Colchester 1-1 Wednesday
The Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester
14/8/10 - 3pm
Wednesday kicked-off their League One away days with a well-deserved 1-1 draw at Colchester United thanks to a late Neil Mellor leveller.
Andy Bond had given the hosts the lead in spectacular fashion in a game where Wednesday had played pretty well, but Mellor carved out a superb leveller to get his first goal in a Wednesday shirt.
The trip to the roll-of-the-tongue Weston Homes Community Stadium was going to be one of Wednesday's tougher away days in this division, and they came away showing their battling qualities to bag a share of the spoils.
The Owls carved out some quality chances which could have even seen them take all three points from the match, but Clinton Morrison was guilty of missing a couple in the first-half.
Boss Alan Irvine reverted back to the same starting eleven that beat Dag & Red on the opening day of the season following Tuesday night's experimental line-up for the midweek League Cup tie.
Jon Otsemobor was replaced by Lewis Buxton at right-back while James O'Connor, Chris Sedgwick and Giles Coke returned to the Owls' midfield in place of Darren Potter, Daniel Jones and Liam Palmer respectively.
Clinton Morrison and Marcus Tudgay returned to the attack, replacing Mellor and Paul Heffernan, who both dropped to the bench.
It was the Owls' first time at Colchester's new stadium and they started in good fashion, taking the game to their hosts and putting them on the back foot early on.
It was a positive start from the visitors and Gary Teale looked threatening, firing an effort of his own just wide before producing a superb cross which just missed the head of the on-rushing O'Connor.
The Owls looked comfortable in the opening ten minutes and dealt with all that the hosts had to throw at them, although the windy conditions did mean there was little in the way on flowing football from either side.
Colchester started to find their way back into the game but just as they did Wednesday carved out the best chance of the game just after the half hour mark.
Some good link-up play by the Owls' front two saw Tudgay's flicked-on header find Morrison in a great position but he somehow lashed an effort from six-yards out over the woodwork when it would have been easier to score.
Wednesday were creating the best of the chances, mainly through the creativity of Teale, and Morrison had another good chance to fire the Owls ahead from a dangerous Teale cross but his failed to find the back of the net.
The travelling Wednesdayites were in good numbers, and voice, in the away end and Wednesday were responding to their support, being unlucky to go into half-time without the lead.
Half-Time: Colchester 0-0 Wednesday
Wednesday needed to continue their momentum into the second-half but instead they allowed Colchester back into the contest.
The U's came out with a more attacking approach and looked to cause Nicky Weaver problems in the opening exchanges following the half-time team-talk.
And their high-tempo approach to the second 45 minutes paid off as they fired their way ahead five minutes after the restart.
It did come slightly out of the blue, though, and it came in spectacular fashion from the boot of Bond.
He unleashed an unstoppable effort which gave Owls' stopper Nicky Weaver no chance to fire Colchester into a 1-0 lead.
It provided Wednesday with their first real test of their League One campaign but their performance up until the opener could give Irvine and the travelling Wednesdayites plenty of hope for a leveller.
The goal had lifted Colchester and saw them go gung-ho for the second goal.
Mooney looked especially dangerous and twice came close when he fizzed an effort wide before firing an effort which came back off the post not long after.
Wednesday were hanging in their though and refused to throw in the towel, with Irvine bringing Mellor on to replace Teale and tinkering with the attacking line in a bid to have more joy in front of goal.
And it almost paid off as Tudgay got free of two markers inside the box but saw his effort pretty comfortably saved by Colchester stopper Mark Cousins.
It was positive from Wednesday though, and the visitors upped the gear as the minutes ticked along to try and find a way back into the game.
Irvine threw Daniel Jones on in place of Tommy Spurr and it didn't take long for Wednesday to level the scores.
Mellor carved out a chance of his own inside the box after picking up the ball from a Mark Beevers header, holding off his markers and drilling a low shot home from close-range for his first goal as an Owl.
It sent the travelling Owls barmy and gave the visitors a sense that they could not only grab a point from the game, but steal all three from their hosts in the last five minutes.
But despite pushing forward, the winner never came and Wednesday had to make do with a share of the spoils.
Full-Time: Colchester 1-1 Wednesday
Colchester United: Cousins, Okuonghae, Reid, Izzet, Bond, Henderson (Vincent 80), Perkins, Mooney (Odejayi ), Wilson, Wordsworth, Tierney. Unused substitutes: Pentney, Baldwin, Hackney, White, James.
Wednesday: Weaver, Buxton, Purse (Jones 82), Beevers, Spurr, Sedgwick, O'Connor (Potter 67), Coke, Teale (Mellor 59), Morrison, Tudgay. Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Otsemobor, Palmer, Heffernan.