Sheffield Wednesday‘s fine start to the season continued with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Port Vale on Saturday.
Darren Moore’s side were far from their best in difficult conditions at Vale Park but came away with the three points thanks to Will Vaulks’ wonder goal.
While the former Rotherham man will steal the headlines after that match-winning strike, Ben Heneghan deserves a huge amount of credit for his display in defence, as he helped the Owls to a sixth clean sheet of the season.
As per SofaScore, the centre-back would earn an impressive 7.8/10 rating for his performance, which ranked him as the best player on the pitch from both sides.
Heneghan would make eight clearances, block two shots and win a whopping 11 aerial duels during the game, more than playing his part in earning another important three points for the Owls as they moved up to third in the League One table.
For context, the 29-year-old has averaged 5.2 clearances, one block and 7.3 aerial duels won in League One this season, which emphasises that he was well and truly on top of his game against Port Vale.
Sheffield Star reporter Joe Crann was full of praise for the centre-back, and his defensive partners Reece James and Michael Ihiekwe after the game.
He said: Didn’t dare say anything while the game was still going, but Heneghan, Ihiekwe and James were tremendous for SWFC today. Monumental defensive performance.”
Heneghan also completed 35 passes with a success rate of 74%, which again was an improvement on his statistics from the season thus far, where he has averaged a 70.5% success rate – even more impressive when you consider the issues surrounding Port Vale’s pitch on Saturday.
Since signing from Wimbledon in the summer, the experienced centre-back has been a consistent performer in Moore’s side and after another strong display and clean sheet on Saturday, the 29-year-old looks set to be a key part of any Owls promotion push this season.