Wednesday 4-1 Hereford United
29/01/11 - 3pm
Wednesday progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup thanks to a 4-1 victory over ten-man Hereford United at Hillsborough.
They had to do it the hard way though, coming from 1-0 down as Stuart Fleetwood fired the visitors ahead inside ten minutes.
Darren Potter fired the Owls level before the break, and a second-half penalty, which resulted in the sending off of Joe Heath for a challenge on Clinton Morrison, allowed the latter to drill in the spot-kick to put Wednesday ahead.
Jermaine Johnson added a fine third before Morrison netted a second penalty to seal Wednesday's progression.
Irvine made three changes to the side that drew with Yeovil in midweek.
Daniel Jones returned at left-back in place of Mark Reynolds, who dropped to the bench, while Clinton Morrison and Paul Heffernan were the preferred strike pairing with Gary Madine cup-tied and Neil Mellor having to settle for a place on the bench.
Wednesday needed a good start to the game to get the fans onside following some indifferent performances of late.
But they were dealt with a big blow just nine minutes in when Hereford opened the scoring.
The visitors took advantage of some Sunday league-style defending by Wednesday as the on-loan Jake Jervis provided the ball which Stuart Fleetwood lashed by Owls stopper Nicky Weaver.
The goal lifted Hereford, backed by a strong following in the upper tier of the West Stand, and heaped more pressure on Wednesday in front of their own fans.
The Owls had to get back into the game quickly and they had a small sniff of a chance to get back on level terms when Morrison and Heffernan linked well with a neat one-two for the latter to force a save from Bulls stopper Adam Bartlett.
It lifted Wednesday's confidence and they were level not long after through a great strike by Darren Potter.
Gary Teale was the architect, producing a superb ball for Daniel Jones to provide Potter with the chance to lash a neat finish beyond Bartlett.
The goal settled the game down after a fast-paced start, with Wednesday looking more composed and Hereford putting in a good showing to match their hosts.
The chances dried up but the Owls had a double chance to turn the game on its head.
Heffernan forced a fine save by Bartlett, who pushed his effort away for a corner, and Reda Johnson and Morrison both came close from the resulting corner.
The Owls continued to create the better chances and some good hold-up play by Clinton Morrison allowed Teale to strike a clean shot at Bartlett, who produced the save to match it.
The visitors weren't out of it though and Wednesday could have counted themselves lucky to still be level as play switched straight to the other end.
Fleetwood found his way through on goal and the Hereford marksman struck his shot just wide of Weaver's goal.
Wednesday had a late chance to go into the half-time break ahead but Clinton Morrison couldn't find the back of the net.
Half-Time: Wednesday 1-1 Hereford
The start of the second half failed to mirror the fast-paced start of the first 45 minutes, although Jermaine Johnson did go on a typically probing run forward which brought a free-kick in a dangerous position, which eventually came to nothing.
Chances were few and far between but the Owls were enjoying the majority of the ball as they attacked towards the Kop in the second half.
The first change came around the hour mark when Darren Potter was replaced by James O'Connor in the centre of the midfield, which resulted in an unhappy Potter storming off the pitch.
Wednesday carved out the best chance of the second half when Daniel Jones produced a superb ball which found Clinton Morrison, but the Hereford defender got a touch to the ball to clear the danger for a corner.
Wednesday got a golden chance to go ahead in the cup tie when Clinton Morrison was fouled inside the box and a penalty was awarded after Jermaine Johnson used his pace to pile forward.
Morrison was about to pull the trigger following Johnson's cross but Joe Heath committed the foul and was shown a red card for his challenge.
He dusted himself off and tucked the penalty away to put the Owls ahead against the ten-men of Hereford.
The goal, coupled with the sending off, should have seen Wednesday into the next round of the prestigious competition.
But the home defending still left plenty to be desired and the visitors showed no signs of throwing the towel in as they mounted a number of dangerous attacking moves.
Jermaine Johnson had other ideas though as the Jamaican made it 3-1 to Wednesday.
It started with Weaver, who picked out Johnson with a superb throw and the jet-heeled Jamaican did the rest with his pace, weaving his way in and out as if the Hereford defenders weren't even there before unleashing an unstoppable effort with his left foot.
And it was game, set and match just minutes later when the Owls were awarded a penalty for handball inside the box.
Morrison stepped up to drill in his second of the match to put the Owls into the next round of the FA Cup.
Giles Coke came close to making it a famous five but he bent his short just around the goal.
Heffernan and Tommy Spurr also had good chances to add to Wednesday's tally as the Owls dominated the latter exchanges before Johnson saw an effort hit the post.
It was job done as far as Wednesday were concerned, and a place in the hat for the fifth round draw awaits.
Full-Time: Wednesday 4-1 Hereford