Owls’ automatic promotion hopes end despite Michael Smith treble at Shrewsbury

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Nigel French/PA Wire

Sheffield Wednesday’s automatic promotion hopes ended despite Michael Smith’s hat-trick earning them a convincing 3-0 win at Shrewsbury.

Victories for both Plymouth and Ipswich confirmed their place in the Championship next season, with Wednesday now consigned to the play-offs for a second successive season.

The Owls were ahead after just eight minutes when top scorer Smith finished off a superb team move.

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Dominic Iorfa started it by bursting out of defence before finding Smith. He then fed Lee Gregory, who cleverly played in his strike partner with a backheel before Smith lashed home past goalkeeper Marko Marosi.

It could have got better for Wednesday minutes later when skipper Barry Bannan found space on the edge of the area but saw his speculative effort tipped over the crossbar by an alert Marosi.

The hosts offered precious little going forward in the first half and were caught cold right at the start of the second when Smith headed home from Marvin Johnson’s clipped cross.

He then completed his first hat-trick since 2016 with a tidy finish after a through-ball from Bannan.