Wednesday 0-1 Notts County
12/03/11 - 3pm
THE Hillsborough hoodoo continued for Wednesday as Alan Gow's 27th-minute strike sent Notts County away from S6 with three points and left the Owls without a home league win in over three months.
The Scottish hitman provided the sucker-punch in a game which Wednesday enjoyed long spells of possession but failed to trouble County stopper Stuart Nelson enough.
It left Owls boss Gary Megson without a home win to his name since taking charge of the Owls, and all-but ends Wednesday's slim hopes of making the npower League One top-six.
Wednesday had enjoyed two wins over Paul Ince's men going into the game - they'd enjoyed a JP Trophy win in S6 and also won the reverse league match 2-0 at Meadow Lane earlier in the season.
But Wednesday's league form has dipped drastically since then, and the chorus of booing which greeted those in blue and white stripes at the end of the match has become an all-too-familiar occurance for Wednesdayites.
The Owls went into the game on the back of a fine 3-2 win at Oldham Athletic in midweek, but Megson was forced into making two changes to the eleven that started in Lancashire.
Strike Gary Madine was missing through injury, and it meant that Megson went with two in attack, rather than his usual five-man midfield tactic, with both Clinton Morrison and Neil Mellor returning to the fold - the latter replacing James O'Connor.
Wednesday started brightly enough and hardly gave Paul Ince's men a sniff as they dominated the opening exchanges.
The hosts were looking comfortable, but rarely threatened Nelson in goal as chances were few and far between.
If anything, the Owls had looked more threatening with their one-man-attack tactic that's been used in recent games, as the Owls struggled in the final third.
As the match wore on, it seemed almost all-too-typical that the visitors would take the lead very much against the run of play.
And they did just that through Gow before the half-hour mark.
Wednesday's fragile defence hadn't been tested much before Gow's strike, but Mark Beevers' challenge on the County man inside the box forced the referee to point to the spot.
Gow dusted himself off and drilled the ball into the back of the net to open the scoring with what was to turn out to be the winner.
Wednesday's confidence, especially on home soil, has been brittle at best throughout a season to forget, and it took a big knock following the opener.
In contrast, the Magpies grew in confidence and, despite Wednesday's bright and seemingly comfortable start, the hosts were lucky to trail by just the one goal before the break.
Weaver was busy between the sticks and he had to be alert to save a low Kevin McDonald strike as County looked to extend their lead.
The Owls stopper came to the rescue again just minutes before half-time when he superbly denied Njogu Demba-Nyran, who powered a header towards goal but saw his effort well saved.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0-1 County
Megson will have undoubtedly had strong words for his troops at the resumption as he looked for his first home win as Wednesday boss.
Megson has had no problems in making changes at half-time to change the flow of the game and he made a double change at the interval against the Magpies.
Jet-heeled winger Jermaine Johnson came on alongside Daniel Jones, with Mellor and Sedgwick making way.
Megson clearly wanted more chances created for his front men, and Morrison twicve came close to testing Nelson as the Owls started the second half brightly.
Left-back Tommy Spurr provided the opportunity for Morrison both times, but the latter failed to connect to the balls and Nelson remained untested.
A second goal for the visitors would have been critical for the Owls, and County came close to doubling their lead when Weaver was again superb in denying Demba-Nyron, while Ivan Sproule came within inches of finding the back of the net.
With the game at just 1-0 to the visitors though, Wednesday were always in it and Michael Morrison came close to levelling from a Teale cross.
Tommy Miller, the Owls' skipper, also came close with a powerful drive from long-distance while substitute Jones drilled wide and Clinton Morrison shot over when he probably should have done better.
It wasn't Wednesday's day, and County left with a deserved three points at the third time of asking.
Full-Time: Wednesday 0-1 County