Bristol Rovers 1-1 Wednesday
The Memorial Ground, Bristol
30/04/11 - 3pm
Wednesday's good April form continued at the Memorial Ground on Saturday as Tommy Miller fired the Owls to a well-earned point from their final away game of the season.
Miller struck from the penalty spot after just three minutes before Will Hoskins did the same for the hosts after 12 minutes in a game which all-but relegated the hosts.
It could so easily have been Wednesday in relegation trouble just a month ago but an impressive run of just one defeat from seven games in April has left Gary Megson's men safe in mid-table.
The Gas need a minor miracle to retain their League One status on the final day of the season next weekend, with a huge goal difference going against them meaning they're all-but down.
Danny Batth returned to the starting eleven alongside Rob Jones at centre-back, while midfielder Liam Palmer was also given a start and Gary Teale returned on the wing.
Rovers simply had to win their final home match of the season but they made the worst possible start just three minutes in.
Owls striker Gary Madine was tripped inside the box by Danny Coles and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. Miller stepped up to drill home from 12 yards in emphatic fashion to give the visitors a superb start.
The Owls had enjoyed a thumping 6-2 victory over Rovers in the reverse fixture at Hillsborough last December but Rovers weren't going down without a fight this time.
The leveller came after just 12 minutes when the hosts won a penalty of their own after Lewis Buxton felled Wayne Brown on the edge of the box. The spot-kick was given and top-scorer Hoskins made no mistake to get the hosts on level terms.
The goal gave Rovers a huge boost and they enjoyed more of the ball in the Wednesday half. Owls stopper Nicky Weaver was troubled too many times but the hosts came inches away from taking the lead after 22 minutes.
Byron Anthony powered a header from a deep cross beyond Weaver but the crossbar came to the Owls' rescue as the ball bounced away to safety.
The hosts were enjoying a purple patch midway through the first half with Weaver becoming the busier of the two goalkeepers. The Owls did get back into the contest but Rovers' on-loan goalkeeper Conrad Logan didn't have much work to do.
Weaver was at work again on the stroke of half-time when he superbly denied Chris Lines from long range.
Half-Time: Bristol Rovers 1-1 Wednesday
The half-time team-talk for the Gas must have been one of an attacking nature - with three points vital in their quest for survival - and they came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half.
The hosts enjoyed large chunks of the possession and looked the most likely to gain the lead, although they didn't trouble Weaver too much on the restart.
The Owls' sluggish start prompted boss Megson to ring the changes with a double substitute. Jermaine Johnson and Chris Sedgwick were introduced in place of Gary Teale and James O'Connor.
And the changes seemed to change the flow of the game, with the visitors enjoying more possession and in-turn limiting Rovers' chances of finding a way through the stubborn Wednesday defence.
Chances were few and far between for the Owls, but Miller did come close after Madine seized the ball from a defensive mix-up by the hosts and fed the Owls' midfield man, only to shoot wide.
Rob Jones also came close with a header from a Miller free-kick as the game started to open in the closing exchanges, mainly due to the hosts looking desperate for the winner.
Hoskins forced a good save from Weaver before, at the other end, the Owls saw claims for a penalty waved away by the officials after Mellor fell under a challenge from Logan.
Weaver had to be alert to deny Lines late on, but the draw certainly suited Wednesday more than Rovers, who now look certain for the drop to League Two.
Full-Time: Bristol Rovers 1-1 Wednesday
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