Wednesday 2-4 Plymouth Argyle
05/03/11 - 3pm
Gary Megson's first full home game in charge of Wednesday ended in defeat as Plymouth Argyle put their off-the-pitch problems to one side to pick up a a valuable three points at a chilly Hillsborough.
Argyle entered administration yesterday and sat bottom of the npower League One table going into the game thanks to receiving a ten-point penalty.
But they put all their worries to one side and received a big boost in the battle against the drop by recording a league 'double' over the Owls.
Bondz N'Gala and Joe Mason sent the Pilgrims into a 2-0 lead at half-time before substitute Giles Coke pulled a goal back for the hosts on the resumption.
Mason extended the visitors' lead with his second of the afternoon before Yannick Bolasie all-but sealed the victory for Peter Reid's side, ex-Argyle man Reda Johnson netting a consolation for the Owls against his former club.
Megson was in the dugout for the Owls' last home game, the 2-2 draw against MK Dons, but the visit of the Pilgrims was his first official game at the helm.
It followed a 1-0 victory at Carlisle United, Megson's first as Wednesday boss, and the Owls boss will have been keen for three more points to open his account on home soil.
The Owls boss kept faith with the same starting eleven that beat Carlisle, with Giles Coke returning from suspension to take his place on the bench.
Wednesday couldn't take their momentum from the victory in Cumbria into the clash with the Pilgrims though and it was the visitors that made the brighter start.
They fashioned the first chance on goal when Stephane Zubar smashed a powerful effort into the side netting.
Gary Madine was the first to threaten for the hosts but he saw his header blocked - with appeals for a penalty for a handball by Curtis Nelson being waved away by the officials.
Argyle also came into the game on the back of a victory - they saw off Colchester United 2-1 at Home Park last time out - and it was they who took the lead.
N'Gala struck in the 12th minute with a low shot which beat Owls stopper Nicky Weaver from just inside the box.
As has been the case throughout a tough season for the Owls, the hosts failed to fashion a response and Argyle had the momentum.
Bolasie forced Weaver into a fine save just minutes later as the Pilgrims looked to double their advantage.
Wednesday enjoyed more of the ball as the half progressed, but just as they were looking to carve something out in front of goal the Pilgrims went down the other end and make it 2-0.
Wednesday's defence, which included former Argyle man Reda Johnson, looked fragile, despite back-to-back clean sheets.
Arnason was the architect, providing a cross for New Zealand international Rory Fallen, who flicked the ball on for Mason to drill home.
It could have gone from bad to worse minutes later when Johnson almost forgot which side he was playing for, failing to connect to a back-pass and allowing Bhasera to nip in to go one-on-one with Weaver, who provided a good save to keep the hosts in the game.
Gary Teale did hit the woodwork when he perhaps should have done better in front of goal, but it was one of very few chances the Owls created.
Wednesday were greeted with a chorus of boos from the Hillsborough faithful at half-time.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0-2 Plymouth
The Owls' first-half performance prompted Megson to use all three of his substitutions at half-time.
Coke, Clinton Morrison and Jermaine Johnson were all introduced to add more attacking emphasis to Wednesday's play, with Liam Palmer, Chris Sedgwick and Isaiah Osbourne making way respectively.
It prompted an attacking start for the hosts and Argyle almost gifted Wednesday a way back into the game when Arnasan almost put the ball into his own goal but goalkeeper Romain Larrieu diverted the ball to safety.
The Owls continued to push forward and they saw two penalty claims waved away in quick succession.
Striker Madine in particular will have felt he deserved a spot-kick, being hauled down when he was about to strike on goal early in the second half.
The officials waved away the claims though and it seemed like it wasn't going to be Wednesday's day.
But Coke put some light at the end of the tunnel when he collected the ball at the edge of the box and drilled a low shot into the back of the net to reduce the deficit just after the hour mark.
The goal should have seen Wednesday pile the pressure on their visitors but instead they threw the game away with more poor defending as Argyle restored their two-goal cushion.
It came just four minutes after Coke's strike, with Mason being given the time and space to chest the ball down and strike a powerful effort beyond Weaver.
The game was all-but won for the Pilgrims and they added a four with just over ten minutes to go when Bolasie smashed a 25-yard effort into the back of the net.
Wednesday did grab a late consolation strike through Reda Johnson, scoring against his former club to complete the scoring.
But a big chunk of the Wednesday support had already left Hillsborough before Johnson's strike.
Full-Time: Wednesday: 2-4 Plymouth