QPR 1-1 Wednesday
Loftus Road, London
03/04/10 - 3pm
WEDNESDAY picked up a valuable Easter point at Loftus Road as Tom Soares' second-half header gave the Owls a 1-1 draw against Neil Warnock's Queens Park Rangers in the capital.
The on-loan Stoke City midfielder drilled home a header from a superb Tommy Spurr cross thirteen minutes from time to level a Alejandro Faurlin opener for the hosts in what was a mainly scrappy match.
It keeps Wednesday two points adrift of the relegation zone in the Championship and it's a case of 'as you were' following draws for relegation rivals Crystal Palace and Watford elsewhere.
But the point will give Alan Irvine's men plenty of confidence going into another huge clash at home against Bristol City on Easter Monday (kick-off 3pm).
Irvine has made Wednesday hard to beat in recent matches and he made his intentions clear from the off by bringing defender Lewis Buxton back into the starting eleven following injury to replace Leon Clarke, who dropped to the bench.
Buxton was brought in to do a man-marking mission on Rangers danger-man Adel Tarrabt as the Owls struck up a new-look formation.
And the Owls started pretty strongly, dealing with the early R's attacks comfortably as they adjusted to their new formation, but didn't really trouble at the hosts at the other end.
Faurlin saw a long-range effort comfortably dealt with by Owls' stopper Lee Grant while Tamas Priskin sliced a shot which looped onto the roof of the net.
It wasn't long before Rangers, blessed with a number of creative players, started to cause Wednesday problems though.
Former Watford man Priskin was the early threat for the hosts as he first saw a header drift wide from a corner and was thwarted by Grant from point-blank range just minutes later.
All Wednesday had to show for their efforts was a long-distance Darren Potter effort which caused the R's backline few problems as it rose well over the bar.
But from Grant's superb save from Priskin Rangers took the lead, as the resulting corner fell inside the box and Wednesday failed to deal with the danger, allowing Faurlin to power home an effort from just six yards out.
Wednesday will have been looking to hold out longer than they had done, and their hand was forced as they had to revert to a more attacking frame of mind to find a way back into the game.
Luke Varney and Tudgay had a never-say-die attitude in attack but their work-rate couldn't be rewarded as the Owls midfield failed to conjure up any kind of creativity to damage their hosts.
If anything, Neil Warnock's men could have extended their lead going into the break, but a 1-0 scoreline was probably a fair reflection on the first 45 minutes.
Half-Time: QPR 1-0 Wednesday
Wednesday needed a good start to the second half to show that they weren't out of the contest but it was Rangers who looked the more threatening in attack.
Priskin had a golden opportunity to double Rangers' lead after latching onto a Matt Hill long ball but Grant was equal to his effort as Wednesday were let off the hook.
Faurlin came close to his second of the match as the hosts started the second half like a house on fire and didn't allow Wednesday any kind of hold on the game, which they no doubt would have liked.
The Owls weren't out of the game though, and the more chances QPR missed, the more likely it seemed that Wednesday could well snatch a leveller, despite the lack of chances throughout.
James O'Connor's header may have been comfortable for Rangers stopper, but it showed that Wednesday were still in the game, and the substitutions from Irvine came just at the right time.
Jermaine Johnson and Leon Clarke who both thrown into the Owls attack for Potter and Varney as Irvine looked for improvements in the attack.
And they changed the game, especially in the case of Johnson - we've missed him.
His turn of pace and run through the midfield gave Spurr the space on the left to provide a superb cross which allowed Soares to thump in the leveller with his head with 13 minutes to go.
it sent the travelling Wednesdayites behind the goal barmy and gave the visitors a huge lift going into the closing stages of the game.
The Owls may well have been happy with a point, especially after some of the pressure that they'd been under, but they could have well stole all three.
Clarke fired an effort wide and also came close to getting on the end of another dangerous Spurr cross to give the Owls the lead.
But a point was a welcome return as Wednesday head into another crunch game at home against Bristol in two days' time.
Full-Time: QPR 1-1 Wednesday