Wednesday 6-2 Bristol Rovers
11/12/10 - 3pm
Wednesday welcomed chairman-to-be Milan Mandaric to Hillsborough with a thumping 6-2 victory over Bristol Rovers which sent the Owls second in npower League One.
The Owls bounced back from consecutive defeats and had to come from a goal behind against the Pirates to secure their most emphatic victory of the season in front of the Hillsborough failthful.
Will Hoskins had fired the visitors ahead, and also netted in the second half, before goals from Chris Sedgwick, Tommy Miller, Gary Teale, Jermaine Johnson, James O'Connor and Paul Heffernan sealed a superb win to fire Wednesday into the automatic promotion spots.
Owls boss Alan Irvine made just the one change to the side that lost at Swindon Town last weekend, with Daniel Jones coming in at right-back to replace the injured Lewis Buxton.
It was all about welcoming Mandaric to the club before kick-off, with the former Portsmouth and Leicester chairman, who is set to get official control of the club next week, given a standing ovation from the home support as he took his place in the South Stand.
Wednesday responded on the pitch with a bright start as they controlled the possession and had the first effort on goal when Teale fired a low effort just wide of Mikkel Anderson's goal.
But for the Owls' bright start, it was Rovers who looked to spoil the party with the opener against the run of play from former Rotherham United striker Hoskins.
Just seven minutes in Wayne Brown fired a deep cross to the back post and, with Owls stopper Nicky Weaver scrambling to tip the effort over the bar, Hoskins was well positioned to head in from point-blank range.
It was a sucker-punch for Wednesday, but they responded almost instantly.
First, Clinton Morrison missed a sitter when Sedgwick headed a cross back across the face of goal and the striker somehow sent his effort over the woodwork when it was easy to drill in the leveller.
The Owls' woe wasn't to last much longer though as they got on terms in the tenth minute.
Morrison was again at the thick of the action when he saw his shot well saved by Anderson, only for Sedgwick to head in the rebound from close range.
The hosts had the momentum and Teale came close again, this time forcing Anderson into a brilliant save to deny the Scottish winger.
Wednesday were in command and hit a purple patch midway through the first-half where they sit three goals without reply to take a commanding position.
Teale saw a header inside the box cleared only as far as Miller, who turned to fire Wednesday ahead in the 23rd minute.
Just three minutes later it was 3-1 as the Owls continued to be quicker to react, this time Teale tapping home from close range into an empty net after Morrison had again been denied by the visiting stopper.
It proved to be a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for the former Coventry City man, but he was at the heart of all the promising Wednesday attacks.
It was 4-1 not long after as Johnson, looking back to his best with his jet-heeled runs and trickery, powered his way through the brittle-looking Bristol defence before producing a clinical finish to make it 4-1 and get Hillsborough rocking.
The Owls looked like they could score at every opportunity in the first-half, but Rovers kept the scoreline at 4-1 going into half-time.
Half-Time: Wednesday 4-1 Bristol Rovers
With the Owls in control and seemingly on their way to three crucial league points, Wednesday made a timid start to the second half.
If anything, Rovers edged the opening 15 minutes of the second period as they looked to gain at least some pride from their performance.
Weaver did well to save from Jeff Hughes and Chris Lines as the Pirates looked for a way back into the game.
And they got one with 25 minutes to go as Hoskins grabbed his second of the game.
Weaver will have been disappointed to see Hoskins loop a cross-cum-shot deep into the box, over his head and into the back of the net to give Paul Trollope's men some light at the end of the tunnel.
It came just seconds after the Owls had introduced Paul Heffernan into the game, with Johnson making way, while James O'Connor came on not long after for Darren Potter.
And with one of O'Connor's first touches of the ball, he fired Wednesday back into a three-goal lead.
The midfielder played a neat one-two with that man Morrison before producing a fine finish beyond Anderson to make it a fab five for Wednesday.
It could have been six when Teale was in a good position and in space inside the box, but he curled his effort beyond the keeper and saw it come crashing back off the woodwork.
The sixth goal did come with five minutes to go when Heffernan got onto a neat throughball before producing a pin-point finish beyond Anderson to score against his former club and wrap-up a fine day at the office for the Owls and Milan Mandaric.
The only thing missing was a Clinton Morrison goal for all his hard work, and he'll be left wondering just how he didn't find the back of the net in the closing stages when he somehow screwed a shot onto the post and saw it dribble across the face of goal before being cleared to safety.
Nevertheless, it was a superb day all-round for Wednesday, and hopefully just the first of plenty more to come at S6.
Full-Time: Wednesday 6-2 Bristol Rovers
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