Wednesday 4-0 Tranmere Rovers
05/04/11 - 7.45pm
Wednesday's tragic home form since the turn of the year looked a distant memory tonight as the Owls stormed to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers at Hillsborough.
The Owls were without a win in npower League One in 2011 before they swept aside Colchester United in S6 at the weekend, and they followed it up with an even better showing against Rovers which will all-but end any lingering relegation fears for Gary Megson and his men.
Tommy Miller bagged a brace while Gary Madine got on the scoresheet and Neil Mellor made it three goals in two games in a game which the hosts were in control of from the very first whistle.
Megson stuck with the same starting eleven that defeated Colchester at the weekend, with Saturday's two-goal hero Mellor continuing his partnership with Madine in attack. Defender Rob Jones wasn't fit enough to return to the squad.
Wednesday will have been keen to hit the ground running following Saturday's win and they started the game with a high tempo, looking to pin Rovers back in their own half early on.
The breakthrough came after just ten minutes when Miller fired home from close range. Gary Teale produced a deep cross which Mellor headed back across goal and the Owls skipper powered home from point-blank range to give the Owls the lead.
The early goal acted as another confidence booster for Wednesday and they started to enjoy their football at Hillsborough, rather than look like they'd never played together before.
The lead was soon doubled, with Mellor again being the provider after getting on the scoresheet with a brace of his own against the U's.
The Owls top scorer fed Madine, who lashed his shot across Rovers stopper Tony Warner and into the back of the net to give the hosts a two-goal cushion inside just 15 minutes.
Mellor had only just regained his first team place at the weekend but he was central to all of Wednesday's attacking play.
He had a big hand in the third after just 22 minutes when he was felled inside the penalty box by Michael Kay to give Miller the chance to double his personal tally for the evening. And he made no mistake to put Wednesday in cruise control midway through the first half.
With Wednesday it seems that anything is possible in a season to forget, but at 3-0 the game looked as good as won for the hosts.
The Owls were comfortable on their lead, and comfortable in possession, while Rovers already looked like a beaten side before the half-time whistle had even been blown.
Half-Time: Wednesday 3-0 Tranmere
The second half was a pretty sluggish affair on the whole, but Wednesday did look to add to their tally.
Defender Danny Batth almost grabbed his first Owls goal just minutes after the restart but he saw his header well saved, and from the resulting corner Madine also tested the Rovers stopper but couldn't double his personal tally for the night.
Tranmere looked poor throughout and showed little sign of a comeback. Rovers eased by Wednesday in the reverse fixture at Prenton Park, winning 3-0.
But they looked a shadow of that side, while the Owls showed a vast improvement.
Rovers captain John Welsh had a rare opportunity for the visitors but he shot over the bar when he perhaps should have done better for the travelling Tranmere supporters.
With the points all-but in the bag, Megson started to make changes to his eleven, with Chris Sedgwick and Joey O'Brien coming on in place of Teale and two-goal captain Miller respectively.
Sedgwick almost made an immediate impact when he slotted Mellor through on goal with one of his first touches, but although the striker found the back of the net his effort was chalked off for offside.
Jermaine Johnson came close to adding a fourth, but Mellor did manage to get on the scoresheet just a minute before full-time.
Scoring his third in two games, Mellor latched on to a ball and went round Warner before slotting the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle to complete a fine night for Wednesday.
Full-Time: Wednesday 4-0 Tranmere