Barry Bannan’s late penalty was enough for Sheffield Wednesday to extend their unbeaten run to six games against Bristol City.
Chances went begging at either end before Bannan struck to give the Owls a victory that strengthens their hold on a play-off spot.
Wednesday were without leading scorer Steven Fletcher, who was believed to be ruled out due to illness.
The visitors threatened inside 15 seconds when Josh Brownhill squared to Callum O’Dowda who sent a low shot wide of Cameron Dawson’s left-hand post.
Wednesday’s Adam Reach swung the ball over from the right, Atdhe Nuhiu headed back across goal towards Jordan Rhodes and goalkeeper Daniel Bentley had to be alert to snuff out the danger.
Ashley Williams came to City’s rescue, clearing off the line when the unmarked Liam Palmer met Bannan’s corner with a far-post volley.
The hosts threatened again shortly afterwards with Bannan again the architect. His ball into the area was brought down by Reach who fired wide from a good position.
Wednesday boss Garry Monk was forced to make a change on the half-hour when Morgan Fox was unable to continue after sustaining a knock, with Julian Borner taking his place.
Kadeem Harris was next to threaten the City goal, cutting inside on the left-hand side of the area and firing in a low shot which was beaten away by Bentley.
Palmer also put a low shot on target which was easily dealt with.
Harris had a 20-yard effort saved by Bentley early in the second half and the keeper also had to be alert to block Reach’s shot from inside the box.
City went close when Tommy Rowe’s cross was met by Jack Hunt but his far-post header was headed off the line by Palmer.
Wednesday appealed in vain for a penalty when Rhodes went down under challenge from Williams.
As the home side continued to press, Bannan saw a volleyed attempt deflect off-target and then fired in a free-kick which forced a good save from Bentley at full stretch.
The winner came from the penalty spot five minutes from time, with Bannan sending Bentley the wrong way after Rowe was adjudged to have brought down Nuhiu.
O’Dowda’s deflected shot was saved by Dawson, but otherwise, City never seriously threatened to force a late equaliser.
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