Wednesday 2-0 Hartlepool United
16/04/11 - 3pm
Home wins have started to come along like the proverbial London bus for Wednesday after they recorded their third win on the spin at Hillsborough with a 2-0 success over Hartlepool United.
After putting a disastrous run of form at home to bed with wins over Colchester United and Tranmere Rovers, the Owls eased to their third successive home win to all-but seal their League One status.
Tommy Miller returned to the starting eleven to fire Wednesday ahead from the penalty spot against his former club before Gary Madine added a second after the break against Pools.
It was Wednesday's third win in all competitions from as many matches against Hartlepool this season and hauls them to within a point of Saturday's visitors.
Owls boss Gary Megson made four changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion last time out. Rob Jones returned to the starting eleven in place of Reda Johnson, while Tommy Miller and Gary Teale came into the midfield for Chris Sedgwick and Joey O'Brien respectively and Madine partnered Neil Mellor in attack.
It was a bright and sunny day for football at Hillsborough, and the Owls had the positive start to match the positive weather as they took full control of the opening exchanges without really creating too much up top.
The first chance came through Jermaine Johnson, who enjoyed one of his better games of the season in the blue and white stripes, when he forced Scott Flinders, the Pools goalkeeper, into the first save of the match.
Although chances were few and far between in the first half, Wednesday looked comfortable and Richard O'Donnell, in the Owls goal, rarely looked threatened against a Hartlepool side who seemed to be going through the motions with the end of the season in sight.
That said, Wednesday struggled to break down their stubborn defence, for the first half at least, and Flinders too was relatively untroubled for the first 45 minutes.
That was until just before the break when the hosts were given a golden opportunity to break the deadlock from the penalty spot.
Owls striker Neil Mellor fell under a challenge by Sam Collins in the box and Miller was given the chance to fire his side ahead - a chance he didn't give up and Wednesday were given a huge boost going into the interval 1-0 up.
Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Hartlepool
The goal for Wednesday meant Hartlepool had to show more of an attacking intent on the resumption to take something from the game and avoid a hat-trick of defeats against the Owls this season - Wednesday had beaten them 5-0 in the reverse league fixture and also at home in the JP Trophy.
Bit it was Megson's men who came flying out of the traps, eager to carry on where they left off in the first.
Mellor tested Flinders minutes after the restart before then seeing another effort fly over the bar with the help of a deflection.
Wednesdayites felt a second goal was on it's way and it came just after the hour mark to all-but tie up the crucial three points for the hosts.
Johnson did the hard work down the right, dribbling his way by two defenders before providing the cross for Madine to drill in in front of the Kop to double Wednesday's lead and leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.
Hartlepool never looked like getting back into the game and Wednesday had chances to add further goals before full-time, most notably to Danny Batth who had two good headed attempts.
The victory was as comfortable as they come in npower League One and Owls boss Gary Megson will be keen for his men to continue their good form until the end of the season.
Full-Time: Wednesday 2-0 Hartlepool
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