Peterborough 5-3 Wednesday
London Road, Peterborough
01/02/11 - 7.45pm
Wednesday's run of league matches without a win stretched to six games at London Road as the Owls let a lead slip three times before eventually going down to a 5-3 defeat against Posh.
Alan Irvine's reign as Wednesday manager looks to be nearing its end following the loss, despite a relatively decent performance against Darren Ferguson's men.
Relative that is, to other dire performances which have seen the Owls slide down the npower League One table in recent weeks.
It started brightly at London Road with Jermaine Johnson firing the Owls ahead only for Craig Mackail-Smith to level not long after.
Gary Madine put Wednesday back ahead before George Boyd levelled matters again for the hosts in the 26th minute, only for Chris Sedgwick to give the visitors a 3-2 cushion in an entertaining first half.
Irvine saw his side reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Darren Potter, and it helped the hosts run out winners thanks to second strikes for Boyd and Mackail-Smith, while Nathaniel Mendez-Laing netted in-between.
The defeat leaves Wednesday now seven points adrift of the play-off spots and in desperate need for change if they're to achieve promotion this season.
Irvine made five changes to the side that beat Hereford United in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Lewis Buxton, Mark Reynolds, Chris Sedgwick, Madine and Neil Mellor were all recalled to the starting line-up.
The game was set-up for an entertaining affair in the early exchanges when Mellor went close for the Owls, and at the other end Posh skipper Boyd tested Wednesday stopper Nicky Weaver.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock as early as the fifth minute when Johnson showed his skill to fly by two defenders and lash a fine finish beyond home stopper Joe Lewis.
It was just the start Wednesday needed - the first goal was always going to be important according to Irvine in his pre-match musings.
That lead lasted only ten minutes though.
Boyd fired a warning shot which Weaver saved minutes later but the leveller came when Lee Tomlin saw an effort saved by the Owls number one and Mackail-Smith followed up to drill in the rebound.
It was an end-to-end affair and Wednesday regained the lead just five minutes later when Coke saw his effort blocked and Madine picked up the pieces to make it 2-1 to Wednesday.
Wednesday's defence has been poor all season and it failed to show any signs of improvement at London Road, despite the money spent on trying to improve it.
Posh levelled again not long after as Boyd got clear of Johnson to rifle a ,ow effort under Weaver to get on level terms for a second time.
Although poor in attack, the Owls always looked threatening going forward, with Jermaine Johnson having one of his better games so far.
But it was Chris Sedgwick who gave the Owls the lead going into half-time when he played a neat one-two with Mellor before drilling a low effort into the net via the far post to the delight of the travelling Wednesdayites.
More goals could have come before the break, with Tomlin threatening for Posh and Jermaine Johnson for the Owls, but it was the visitors who led at the interval.
Half-Time: Posh 2-3 Wednesday
The second half had a lot to live up to after the end-to-end nature and goal glut of the first.
Wednesday made the brighter start and Giles Coke lashed a shot into the side netting as the visitors looked to put a two-goal cushion between them and their hosts.
Gary Teale had been introduced at the break for Jermaine Johnson, who was struggling towards the end of the first 45.
But Wednesday showed no signs of sitting back on their lead, and Posh continued to pour forward in search of their third equaliser of the night.
The goals did dry up in the opening stages of the second half but the turning point came when Potter was sent-off.
The midfielder was shown a straight red with just over 20 minutes to go when he hauled down Mackail-Smith when seemingly through on goal.
It may have saved the Owls a goal, but it proved to be the wrong decision in the long run.
It took Peterborough just over five minutes to take advantage of their extra man as a cross fell for Boyd to poke home the leveller with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The hosts were now favourites to go on and claim all three points and Mackail-Smith saw an effort cleared away by Michael Morrison.
But the goal did come for Posh through substitute Laing, who lashed the ball into the back of the net at the second attempt after Reda Johnson had blocked his first effort.
And salt was rubbed firmly into the Wednesday wounds in stoppage time when Mackail-Smith broke from an Owls attack and, with Weaver looking to help out at the other end, slotted the ball into an empty net.
Full-Time: Posh 5-3 Wednesday