How the Irish fared: ‘Fantastic’ Westwood is Wednesday’s saviour

Carlos Carvalhal hailed Keiren Westwood as “a fantastic goalkeeper” after his first-half penalty save helped Sheffield Wednesday to a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest in Championship action.

How the Irish fared: ‘Fantastic’ Westwood is Wednesday’s saviour

Westwood conceded the penalty but thanks to the ‘double jeopardy’ rule he escaped with a yellow rather than a red card.

Moments later he kept out Ross McCormack’s spot-kick and, within 60 seconds, Wednesday grabbed a lead they wouldn’t relinquish as they moved seven points clear of Norwich in the race for a play-off spot.

No wonder Owls boss Carvalhal was pleased with his goalkeeper’s contribution.

“I have said in the past a good goalkeeper is not one who has to make 20 saves in a game - because our opponents do not create many chances against us,” he said.

“A good keeper is one who makes saves when he has to; when the team needs him to.

"Keiren is a fantastic goalkeeper and when the team needs him, he is there. It is important to have a good keeper and he is one.”

Westwood said the save was a reward for forward planning, suggesting he knew in advance where McCormack would put the penalty.

“We’ve done our homework so to speak and it was a good save,” he said. “We do our homework and it paid off today. I’m delighted I saved it.”

Understandably, Westwood is a fan of the ‘double jeopardy’ rule, which means players who commit accidental fouls that deny a goalscoring chance are now cautioned rather than dismissed.

“I tried to stand my ground but it’s a pen,” Westwood said.

“With the new rules now, it’s not a sending off – you can’t be double penalised. That gives you a chance and it doesn’t kill the game. I’m going to say it’s a good rule because of the way things have fallen for me today but it is a lot better (than the old rule).”

Elsewhere, Chris Hughton’s Brighton returned to the top of the Championship – at least until Newcastle play tonight – after a 2-0 win at Barnsley.

Hughton said: “It was a real good team performance. It was always going to be a tough game for us, but we thoroughly deserved the win.”

Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich drew 1-1 at home to Leeds. “ Overall, I thought we were the better team,” McCarthy said.

“Fans want to see a team play well and win and I continue to have great support from the majority.”

In League One, Simon Cox scored for the sixth home game in succession as Southend drew 2-2 against Northampton. John-Joe O’Toole netted for the Cobblers.

Elsewhere, a goal from Cian Bolger gave Fleetwood a 1-0 win at MK Dons, Paddy Madden struck in Scunthorpe’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield United while Niall Canavan was on the mark in Rochdale’s 3-3 draw at home to Charlton.

It wasn’t such a good day for Chris Forrester as the midfielder was sent off as Peterborough imploded late on to lose 2-0 at Walsall.

In League Two, Barry Corr struck as Cambridge came from 2-0 down to beat Newport 3-2 while James Collins netted a penalty in Crawley’s 3-1 home defeat to Morecambe.

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