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Coronavirus-hit Sheffield Wednesday beat Exeter to reach FA Cup fourth round

Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday – Sky Bet Championship – Deepdale
(Image credit: Tim Markland)

Sheffield Wednesday overcame both a coronavirus outbreak and a gallant Exeter to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win at St James Park.

The Owls had to shut their training ground this week due to a “significant number” of Covid-19 cases but they were still able to field a strong side against their Sky Bet League Two opponents.

Exeter made a bright start to the game and almost scored inside the first minute but Matt Jay was off target with a close-range header from Lewis Page’s cross.

Ryan Bowman then fired straight at Joe Wildsmith with another great opportunity for Exeter, while Adam Reach tested Lewis Ward in the Exeter goal with a long-range shot that the goalkeeper was equal to.

However, the Owls went in front after 28 minutes when Exeter’s self-confessed Wednesday fan Rory McArdle was caught napping and Reach smashed a fantastic half-volley past Ward from 15 yards.

McArdle missed a chance to redeem himself when he looped a glorious headed chance into the arms of Wildsmith in the second half, and Nicky Law volleyed over from close range.

But Wednesday finished the game in the final minute when Callum Paterson tapped in from close range from Liam Shaw’s cross following a rare counter-attack.