Blackpool attack, Craig Cathcart headed wide.
Blackpool boss Paul Ince used all three substitutes in a bid to give his side some fresh impetus but they failed to step up a gear.
Maghoma used his pace to good effect to find a way through the Blackpool defence before firing in a shot which was saved by Gilks at his near post.
The lively Wickham had a chance to score his second goal of the match in stoppage time but he shot well wide from a good position inside the area.
The result will help press Wednesday caretaker manager Stuart Gray's claims to be handed the job on a permanent basis.