Stevenage 5-1 Wednesday
The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage
13/09/11 - 7.45pm
Wednesday came crashing back down to earth with an almighty bang on Tuesday night when Stevenage embarrassed Gary Megson's men with a 5-1 thumping at The Lamex Stadium.
Darius Charles added to first-half strikes from Craig Reid, John Mousinho, Michael Bostwick and Laurie Wilson as Stevenage ripped the Owls to shreds in emphatic style.
The Owls went into the game in confident mood after beating previously unbeaten MK Dons at Hillsborough on Saturday and holding promotion-hopefuls Charlton Athletic to a 1-1 draw at The Valley last time out on the road.
But nothing could prepare them for the early onslaught as the hosts raced into a 3-0 lead after just 17 minutes to leave Wednesday and their travelling fans wondering just what had hit them.
Owls boss Megson made just one change to the side that started in the 3-1 win over MK Dons on Saturday, with Liam Palmer coming in to replace Jermaine Johnson, who dropped to the bench, in midfield.
But the visitors failed to hit the ground running as Graham Westley's men came flying out of the traps, forcing Owls stopper Richard O'Donnell into a good early save to deny Bostwick.
The fast pace continued from the hosts as Stacy Long saw an effort deflected wide before O'Donnell was called into action again when Charles attempted to lob him.
And it was from another Long shot from distance that the hosts broke the deadlock after just six minutes. O'Donnell couldn't hold onto the low shot and Reid followed up to drill home the rebound.
It was a disastrous start for the visitors but things were soon to get worse. Just minutes later Mousinho was given time with the ball at the edge of the Owls box and he drilled a low shot beyond O'Donnell and into the back of the net for 2-0.
The Owls were demoralised and the hosts were buzzing from their superb start. It was soon 3-0 as Bostwick struck a long-range effort which flew into the net via a post and Wednesday were wondering just what they could do to stop the flood of goals and get back into the game.
They did - but only until the 38th minute when Stevenage made it 4-0 and left Wednesday with a mountain to climb. It came in somewhat fortunate circumstances as the ball struck Wilson's legs and went into the back of the net via a couple of deflections.
Half-Time: Stevenage 4-0 Wednesday
Dismayed by the 45 minutes he'd just witnessed, Megson didn't hang around in ringing the changes and made three substitutions at the interval.
Reda Johnson, Jermaine Johnson and James O'Connor came on in place of Rob Jones, David Prutton and Julian Bennett respectively as the Owls searched for a change in fortunes in the second half.
It did seem to have an impact as Wednesday enjoyed more of the ball and limited their hosts to fewer chances in front of goal. But then again at 4-0 up, the hosts may have understandably taken their foot off the gas with the points seemingly wrapped up.
But Stevenage came close to adding a fifth on the hour mark before they did find the back of the net again in the 68th minute through Charles. He got beyond a number of bodies inside the box before turning and firing the ball into the back of the net.
The game was won but Gary Madine at least continued his good goalscoring form when he netted a consolation for the Owls with 15 minutes left to play. It was too little, too late.
Jermaine Johnson did hit the woodwork but he was later to be sent off for violent conduct to complete a nightmare of a day at the office for the Owls.
Full-Time: Stevenage 5-1 Wednesday
Stevenage: Day, Wilson, Laird, Charles, Ashton, Roberts, Henry, Long, Mousinho, Bostwick, Reid. Subs: Julian, Edwards, Myrie-Williams, Walker, Beardsley.
Wednesday: O'Donnell, Buxton, Bennett, Jones, Batth, Prutton, Semedo, Palmer, Marshall, Madine, Morrison. Subs: Jameson, R Johnson, J Johnson, Lines, O'Connor.