Wednesday 0-0 Blackpool (4-2 pens)
11/08/11 - 7.45pm
WEDNESDAY won through to the second round of the Carling Cup after holding their nerve to win a penalty shoot-out against npower Championship side Blackpool at Hillsborough.
In a largely uninspiring contest, neither side could find the back of the net in 90 minutes and extra-time as defences came out on top. Spot-kicks were needed and Wednesday won 4-2 to progress.
Blackpool made eleven changes to the side that opened their campaign with a 1-0 win at Hull City last week, while Owls boss Gary Megson made ten changes, with only Gary Madine starting the game from Saturday's win over Rochdale.
Attacker Daniel Uchechi, who'd signed for the Owls earlier in the day, was thrown straight into the starting line-up.
And the wholesale changes were evident throughout a dull match. Blackpool will feel unlucky to bow out, especially after continuing their attacking intentions following the second-half red card to Ashley Eastham.
Both sides struggled out of the blocks and Richard O'Donnell in the Wednesday goal had little to do, as did Mark Halstead in the Blackpool goal.
Neal Eardley and Billy Clarke were Blackpool's most threatening players and Clarke was the first to offer a shot on goal but it failed to trouble O'Donnell.
The hosts struggled to carve out many clear-cut chances but they almost took advantage of a Blackpool error when Halstead spilled the ball but James O'Connor's tame header was cleared to safety.
The best chance of the half came on the half-hour mark, again coming through the Clarke and Eardley combination as the former provided a low cross which Eardley drilled just wide of goal on the volley.
Despite not threatening the Blackpool goal, Wednesday did have their fair share of the ball in the first half, and looked hard to break down in defence.
But the visitors upped their gear in the second half and started to show their higher-division class.
Ian Holloway's men looked to be turning the screw for the breakthrough and Craig Sutherland had two good chances to do just that. First O'Donnell blocked his shot and then the Owls stopper made a top-drawer save to deny the forward after he broke the offside trap.
Clarke then saw a golden opportunity come and go as Blackpool enjoyed their best spell of the match but couldn't turn their possession and chances into a goal.
Wednesday had the chance to get back on top when Eastham saw red for a late lunge on Mark Reynolds, but the dismissal did little to change the flow of the game.
Owls midfielder Liam Palmer did fire a long-range shot wide with five minutes to go but the chances were coming few and far between for the hosts as the game entered extra-time.
Cecil Nyoni, making his debut in the blue and white stripes, came close to winning it for Wednesday in extra-time when he diverted a Reynolds cross agonisingly wide of goal.
But the hosts had O'Donnell to thank with five minutes to go before penalties when he produced a superb save to deny a rasping drive from Tom Barhuizen.
With penalties required, the visitors missed their first two penalties, while Liam Palmer and Jon Otsemobor scored to give the Owls a 2-0 cushion. And with further successful strikes from Clinton Morrison and O'Connor, Wednesday were into a second round clash at Blackburn.
Owls: O'Donnell, Otsemobor, Beevers, R Johnson, Reynolds, Nyoni, Coke, O'Connor, D Jones (Palmer 71), Madine (Morrison 46), Uchechi (Tumulty 61). Unused substitutes: Weaver, Batth, Semedo, Prutton, Morrison.
Blackpool: Halstead, Eardley, Clarke, Sylvestre, Basham (Llera 83), Hill, Eastham, Sutherland (Bruna 91), Martinez, Harris, Ince (Barkhuizen 83). Unused substitutes: Bignot, Tomsett, Djordjic, Kettings.