Wednesday 3-0 Exeter City
24/09/11 - 3pm
Wednesday made it five wins from as many home matches in npower League One this season as they cruised to a convincing 3-0 victory over lowly Exeter City at Hillsborough.
On-song Gary Madine maintained his spot at the top of the League One goalscoring charts with a brace of goals, including one penalty, after James O'Connor had fired the Owls ahead in the first half.
It had been a dour first half-hour from the hosts, but O'Connor's strike sparked life into Gary Megson's men and from then on it was pretty much plain sailing against a relatively poor Grecians side.
There were further reasons to be cheerful for Wednesdayites, with both Chris O'Grady and Ryan Lowe returning from injury to make second-half appearances from the bench.
David Prutton was missing from the Owls midfield though, and O'Connor came in to take his place in the starting eleven, while David McGoldrick shook off any injury fears to make his home debut. Stephen Bywater made his debut in goal following a midweek loan move from Derby County.
The form guide put the hosts very much as favourites, but there was hardly a thing to choose between the two sides in a pretty drab opening half-an-hour at S6. Rather than take the momentum from the 3-2 win at Yeovil last weekend, Wednesday struggled to put their marker down against opposition who'd picked up just five points from nine games coming into the contest.
Despite the sluggish start, the Grecians rarely threatened the Owls goal, with Bywater enjoying a rather untroubled debut. Chances were few and very far between at both ends, with Wednesday struggling to carve out many chances of their own.
The first chance came through some good work from Ben Marshall down the wing, providing a fine ball which just evaded the touch of McGoldrick.
With little to shout about from the stands, the chance brought a good reaction from both the fans and the players and Wednesday upped their gear in search of the breakthrough.
And it came with two strikes within the space of just four minutes to leave the visitors stunned.
A deep cross found the head of Rob Jones, who evaded the challenge of Exeter goalkeeper Artur Krysiak and headed the ball back across the face of goal for O'Connor to stab in via a deflection five minutes before the break.
The goal lifted Wednesday and they instantly looked to double their advantage. They did so minutes later, with Krysiak again at fault as Madine was left to out-jump his markers and head Wednesday into a 2-0 lead before half-time.
Half-Time: Wednesday 2-0 Exeter
Although the Owls hadn't exactly shone for most of the first-half, the visitors rarely looked threatening but Wednesday didn't take their foot off the gas in the second half as they looked to put the game to bed.
McGoldrick could have made it 3-0 just minutes after the restart but Krysiak this time made a good save to at least keep the visitors in the contest.
The crowed sensed a third goal was always going to come as the Owls spent much of the second half penning Exeter back in their home half, and Paul Tisdale's men had little in reply.
Both O'Grady and Lowe returned to the matchday squad and it was O'Grady who came on first, to replace McGoldrick, and he showed some neat touches on his return from injury.
Soon after Wednesday made it 3-0 as Madine was felled inside the box and he picked himself up to drill in the spot-kick in front of the Kop.
It could have been 4-0 as Chris Lines, impressing in his central midfield role, albeit against a pretty poor Exeter outfit, smashed a low shot against the foot of the post following a good Wednesday move.
Ryan Lowe wanted to get into the action and he made his home bow soon after, replacing Madine who got a standing ovation for his performance.
It was five from five at home for Wednesday, and the result moves them up to seventh in the table - just a point behind Sheffield United.
Full-Time: Wednesday 3-0 Exeter
Wednesday: Bywater, Buxton, Jones, Batth, R Johnson, Marshall (Palmer 89), O'Connor, Semedo, Lines, McGoldrick (O'Grady 73), Madine (Lowe 88). Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Bennett.
Exeter: Krysiak, Tully, Dunne, Archibald-Henville (O'Flynn 76), Duffy, Noble, Nardiello, Golbourne, Coles, Taylor (Bennett 76), Whichelow (Buaza 58). Unused substitutes: Pidgeley, Jones.