Wednesday 0-0 Oldham
28/09/10 - 7.45pm
WEDNESDAY'S slump continued in npower League One as a 0-0 stalemate with Oldham Athletic at Hillsborough continued to frustrate Owls fans on Tuesday night.
The draw may have ended a four-game losing run and showed small signs of improvement, but it still wasn't good enough for Wednesday to prove they're up for the task of promotion this season.
Latics stopper Dean Brill barely had a save to make against a Wednesday side who lacked any ideas, lacked any ambition and lacked any kind of drive in front of Hillsborough's smallest league crowd of the season so far.
If anything, the Lancastrians shaded the better chances in front of goal, but in reality the scoreline would have still been 0-0 had both sides been playing until midnight, it was just one of those games - and they're getting too common at Hillsborough for most Wednesdayites' liking.
Irvine did at least make five changes to the side that fell to a 1-0 loss against Southampton in S6 at the weekend.
Clinton Morrison was brought into the attack at the expense of Neil Mellor, while Tommy Spurr and Jon Otsemobor replaced Daniel Jones and Lewis Buxton respectively at the back.
Tommy Miller came in to replace Darren Potter in midfield, with Chris Sedgwick coming in for Gary Teale on the wing.
And the changes initially seemed to work, with Wednesday showing more in the opening five or ten minutes than they had in the full 90 against the Saints at the weekend.
Although nothing special, it was certainly an improved opening from the Owls as they took the game to the Latics, something Irvine was keen to do from the off.
Without really causing Brill much trouble in the opening exchanges, the hosts did boss most of the possession and had the Hillsborough faithful firmly behind them as they looked for a way through the Oldham defence.
The Owls were dealt a blow as the first-half progressed though with Tommy Spurr being forced off following a clash of heads, Jones coming on to place him at left-back.
Darren Purse did have a half chance to test Brill when he somehow latched onto a deep cross and fired a volley straight into the arms of the Oldham stopper.
But the chances were very few and far between, and it was in fact Oldham that enjoyed the better of the chances as half-time approached.
The visitors were lucky when the assistant referee deemed one attacker to be offside when the Latics were through on goal with only Weaver to beat in front of the Kop end.
And while the Owls did enjoy a slightly improved 45 minutes, there was always the sense that Paul Dickov's men could hit the hosts on the break at anytime.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0-0 Oldham
Wednesday needed a bright start to the second half as they searched for three key points, and although they did kick-off in attacking style with Morrison having a half-chance, Wednesday's second half showing failed to live up to their first.
It was Oldham who looked the more threatening in the second 45 and Dean Furman zipped a dangerous-looking shot just inches wide of Nicky Weaver's goal as the Latics looked for all three points to take back with them.
The visitors grew in confidence as the match progressed, largely thanks to Wednesday's inability to create any kind of chance at the other end.
Long balls forward weren't having the desired effect for the hosts, especially with targetman Neil Mellor not in the starting eleven, as Morrison and Tudgay continued to lose the physical battle against Oldham's centre-halves.
Paul Heffernan and Gary Teale were brought into the mix as the hosts looked for a way through the stubborn yet under-worked Oldham defence.
Giles Coke did create a chance for himself when he flashed an effort just wide of Brill's goal.
It was to be Wednesday's last chance of the game as a frustrating night at S6 came to a close with yet more booing from the Hillsborough faithful.
Full-Time: Wednesday 0-0 Oldham