Date:Sunday August 31 2008
The Liberty Stadium, Swansea
30/08/08 - 3pm
Wednesday escaped from the Liberty Stadium with a point which never looked possible after the hosts dominated the first meeting between the two teams in over 20 years and failed to finish Brian Laws' troops off at the weekend.
The Swans went in to the game full of confidence following a frantic start to life in the Championship and it showed, with Roberto Martinez' men playing some impressive football which will no doubt see them stay at this level at least this season.
And with the vocal backing over the majority of the near-17,000 crowd at the impressive Liberty Stadium, their home form will no doubt be key this term, and Saturday's draw with Wednesday will no doubt be frustrating for the Welsh club, who will have seen it two points dropped rather than a point gained.
Owls boss Brian Laws shuffled his pack for the trip to Swansea, Jimmy Smith making his full first team debut for the Owls in place of Jermaine Johnson who dropped to the bench.
And despite Swansea's domination of the first half, it was the visitors who carved out the first chance, through Smith, as the Chelsea loanee put the in-form Etienne Esajas through for the Dutchman to cut inside and fire a low shot at Dorus De Vries' goal in the early exchanges.
But from then on, the hosts took control.
Wednesday looked all over the place with their formation, Richard Wood often piling forward to join the attack, leaving numerous players to fill in for him at the back, while the inclusion of Smith meant there was no width with the Owls' forward play.
All this despite the Owls promising to show off their forward flowing football which has been present in spells in their opening fixtures of the campaign - but it never showed any signs of making an appearance at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea may be a team who will be happy to just survive at this level following promotion last term, but in their Spanish manager they're playing a style of football which will be pleasing on the eye this season, and it caused the Wednesday defence a whole host of problems.
They have their fair share of flair, but they also have power and strength in the shape of Jason Scotland in their attack, but to the Owls' credit they kept the Swans attack at bay.
Thomas Butler saw an effort well blocked by Wood, while Leon Britton saw his long-range effort well saved low by Grant in the Owls goal.
But despite Swansea dominating possession, Wednesday still had their chances at the other end, Marcus Tudgay heading a James O'Connor effort just over the crossbar while Esajas again cut inside but De Vries was able to make a comfortable save.
Thomas Butler then saw his headed effort glide just wide of the Wednesday goal before the Swans finally saw their pressure pay off in the 36th minute with the opener in emphatic style.
Dutchman Freddie Bodde was given too much space in the middle of the park to run at the Wednesday goal and launch an unstoppable effort by Grant from the edge of the box which flew in to the top corner and sent the home fans celebrating.
Half-Time: Swansea 1-0 Wednesday
Laws will have been keen for his men to keep their foot on the ball more often and keep possession away from their hosts as they looked for a route back in to a game that was quickly getting out of their grasp.
But it was the hosts who continued their domination straight after the restart, Scotland firing an early warning shot at Grant just five minutes after the start of the second half.
Scotland has been in impressive form for the Swans after leading the goalscoring charts last season but he was brought off the pitch by Martinez to be replaced by Pintado just before the hour mark.
And the lack of attacking flair at the other end forced Owls boss Laws to make his first change of the match just minutes later when jet-heeled winger Jermaine Johnson came on to add some width and replace the less-than-impressive Smith, who did little of note in his first start for the club since his summer loan move.
But although Wednesday did see more of the ball since Johnson's introduction, it was the hosts who had the next golden chance to all-but wrap the game up when the woodwork came to Wednesday's rescue from the head of Ashley Williams on 64 minutes.
Further chances came for the hosts through Jordi Gomez and sub Pintado, forcing Laws in to a double substitution which ultimately helped Wednesday gain a point.
Steve Watson and Leon Clarke both came on to replace Esajas and Deon Burton respectively, and it was Watson who got Wednesday back on level terms in less than a minute in to his introduction on the pitch.
Marcus Tudgay got the ball at his feet, somewhat fortunately, at the edge of the box and he chipped in a delightful cross for Watson to arrive at the edge of the six-yard box to power home a low header with 20 minutes to go.
The goal sparked some fresh confidence within the visitors, and despite being second best throughout, they could have well have gone on and turned the game on its head with a number of good chances to take the lead following Watson's effort.
Leon Clarke was well positioned for a header but failed to test the Swansea 'keeper, while Tommy Spurr's cross-come-shot came back off the crossbar with just four minutes to go as Wednesday upped the pressure.
The chances kept coming at the other end as the game became very end-to-end in the latter exchanges, former Wednesday loanee Garry Monk heading just wide of Grant's goal, whule Febian Brandy saw his header deflect wide from the post in the dying seconds.
Full-Time: Swansea 1-1 Wednesday
Wednesday: Grant; McMahon, Wood, Beevers, Spurr; McAllister, Smith (Johnson 59), O'Connor; Tudgay, Burton (Clarke 69), Esajas (Watson 69). Subs not used: O'Donnell, Gilbert.
Swansea: De Vries; Rangel, Williams, Monk, Painter; Butler (Brandy 86), Britton, Bodde, Pratley (Gomez 67), Gower; Scotland (Pintado 57). Subs not used: Tate, Orlandi.
Date:Sunday August 31 2008
|8. Sheff Wed||17||7||6||4||3||27|
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