Q.P.R. 3-2 Wednesday
Loftus Road, London
13/04/09 - 3pm
Wednesday let a two-goal advantage slip in dramatic style to fall to their second defeat in three days at Queens Park Rangers on Easter Monday.
A Gavin Mahon own goal and Marcus Tudgay spot-kick had put Wednesday in a commanding 2-0 lead at Loftus Road despite another below-par performance.
But a superb revival from the hosts, coupled with some rocky defending from Brian Laws men, saw goals from Rowan Vine, Mahon and Damion Stewart seal a win for Gareth Ainsworth's men.
Laws made four changes to the side that last to Derby with Leon Clarke, Luke Varney, Tommy Spurr and Etienne Esajas replace Francis Jeffers, Sean McAllister, Frank Simek and Jermaine Johnson respectively.
Wednesday could have been forgiven for not knowing what to expect from the R's going into the game, given that Paulo Sousa had been given the boot and Gareth Ainsworrth had taken caretaker control of the club.
But the visitors were keen to bounce straight back from their weekend home defeat to Derby and came racing out of the traps when the returning Clarke saw an effort deflected wide from a dangerous Etienne Esajas corner.
The dutchman was involved in his first start for some time following injury, and his first-half set-pieces, coupled with his tricky runs down the wing, gave the Wednesday fans plenty of early positives.
But despite the encouraging early start, Rangers had the bulk of the possession and came close through Heidar Helguson, only for in-form Lee Grant to make a fine save to deny the former Fulham and Watford man.
The Owls defence - who've performed so well at home but so poorly on their travels - was having a tough time at the back and it looked only a matter of time before the R's found the breakthrough.
Richard Wood in particular, who was subbed later in the match, wasn't having his greatest game at the back and was possibly one of a number of Owls players looking forward to their summer holiday's rather than taking the task in hand.
Wayne Routledge saw an effort come back off the woodwork while Jordi Lopez also came close to giving Rangers the lead as the chances continued to come for the hosts.
But it was Wednesday who broke the deadlock against the run of play when Esajas' corner took a deflection off Mahon and went into the back of the net to stun the home fans 35 minutes in.
The Owls couldn't take the momentum off their own goal though and Rangers continued to look for a leveller as the first half drew to close, but Lee Grant kept their attack at bay, despite Helguson seeing an effort chalked off.
Half-Time: QPR -0-1 Wednesday
Laws brought Mark Beevers on to replace Wood at half-time, a change which wasn't forced through injury.
And the Owls had more of the possession on the resumption, resulting in them doubling their lead not long after the restart.
Marcus Tudgay continued his top goalscoring form from the season when he despatched a penalty kick following a foul on Clarke inside the box to see Wednesday 2-0 to the good.
Wednesday were fortunate to be in such a good position to continue their excellent away form, but it wasn't long before the hosts got themselves back in the game.
Wayne Routledge, looking so dangerous throughout the game, cut in and powered a shot which was well saved by Grant but former Luton Town man Vine was on-hand to fire in the rebound to give the hosts hope.
Given the Owls' sloppy yet fortunate defending, it seemed almost inevitable that a goal for the hosts could open the floodgates.
And it wasn't long before the scores were level as a dangerous corner kick was headed in at the far post by Mahon, something which Laws will no doubt have been left fuming about.
The momentum was fully with the hosts, and they had a good chance to turn the game on its head when Lee Cook couldn't despatch a dangerous free-kick from the edge of the box into the back of the net.
But the former Fulham winger was more precise with his net ball, when he gave Stewart a comfortable winning header with full-time approaching from a free-kick.
Full-Time: Q.P.R. 3-2 Wednesday
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