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Rochdale 2 - Wednesday 1

Spotland, Rochdale

12/02/11 - 3pm

Attendance: 6,154

Rochdale 2-1 Wednesday

GARY Megson's first full game in charge of Wednesday ended in defeat as the Owls slipped to a 2-1 loss against in-form Rochdale at Spotland on Saturday.

A Mark Beevers own goal and Gary Jones penalty put the hosts 2-0 ahead inside 27 minutes in a first half which they dominated and could have added further goals before the break.

Gary Madine continued his good start in a Wednesday shirt with a late consolation goal but it just flattered the scoreline for a lacklustre Wednesday side that were often out-classed by Dale.

Megson didn't take full control of the Owls side as they drew 2-2 with MK Dons at Hillsborough last weekend, but he promised big changes for the trip to Lancashire.

And he kept to his word, with a new formation, new captain and changes to the starting eleven.

Clinton Morrison took the captain's armband from Nicky Weaver, with Megson preferring an outfield player to be his skipper.

The Owls stopper returned to first team action though after missing out against the Dons, while Mark Beevers and Mark Reynolds joined Michael Morrison in a three-man back-line, Neil Mellor partnered Clinton Morrison in attack and Darren Potter returned from suspension.

There was still no starting place for the on-loan Isaiah Osbourne, who had to make do with a place on the bench.

Rochdale came into the game on the back of an unbeaten run which stretched back to the start of December, and which saw boss Keith Hill collect the manager of the month gong for January.

But, although Dale will have been favourites for the win, Wednesday started quite brightly and had the first real effort on goal.

Dale stopper Owain Fon Williams punched an Owls free-kick clear but only as far as the head of Potter, who looped his effort over Fon Williams but saw the ball come back off the post.

It was a fast-paced start to the game at Spotland, and former Owl Brian Barry-Murphy clashed heads with Giles Coke in the opening exchanges, with Coke able to continue after lengthy treatment but Barry-Murphy had to be withdrawn.

The changes did little to Rochdale's impressive attacking football though and Hill's men took the lead in the 15th minute following some good football by the hosts.

The goal was carved out on the right flank, where Scott Wiseman picked up a neat ball and sent a dangerous low cross across the face of goal which Beevers could only steer into the back of his own net for the opener.

Wednesday's poor run of form has left player morale low, and the opener from Dale certainly didn't help.

Megson will have been looking for an instant response from his players, but he got nothing as a Rochdale side oozing confidence continued to improve and looked a constant threat as they kept their visitors pegged back inside their own half.

Their pressure was rewarded just ten minutes later when the hosts deservedly doubled their lead.

Done, who looked a threat throughout for the hosts, picked up the ball inside the box and turned Mellor with pace, with the Owls striker sticking his leg out to fell his opponent and concede a penalty in the process.

Done dusted himself off before drilling in the resulting penalty to give Dale a two-goal cushion and leave Megson's men with a mountain to climb.

He could have doubled his goal tally and send Rochdale 3-0 up not long after but he failed to connect with a superb cross by Nicky Adams.

Wednesday, although second best throughout the first half, did have their chances to get back into the game before the break.

The best chances fell to Clinton Morrison, with the Owls skipper working the ball well before curling an effort just wide in the latter stages of the half.

His best chance came minutes before the interval when he was through on goal but could only roll a tame effort straight into the arms of Fon Williams, an effort which pretty much summed up Wednesday's lacklustre first-half performance.

Half-Time: Rochdale 2-0 Wednesday

Megson had strong words at half-time during the Owls' previous outing against MK Dons, in a game which saw them come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

But Rochdale provided much tougher opposition and Wednesday knew they needed a special performance over the second 45 minutes to get anything from the game.

Megson made just the one change at the interval, with Madine coming on to replace Mellor.

Wednesday did improve in the second period, but then they couldn't get much worse.

With a two-goal cushion, Hill's men were able to sit back and allow Wednesday more time on the ball, but the visitors struggled to create many clear-cut chances against a strong Dale defence.

Madine had the best chance when a superb low ball across the face of goal found its way to the second-half sub, but he got the ball caught in his feet and the defence cleared the danger.

While Wednesday pushed forward to try and get back into the game, Dale looked dangerous on the break and could, and probably should, have all-but sealed the points with a third.

It was Done again who was through on goal but Weaver came racing from his line to block his effort and keep the Owls in the contest.

Osbourne was introduced for his Owls debut from the bench in place of Potter, and he forced Fon Williams into a superb save with a powerful volley shortly after his introduction.

James O'Connor also saw a shot charged down as Rochdale put their bodies on the line, and it looked like it just wasn't going to be Wednesday's day.

