Wednesday 2-1 Colchester
02/04/11 - 3pm
Wednesday ended their home hoodoo as Neil Mellor struck twice to guide the Owls to a vital victory over Colchester United at Hillsborough.
The Owls' top scorer returned to the starting line-up to give Owls boss Gary Megson his first home victory since taking over as manager, and the Owls first in the league in 2011.
The victory also eased relegation fears around S6 following a dreadful run of results of late.
Steven Gillespie pulled a goal back late on for the U's to give Wednesday a nervous ending, but they held on for the win.
Owls boss Gary Megson rung the changes again following the 3-1 home loss against Brentford in midweek.
Jon Otsemobor, Reda Johnson, Tommy Miller, James O'Connor, Jermaine Johnson and Neil Mellor were all called up to the starting eleven. Rob Jones failed to recover from concussion
Neither goalkeeper had any involvement in the opening ten minutes as the game struggled to get going.
It was the visitors who grew in confidence and offered the first shot on goal, striker Ashley Vincent striking a powerful effort towards goal which was well blocked by Reda Johnson.
The game opened as the minutes ticked away but the U's still enjoyed more of the ball and were almost gifted the opening goal after 20 minutes. The Owls defence failed to deal with the danger when the ball bobbled about inside the box and David Mooney lashed an effort wide when he could have done better.
The new-look strike partnership of Madine and Mellor took some time to gel but they linked well when the latter chased and won a lost cause before crossing for Madine, but U's goalkeeper Ben Williamson came out to avert the danger.
Williamson had been a spectator for much of the game but he had to be alert to deny Wednesday when Jermaine Johnson and James O'Connor played a neat one-two before the Jamaican forced the U's goalkeeper into a low save.
Owls fans had sensed the opener was coming and it did so with the next attack of the game when top-scorer Mellor found himself through on goal and he lifted the ball over Williamson at the Leppings Lane end for 1-0.
It was a goal Wednesday were crying out for, lifting the players and lifting the majority inside Hillsborough while giving the hosts a much-needed lead to defend.
Wednesday were in confident mood and they had shouts for a penalty when Mellor went down inside the box, but the referee waved away the claims.
Vincent looked the most likely player to get Colchester on level terms and he saw another shot well charged down by the Wednesday defence just after the half-hour mark.
The visitors were firmly back in the contest and forcing pressure on the Wednesday goal as the first half reached its climax.
But the Owls could well have doubled their advantage before the interval as Mellor linked well with Madine again, this time the former producing a dangerous cross which Madine flung himself at but missed by inches.
The hosts finished the half on a high note as Jermine Johnson picked the ball up and ghosted his way past two defenders before firing a shot on target which drew the half to a close.
Although Wednesday weren't totally convincing, the first-half showing was a vast improvement on recent home matches and it brought a standing ovation from the home faithful at the interval.
Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Colchester
The second half started in sluggish fashion for both sides but it took Wednesday just six minutes to double their lead.
Otsemobor did all the hard work, providing a superb cross for Mellor to get his head to and find the back of the net for his second of the afternoon and put the Owls firmly in control of the contest.
The Owls were full of confidence and Miller almost made it three and when he twisted and turned over the ball before launching an effort which flew just over the bar in front of the Kop.
The U's were still in the game and Vincent almost got the visitors right back in the game minutes later but Owls stopper Richard O'Donnell came racing from his line to avert the danger and concede a corner. Teale had to clear the ball from the line after Matt Heath had connected to the resulting corner. It was a bit of luck that Wednesday had been missing in recent weeks.
The game hit a lull midway through the second half, but it will have suited the Owls, who looked comfortable in their lead and happy to head towards what seemingly looked like three crucial points.
Jermaine Johnson continued to be a threat with his pace on the counter-attack, enjoying one of his better games of the season in the blue and white.
The game wasn't done and dusted though and Wednesday had to remain on their guard, with Lloyd James testing the hands of O'Donnell and substitute Kayode Odejayi finding himself through on goal before the linesman raised his flag for offside.
Mellor was desperate for his hat-trick and he felt hard done by with 15 minutes to go after seemingly being hauled down inside the box, but the referee waved away the protests. He came close again just minutes later when Madine set him up but Mellor took it first time and couldn't find the target.
Chris Sedgwick was introduced to shore up the defensive side of Wednesday's game as the match wore on, but he almost created another chance for Mellor to complete his hat-trick with a fine cross that just evaded the Owls striker.
The Owls carved out a number of chances to extend their lead but they were left with a nervous end as the U's pulled a goal back in the 90th minute. Richard O'Donnell will have been desperately keen to keep a clean sheet and he did well to save an initial effort before Steven Gillespie followed up to give the visitors some hope.
But Wednesday held for a vital home win that will go a long way to securing their League One status.
Full-Time: Wednesday 2-1 Colchester
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