Watford 4-1 Wednesday
Vicarage Road, Watford
23/10/09 - 7.45pm
Wednesday slumped to their worst defeat of the season, and they saved it for the Sky TV cameras, as mid-table rivals Watford made light work of Brian Laws and his men at Vicarage Road on Friday night.
The impressive Henri Lansbury bagged a brace for the hosts, while Adrian Mariappa and former Sheffield United man Jon Harley also found the back of the net on a night that Wednesday will be wanting to forget quickly.
The Owls made just one change to the side that fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Preston on Tuesday night with Marcus Tudgay fit enough to play following a neck injury, replacing Leon Clarke in the Owls front line.
But Owls boss Laws was happy with the rest of his line-up, despite Etienne Esajas being deemed fit and only finding a place on the substitutes bench.
Watford came into the game looking to make it an impressive seven points from nine in less than a week, with a 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town in midweek following hot-on-the-heels of an impressive win at Middlesbrough last weekend.
Wednesday impressed against Preston on Tuesday night despite slumping to defeat, and Laws will have been wanting more of the same performance wise against the Hornets, with a better result to come from it.
But it wasn't to be, as the Owls failed to get anywhere near the standard of the Preston match and were made to pay by a Watford side who seem to be growing in confidence week by week.
Wednesday did start brightly enough and even carved out the first chance just a few minutes in when James O'Connor found some space to provide a decent cross for Tudgay, who directed his header wide of the goal.
Watford found their way into the game and had some good spells of possession in and around the box, but never got round to testing goalkeeper Lee Grant as the Wednesday defence looked pretty solid in the opening exchanges.
It could have got better for the visitors when Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach had to go full stretch to deny Tudgay for a second time, while Jermaine Johnson also came close when he flashed an effort just wide.
Wednesday had the better of the opening 20 minutes but Watford were gradually getting back in the game, and they hit Laws' men with a sucker-punch to take the lead.
Mariappa was well positioned to slam home an effort from a John Eustace cross after the Owls failed to deal with a Cowie corner to break the deadlock against the run of play.
It was a case of more of the same for the Owls, having played well but finding themselves behind, and they seemed to feel sorry for themselves as Watford soon doubled their lead to heap further woe on the visitors.
Henri Lansbury, impressive throughout the night, managed to get by Darren Purse and Lewis Buxton before firing in what was to be his first of two goals on the night to put Watford in control.
Watford were well on top and Grant had to be alert to produce a good save from a powerful Tom Cleverley header as the Owls looked to stay in the contest before half-time.
They did, and had some momentum going into the interval too, as Tudgay rose high from a long Tommy Spurr throw-in to head the Owls a lifeline on the stroke of half-time.
Half-Time: Watford 2-1 Wednesday
Wednesday needed a bright start to the second half and couldn't afford to let another goal slip if they were to return up the M1 with anything to show for their efforts.
Tommy Miller was introduced from the bench in place of O'Conner as Laws looked to add some more attacking play on the resumption.
He was forced into another change just a few minutes in as Michael Gray was forced off through injury, Etienne Esajas coming on to add even more attacking threat for the visitors.
But as well as adding more in the Owls forward line, the changes left Wednesday even ore vulnerable at the back, something which they were left to pay for come the end of the match.
There was nothing much between the two sides at the start of the second half as Wednesday struggled to find the breakthrough for the equaliser.
It was Watford who came closest to adding to their score when Harley flashed a header just wide of goal - and it was a warning shot of what was to come for the visitors.
The same player picked up the ball a minute later and fired Watford into a 3-1 lead with a fine strike which gave Grant little chance of saving it.
Watford were rampant and Lloyd Doyley almost made it 4-1 after a good run and ball from Harley, as Wednesday were all over the place defensively, something which the travelling Wednesdayites and Laws were left fuming about.
It got worse as Cleverley comfortably found his way through the Owls' brittle defence before setting up Lansbury for his second and Watford's fourth of the night just after the hour mark.
It looked like it could have been any number of goals in the against column, but Watford sat back, happy with their night's work, and Etienne Esajas' long range effort was the only effort from the visitors in a lacklustre performance.
Full-Time: Watford 4-1 Wednesday