Date:Wednesday June 3 2009
In the first of our four-part season review, Vital Wednesday looks at the Owls' impressive start to the season - seasoned with some shockingly poor away results!
Wednesday weren't really favoured to do much going into the season following their eventful, yet disappointing climax to the 2008-09 campaign.
A home tie at home to Burnley, a side who'd invested heavily in the pre-season, wasn't ideal, but both sets of fans were confident of getting a result going into the game - and what a game it was!
Wednesday started brilliantly, with Marcus Tudgay bagging the first goal of the Championship season after just one minute, and Wednesday weren't done there as Akpo Sodje followed it up minutes later.
Burnley overcame their initial shock to get a goal back on six minutes through Paterson, and it had all the makings of a thrilling clash at S6.
Luckily for Wednesday, the Burnleu fightback never materialised and Wednesday went on to bag two more - one each from Tudgay and Sodje- to seal the win, although an injury to the latter proved more costly in the long run.
Nevertheless, Wednesday were top of the league after game one, it couldn't get any better!
A disappointing defeat in extra-time to Rotherham United in the League Cup followed, but Wednesday fans weren't too disheartened as they travelled to Wolves the following weekend.
The 'top of the league chants' continued to be heard as Etienne Esajas fired the Owls ahead at Molineux, only for Wolves to inflict a thrashing of their own with a 4-1 success to bring Owls' fans back down to earth.
Two draws followed to steady the ship - at home to Preston and away to Swansea, before a 2-0 home win over Watford gave Owls' fans plenty to shout about in the early weeks of the season.
Then came Reading away, and a 6-0 thrashing that Brian Laws blamed on the pre-game preparations, which was followed closely by a 4-0 defeat on the road to Plymouth.
Clearly things weren't all great on our travels in the early weeks of the campaign.
But the positive results continued to come to keep Wednesday in a decent position in the championship table.
A 0-0 draw at home to Ipswich kept the Owls' good home form going, while a 2-1 win at Charlton thanks to a superb Wade Small solo effort, and 1-0 home success over struggling Nottingham Forest saw Wednesday's hit and miss form continue.
The result of the season - to date - followed with a 1-0 home victory over Sheffield United in the Steel City derby - thanks to a superb Steve Watson lob.
In a fiery encounter, which saw Jermaine Johnson sent off for kicking a water bottle into the crowd on his substitution after he was taken off, the Owls' once again out-battled Kevin Blackwell's men to take the bragging rights.
But, riding on the crest of a wave, Wednesday slumped to derby day defeats at Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers in quick succession - it didn't matter, the Steel City derby was the one that counted.
Although worryingly falling away from around the play-off spots, Wednesday fans would have taken the start to the season they'd endured, and they could build on it as the season progressed.
Keep logging on to Vital Sheffield Wednesday for part two of the Vital season review!
Date:Wednesday June 3 2009
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