Wednesday 1-2 Exeter City
07/05/11 - 3pm
Wednesday's disappointing season in League One ended in defeat on Saturday as Exeter City came from behind to seal victory on the final day of the campaign.
The Owls made a bright start and Jermaine Johnson gave them the lead before the Grecians, who have enjoyed a superb campaign, hit back in the last 15 minutes with goals from Daniel Nardiello and Troy Archibald-Henville to bag the three points.
It was a disappointing end for the Owls, who had lost just once in the month of April and were keen to stretch their winning run at home to five games going into the close season.
But despite playing well and dominating the opening 20 minutes, Johnson's strike was all they had to show for their efforts and City soon upped their gear before finishing in style.
Both sides had just pride to play for going into the game, with the Owls safe from relegation and City with no chance of making the play-offs, although the visitors did have a chance to enjoying their highest ever finish in the football pyramid if they managed to climb up to seventh.
Wednesday's starting eleven arrived on to the pitch with a message of thanks to the 21,000-plus Wednesdayites in Hillsborough over the course of the season.
And the hosts started brightly, with their first chance coming from an unlikely source in midfield man James O'Connor, who forced Grecians goalkeeper Artur Krysiak into an acrobatic diving save.
The Owls came flying out of the traps and the visitors hardly got a sniff in the opening exchanges.
Wednesday were rewarded after 13 minutes when Johnson fired the hosts ahead in some style. The wing wizard raced by two markers before lashing an unstoppable drive into the top corner.
The visitors had only a half chance for experienced hitman Jamie Cureton to show early on as Wednesday continued to dominate - Johnson's goal only acted to lift Wednesday as they looked to finish the campaign in winning fashion.
Gary Madine could have done better when he saw his effort diverted wide from a corner following a break from Neil Mellor while, from the resulting corner, Johnson flashed another effort just wide of goal.
The Exeter goalkeeper was overworked and he did well to deny O'Connor again from long range, while he also denied Lewis Buxton as the visitors struggled to get out of their own half and Mellor saw his shot from the rebound cleared off the line.
City thumped the Owls in the reverse fixture and they were always going to carve out chances, but when Bertrand Cozic fired his effort towards goal Jon Otsemobor headed over the bar for a corner.
Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Exeter
The Owls had bossed the first half but Exeter showed big signs of improvement straight after the interval.
Former Barnsley striker Nardiello had a golden opportunity to level but his effort deflected off Owls defender Rob Jones and onto the post, with Wednesday goalkeeper Nicky Weaver diverting the danger.
It was an early warning sign from the visitors, who no doubt had some strong words come their way by manager Paul Tisdale at the break.
Wednesday were still a threat in front of goal though and Krysiak had to be alert to deny Mellor when he went racing through on goal from a neat ball by Johnson.
Lewis Buxton also came close to doubling Wednesday's tally, with the next goal being crucial.
And it came for the Grecians with less than 15 minutes to go. It was Nardiello who got possession and he sent a well-placed low effort into the bottom corner, giving Weaver no chance.
It gave Exeter the momentum and they won the game in the final minute of normal time. Archibald-Henville waltzed through the wafer-thin Owls defence before slotting the ball beyond Weaver to seal the points for the visitors.
Full-Time: Wednesday 1-2 Exeter