Sheffield Wednesday suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the Championship as they lost 2-1 to Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening.
It was an uneventful first-half at Hillsborough with very few chances for either side. The Owls arguably had the best chance when Atdhe Nuhiu found himself in space in front of goal but his volley was superbly kept out by Bartosz Białkowski.
The away side took the lead early on in the second-half through Martyn Waghorn but substitute Lucas João responded with around 20 minutes left to play for the hosts. However, Waghorn struck again with five minutes left to secure his side all three points and heap further misery onto the Owls.
First-half stalemate at Hillsborough
Following the Owls' disappointing 4-0 defeat to play-off hopefuls Bristol City at Ashton Gate last weekend, Jos Luhukay opted to make six changes to his starting line-up. This included a return to the line-up for Jordan Rhodes following another very frustrating season for the 28-year-old striker.
It was an uneventful start to the game as both sides really struggled to get any sort of foothold in the game. The first dangerous attack was from the away side as Mustapha Carayol's cross appeared to be overhit at first but then almost caught Joe Wildsmith out as he had to palm away at the last moment.
Despite their slow start, the Owls had a great opportunity to take the lead with around 25 minutes played. The ball fell perfectly for Nuhiu in the area but his volley was superbly kept out by Białkowski. The 30-year-old has impressed for Ipswich this season and this must have been one of his best saves yet.
The away side were not phased by this opportunity and continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides. Jonas Knudsen was performing well down the left-hand side and produced a superb cross with around 10 minutes to play until half-time but none of his teammates were there to get on the end of it.
The Owls did have one more chance before the break as Jacob Butterfield played Nuhiu through on goal but he was once again kept out by Białkowski. However, it was a disappointing first-half performance from the home side and they were booed off by their own supporters as they headed down the tunnel.
Waghorn nets second-half brace
It did not take long for away side to take the lead at the start of the second-half. Waghorn got on the end of Callum Connolly's header back across goal and volleyed home to give the Tractor Boys a 1-0 lead. It was the 28-year-old's first goal for 16 games in all competitions.
The home side did try to get themselves straight back into the game and had a few opportunities to draw level.
George Boyd's low deflected strike resulted in a goalmouth scramble which eventually saw Nuhiu's effort blocked. The home crowd were relatively subdued as they began to fear a fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
As the groans continued to spread across Hillsborough, Ipswich had a good opportunity to double their advantage. A poor back pass saw Freddie Sears through on goal but Wildsmith did just enough to force him out wide and prevent him from getting a shot away.
Luhukay decided to replace Rhodes with João at half-time and this was a decision that paid off with around 20 minutes left to play. The 24-year-old striker has been one of the Owls' best players in recent weeks and this was another neat finish into the bottom corner after Luke Chambers desperately tried to get in the way but to no avail.
Despite a bright spell, it was the away side who retook the lead with around five minutes of normal time left to play. The Tractor Boys won a free-kick on the right-hand side of the box in a dangerous position and Waghorn stepped up and curled it superbly into the top corner to put his side 2-1 ahead.
Mick McCarthy's side were able to comfortably see the game out in the final few minutes and secure a vital three points as they look to edge closer to the play-off places. As for the Owls, their relegation worries continue to increase with every defeat.