Sheffield Wednesday fell to a defeat away against West Brom, after a late Charlie Austin goal made sure the Baggies retained all three points.
The Owls travelled to the Hawthorns without a win in three, having conceded points late at Blackburn Rovers and against Swansea City at Hillsborough. Meanwhile, the Baggies came into the contest unbeaten in six and leading the Championship.
The away side made the more aggressive start and had a flurry of corners in the opening minutes.
Centre-half Julian Börner came close when his deflected effort whistled past the upright. From the resultant corner, Barry Bannan almost caught out Sam Johnstone when he whipped the ball into the near post but the ball ricochet out off the woodwork.
From then, Slaven Bilic’ side took full control of the game and took the lead on 10 minutes. Matheus Pereira played an inch perfect pass in behind Börner, as Hal Robson-Kanu was on hand to slot through the legs of the on-rushing Keiren Westwood for his fourth goal of the season.
The league leaders dictated the rest of the first half, as Sam Hutchinson, Kieran Lee and Bannan went into the book in quick succession leaving Garry Monk’s midfield men hampered when trying to prevent the waves of Albion attacks.
The visitors came out a much-improved outfit after the interval and began to dominate possession.
At the 58th minute, Lee robbed Filip Krovinovic on the edge of the area. As Lee, making his 200th appearance for the Owls, tried to bare down on goal, Krovinovic brought him down for a penalty.
It was down to former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Steven Fletcher to convert from 12 yards, as he made no mistake to secure his seventh goal of the campaign and end a run of six games without hitting the back of the net.
Wednesday continued to push for a winner as Morgan Fox diverted a Bannan free kick onto the crossbar.
Moments later, Fletcher brought down a Jacob Murphy cross, his resultant volley was fantastically parried over by Johnstone, only for the referee to judge Fletcher had used his hand in the move.
Substitute Charlie Austin then went within inches of putting the hosts back in front, his header had Westwood grasping at thin air but couldn’t beat the post.
However, just a minute later in the 88th minute, disaster struck again for Wednesday. For the third game running they would concede late to drop vital points.
The Owls backline was caught napping when a long ball from Johnstone into the area beat everyone and had Westwood all at sea.
He brought down Pereira who got there first and referee was pointing to the spot for a second time.
Austin, just like Fletcher, fired home from 12 yards past Westwood and it would get worse for Garry Monk’s side.
In the 92nd minute Liam Palmer made a rash tackle on Diangana and saw red for his challenge.
Grady Diangana almost put the icing on the cake for the Baggies at the death, but Westwood was on hand to keep the score at 2-1.
Garry Monk was left to rue another late collapse while Slaven Bilic must have been relieved to grab all three points to remain top of the table.
West Brom: Johnston; Townsend, Hegazy (74′ Barry), Bartley, Furlong; Ajayi, Krovinovic (81′ Brunt); Diangana, Pereira, Phillips; Robson-Kanu (75′ Austin). Unused Subs: Bond, Gibbs, Edwards, Zohore.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Fox, Börner, Iorfa, Palmer; Hutchinson (89′ Nuhiu); Harris (60′ Reach), Lee (70′ Luongo), Bannan, Murphy; Fletcher. Unused Subs: Dawson, Lees, Odubajo, Forestieri.
Bookings: West Brom: Phillips (63′)
Sheffield Wednesday: Lee (23′), Hutchinson (42′) Harris (60′), Palmer (red card 90′)
Scorers: West Brom: Robson-Kanu (10′), Austin (88′)
Sheffield Wednesday: Fletcher (58′)
HT: 1 – 0
FT: 2 – 1
Man of the Match: Matheus Pereira