Date:Tuesday January 19 2010
Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
19/01/10 - 7.45pm
Alan Irvine continued to weave his magic after making it two wins from as many games at Blackpool on Tuesday night to lift the Owls out of the Championship relegation zone.
Goals from on-loan Tom Soares and substitute Leon Clarke were enough for Wednesday, despite a late consolation strike from Charlie Adam for the hosts.
It was enough to lift the Owls out of the relegation zone and give them another huge confidence boost ahead of a proverbial relegation six pointer against Peterborough United at Hillsborough on Saturday.
The football on offer at a windy Bloomfield Road wasn't for the football purist, far from it, but that will be the last thing on Alan Irvine, and Wednesday fans, thoughts as three crucial points returned back to South Yorkshire.
Victories at Blackpool aren't easy to come by this season, with manager Ian Holloway transforming the fortunes of the Tangerine Army around this time, with Blackpool sitting on the edge of the Championship play-off spots.
But Wednesday took the form of their 2-1 success at Barnsley over the weekend to Lancashire to complete back-to-back wins - something Wednesday fans haven't enjoyed for a while.
Irvine kept faith with the same side that won at Oakwell on Saturday, despite the return to training of striker Clarke, who had to settle for a place on the bench.
Jermaine Johnson, so influential at Barnsley, continued in his attacking role, something that Irvine prefers from the Jamaican, while Marcus Tudgay and Tom Soares supported him.
For Blackpool, Holloway welcomed former Hull City man Ben Burgess back into the starting eleven to give the hosts height and strength in attack.
And it looked to be a wise move by the former Leicester City and QPR chief, with the strong winds allowing little in the way of flowing football throughout the match from both sides.
It was a scrappy affair, a midfield battle, with chances coming few and far between, but it was the type of match that Wednesday will no doubt have been expecting coming into the game.
Holloway, too, told of his expectations being that of a battle prior to the game, and he wasn't let down.
Former Barnsley man Daniel Nardiello had the first half chance for either side, his header dropping just wide of Lee Grant's goal less than ten minutes in.
At the other end, chances were at a premium, but Marcus Tudgay threatened first when his low, bobbling effort, crept just wide of the post when it could have easily drifted into the far corner.
Tudgay's effort was the best in the early exchanges, but it was soon upped by Blackpool's Ian Evatt, who rose highest to see his header come back off the woodwork from an in-swinging Adam free-kick.
Wednesday's main outlet, as on Saturday, was Johnson, and he flashed another effort wide from long-range.
But it was to be the last action for the Jamaican as, rather worryingly for Irvine and Wednesdayites alike, he limped off with what was reported as a hamstring injury just 24 minutes into the contest.
Leon Clarke came on to replace the jet-heeled forward, but Johnson's absence, especially after his performance at Oakwell, was a blow to the visitors so early on in the game.
The chances started to dry up for both sides as the first-half progressed, with both defences on top in a scrappy encounter, but Wednesday will have no doubt been the happier of the two teams going into half-time.
Half-Time: Blackpool 0-0 Wednesday
Most Wednesdayites would have snapped your hand off with a share of the spoils going into the game.
But nobody told Irvine and his troops that, as the Owls came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half and took the game to their hosts.
Bossing possession for long periods, Wednesday looked the more likely to break the deadlock, and came agonisingly close when Tudgay blasted his effort by the Blackpool stopper but against the woodwork.
Wednesday's early second half pressure forced Holloway to change his deck, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Keith Southern both coming into the game for Nardiello and Jason Euell.
Euell had been relatively quiet throughout, but had his best opportunity of the game just before his substitution, something which came and went and gave Grant little worry.
But the impact of Southern was almost immediate, with a golden opportunity to give the Seasiders the lead, only for his effort to go wide from the edge of the box.
The game was evenly poised, but if anything, it looked like Blackpool were working themselves back into the game to go for the win late on.
It was a sucker-punch to the hosts then, that with just under 20 minutes to go loanee Soares curled in a fine effort to give the Owls the lead.
The Stoke City man has endured a tough time since his move to S6, but has improved under Irvine and got his rewards with what looked likely to be the winning goal in a close contest.
It could have been game, set and match Wednesday just minutes later when Clarke put the ball into the back of the net, only for the linesman to adjudge it to be offside.
It was an early warning sign for the hosts, though, as numerous chances came and went before Clarke made his next effort count, glancing home his header from a Tommy Spurr free-kick to all-but seal the win for the visitors.
In typical Wednesday fashion, they did leave their fans biting their nails late on when Adam grabbed a goal back for the hosts almost six minutes into added time.
But it was too little too late, as Wednesday hung on for three massive points to lift them out of the bottom three.
Full-Time: Blackpool 1-2 Wednesday
Date:Tuesday January 19 2010
|Sheff Wed||2||-||0||Leeds Utd|
|5. Sheff Wed||30||14||11||5||17||53|
|6. Derby County||30||12||12||6||9||48|
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