Baggies maintain promotion pace
West Brom reinforced hopes for a return to the Premier League with a 4-0 win at Sheff Wednesday.
Last Updated: 28/11/09 5:27pm
West Brom reinforced their credentials for an automatic return to the Premier League with a 4-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Roberto Di Matteo's Baggies kept pace with Newcastle, comfortably defeated Swansea, at the top of the Championship as a Simon Cox brace was followed by goals from Jerome Thomas and Chris Brunt.
Brian Laws' Owls, without a win in their last six league matches, slipped closer to the bottom three after starting the day in 17th place.
Wednesday, who have won only one of their last nine league matches, rarely troubled visiting goalkeeper Scott Carson, while opposite number Lee Grant was called on time and again to keep the Baggies at bay.
The Wednesday goalkeeper tipped over Luke Moore's shot from the edge of the penalty area and then parried a drilled effort from former Owls favourite Brunt.
But the Baggies cashed in on their dominance with two goals in seven minutes from Cox midway through the first period.
Cox thumped home Graham Dorrans' corner from close range in the 23rd minute and then slammed Brunt's pinpoint cross high into the roof of the net from similar distance to put the visitors in firm control.
West Brom were rampant. Brunt's volley was blocked by Owls defender Frank Simek and Grant then saved superbly to keep out a snapshot from Thomas.
But Thomas was not to be denied in the 38th minute when the former Charlton and Portsmouth midfielder finished in style from the edge of the area, low into the bottom corner, following Cox's pass from the left.
Wednesday mustered a speculative lob from James O'Connor three minutes after the interval and West Brom defender Marek Cech blocked Darren Potter's 20-yard shot.
But the Baggies remained the dominant force midway through the second period and Dorrans kept Grant on his toes with a stinging drive from 25 yards.
Cox pulled a right-footed shot wide in the 71st minute as he chased his hat-trick and Grant held another long-range shot from Dorrans.
The summer signing, scorer of 32 goals in all competitions for Swindon last season, then rifled a left-footed effort over the crossbar.
But the visitors rattled in a fourth in the 85th minute when Brunt ensured a heavy defeat for his former club, taking a cross-field pass from Chris Wood in his stride and unleashing an angled right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty.