Carlisle United 3-2 Wednesday
Brunton Park, Carlisle
25/10/11 - 7.45pm
TEN-MAN Wednesday saw their recent good run of results come to an end at Brunton Park on Tuesday night as Carlisle United came out on top 3-2 in npower League One.
The Owls had led through former Carlisle man Ben Marshall in the first half, but three strikes in 14 second-half minutes put the hosts in control. Rob Jones pulled a goal back to make it a tense finish, but further salt was rubbed into Wednesday wounds when former United striker Gary Madine saw red for a second bookable offence.
The Owls went into the game knowing victory and results going in their favour elsewhere could see them top of the table come 9.30pm, and manager Gary Megson made just one forced change to his starting eleven, with Julian Bennett coming in at left-back for the suspended Reda Johndon.
Greg Abbott's men were keen to bounce back following their 4-0 thrashing at leaders Charlton at the weekend and they made a bright start, forcing an early effort on goal when Lee Miller headed wide from a James Berrett cross.
But, despite both sides being in the goals recently, both for and against, chances were few and far between for long spells of the first-half, even though the game had a pretty lively feel to it. It was in the midfield where the game was being played and neither side could carve out and real good chances to break the deadlock.
That was until just after the half-hour mark when Wednesday took the lead.
James O'Connor and Chris O'Grady linked well to put former United loanee Marshall in on the right, and his tricky feet saw him bypass two markers before slotting a low effort into the corner to give the visitors the lead in style.
The hosts did hit back with a couple of half chances but the Owls will have been left kicking themselves that they didn't take a better advantage into the interval.
As Wednesday went forward just before the break they saw two efforts cleared off the line, from Chris Lines and Jose Semedo, before O'Grady saw an effort tipped over the bar by Carlisle stopper Adam Collin as United escaped conceding another goal.
Half-Time: Carlisle 0-1 Wednesday
It was a result that, at the interval, suited Wednesday down to the ground - the Owls had enjoyed the same result with Megson in charge last season.
But those glorious chances to extend their lead were to come back and haunt them as the hosts looked for a leveller.
It came five minutes after the restart and although Stephen Bywater, the Owls' stopper, saved Danny Livesey's effort Miller was well-positioned to steer home the rebound and get his side back on level terms.
Madine did have the chance to regain Wednesday's advantage against his former side but saw his volley brilliantly saved but defensively, the Owls were hit hard following the equaliser.
The game turned on its head just minutes later when Rory Loy turned well just inside the box before launching a powerful effort which gave Bywater little chance to save to see Carlisle ahead.
Megson, clearly alarmed by the turnaround, introduced Jermaine Johnson and Ryan Lowe, in place of O'Connor and O'Grady to try and get his men to salvage something from the long trip to Cumbria.
But it didn't work, with United extending their lead and having one hold on the three points with their third goal of the night. Wednesday were all over the place and Liam Noble was the man to make it 3-1 and give the visitors a mountain to climb.
Things got worse when Madine saw red for second bookable offence late in the game, although skipper Rob Jones did pull a goal back to make it a tense finish at Brunton Park.
Lowe could have snatched a point for the Owls but his shot went agonisingly wide and Wednesday were left with a long trip back to Hillsborough with nothing to show for their efforts.
Full-Time: Carlisle 3-2 Wednesday
Carlisle: Collin, McGovern, Livesey, Murphy, Loy, Taiwo, Miller, Noble, Berrett, Tavernier, Michalik. Unused substitutes: Zoko, Curran, Helan, Gillespie, O'Halloran.
Wednesday: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, Bennett, O'Connor (J Johnson 61), Semedo, Lines, Marshall, Madine, O'Grady (Lowe 61). Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Palmer, Prutton.