The Owls did get some hope of an unlikely point in the last minute when Madine neatly cushioned a header in from a Lewis Buxton cross.

But Rochdale soaked up the four minutes of stoppage time well, not allowing Wednesday any more chances on goal.

The victory kept Dale firmly on track for a play-off place, while Wednesday continue to drift further away.

Full-Time: Rochdale 2-1 Wednesday




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 13 2011

Time: 4:46PM

Your Comments

I think there are clearly divides in this squad. Megson has got his work cut out. I actually think some of these don't give a dam. I think can mention on one hand those who do Clinton Morrison Buxton weaver coke. Anyone who thinks they are above us or don't want step up to the plate can sling their hook. I think this squad will look completely different come next season prob league 1 it looks. Irvine should gone in December again his signings so far remind me of him uninspiring and short of ideas.
jamesc1905
I bet Megson can't wait until the summer for a clear-out! Be interested to see who he can bring in on loan as that will signify his intentions between now and the end of the season.
TheDon1974
sounds like we were very poor again no passion or pride dont know were are next 3 points are coming from cant see us beating tranmere tue night play offs are well gone
retfordowl1867
In all honesty, just staying up is our priority now! Tranmere have hit a bit of form now and Dale Jennings will tear our defence six new ones at this rate? Mego will keep us up and sort it out over the summer I think! Needless to say i'm not looking forward to playing a premiership team next weekend! Even if it is only Birmingham!
Owls That!
I cannot put my finger on what is going on.our squad should have one this league by now or been almost there.Now we have to win everysingle game home and away to reach the playoffs,(this is not going to happen so no promotion this year.What i feel sick about me included ,i was one of the many thousands that slated Purse week in and week out,but since he has been taken out we have conceded left right and center.It just proves you cannot teach a old head new tricks.P.S SORRY PURSEY
garrymo
For me, this season is a write-off!!! there needs to be massive changes to the squad, hinds, potter, o'connor, miller, spurr, beevers, sedgwick need to go. Yesterday was embarrassing yet again but as has been said, staying up looks like the greater aim this season. If megson can manage to bring in 1,2 or 3 quality loans and we start picking up results then thats a different story.
supersibon
what we have to except is that for last 10 years we have had no option but to sign players who no one else has wanted, even in the championship we had no money to attract an in demand player. turner did well to clear out a load of rubbish and actually made some of our better signings. we have had to sign players who are missing something be it youth, experience, pace, control, consistency or whatever and successive managers have had to try and get something more out of them. whelan, brunt and boughera were relatively untried and fortunately paid off and became premier league players but others have never overcome their shortfalls. we still have a squad mostly made up of this kind of player, things should change now mandaric is in charge but we are still going to have to battle to get out of div 3 as even with money we still will struggle to get players who championship clubs want. agree with sibon our best bet is to get quality loans to get us going and then look at signing better players
Hirsty's Shinpads
In Milan we trust. 56 points to play for. Up the Owls
fed_up_owl
I think Megson is learning pretty quickly the players who he'll keep and those who he'll want to get shot off if he didn't know already having watched this shower quite a bit before he took over. I think after a few weeks of training with GM and his team results will start improving, starting tomorrow night!!!
sussexowl
I agree this season is a write off play off wise but I don't see us getting into the relegation fight either. Megson has passion for the club and he needs to use the rest of the season to mould his own team from the players we have. We don't won't another 11 players and start from scratch again. We need a nucleus of a good team to gel this year so we can start on the front foot next August. Unlike Irvine, he needs to know his best team by the end of the season and they should be playing together so they can actually play like a team. It's great we have been able to buy players but you need time to be able work as a team.
ModgeOwl
oops i meant accept not except
Hirsty's Shinpads
Great post Modge. If we do stay in this division a good preason is essential this time.
waddle93
That is a very brave comment garrymo! At least one person now sees the error of their ways in the persecution of an excellent centre half and captain! Yes - despite the mistakes he made, we miss him badly! We would not be in this state if he had still been here and had received the support he deserved! And nobody has yet mentioned the ridiculous tactics adopted by GM in that first half. It was obvious from the first few minutes that we were all at sea playing that 3-5-2 system. Their wide men had a birthday from the first couple of minutes. These players ain't Premier league players. They are rejects from other clubs because AI could not spend any money! Once we went back to the traditional 4-4-2 we were the best side but it was too late then - they just massed their players in two defensive lines! It's no good GM having a massive go at the players if he gets the system so obviously wrong. You can't just impose that in the middle of a season when there is no chance to hone it in practice, especially when we have a defence that is already struggling in the absence of the guy who was main man!
Sivadam
 

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