Matias hits two for Wednesday in win over Forest | - South Africa News

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Marco Matias has scored three goals in his past four appearances for Sheffield Wednesday

Marco Matias scored twice to help ensure Sheffield Wednesday remain strong Championship play-off contenders with victory over fellow top-six hopefuls Nottingham Forest.

Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood twice kept Joe Lolley out in a lively first half in which Jason Steele foiled Lucas Joao and Matias at the other end.

A combination of quick-thinking and fine finishing from 30 yards saw Matias put the Owls ahead just 64 seconds into the second half.

George Boyd then made it 2-0 with a fiercely struck effort from the edge of the area, with Matias adding a third on the rebound as the Owls moved past Forest and up to ninth in the table.

Wednesday, beaten by Aston Villa on Saturday in what was their first defeat under manager Steve Bruce in 12 games, moved to within four points of the top six.

Forest, who have won just 10 of their past 67 away trips in the Championship, remain winless on their travels since Martin O’Neill took charge in mid-January.

In pursuit of a change of fortunes, former Republic of Ireland boss O’Neill made five changes, which included giving fit-again West Ham loanee Sam Byram his first start since August.

He also gave Steele his first Forest start, with the goalkeeper called into action early on by Joao.

In an end-to-end first half Westwood twice kept Lolley out, first from a free-kick before smothering a close-range effort.

Steele’s inability to get back into position after a clearance allowed Matias to put the hosts ahead with a finely placed effort from distance immediately after the break.

Boyd lashed home Wednesday’s second into the bottom corner, disheartening the Reds, who conceded a messy third as Matias bundled in at his second attempt after his initial ricocheted shot was kept out by Steele.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce:

“We didn’t deserve what happened on Saturday and all of the squad have done fantastically well.

“There’s a good spirit amongst them at the minute.

On their play-off hopes, Bruce added: “Unfortunately games are running out but we’ve still got a bit to play for and who knows?”

Nottingham Forest boss Martin O’Neill:

“Well beaten eventually but I thought we played exceptionally well first half, spurned some great chances and those come back to haunt you.

“We looked dangerous, we had a little bit of pace about us tonight but eventually you’ve got to put the ball in the net and we’ve found that difficult all season.”

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