Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Wednesday
Prenton Park, Birkenhead
19/11/11 - 3pm
SUPER sub Ryan Lowe grabbed Wednesday's winner ten minutes from time as the Owls came from behind to secure all three points against Tranmere Rovers.
Jose Baxter, on-loan with Rovers from Everton, gave the hosts the lead before Chris Lines levelled for Wednesday on the stroke of half time and Lowe netted his second goal in a Wednesday shirt in the 80th minute to seal the win.
It was a tough win for Gary Megson's men, and a vital one to keep pace with the current npower League One top-two Charlton Athletic and Huddersfield Town, who also picked up wins.
Megson brought goalkeeper Stephen Bywater and winger Ben Marshall back into the starting eleven after the duo sat out last weekend's FA Cup win due to their loan deal regulations. Elsewhere, Liam Palmer played at right-back in place of the injured Lewis Buxton, captain Rob Jones returned to centre-back and Reda Johnson came in at left-back for Julian Bennett.
Tranmere had a good record at Prenton Park going into the game, having lost just once in the league, and they showed their credentials early on by having the best of the opening exchanges.
The first threat to Bywater's goal came when the talented Baxter tried an ambitious lobbed effort which dipped just over the crossbar to the relief of the Owls goalkeeper.
The visitors had their share of possession but Bywater's opposite number was untroubled in the opening stages as chances were at a premium.
Tranmere didn't have the same problems and Mustafa Tiryaki perhaps should have done better when provided with a great opportunity to break the deadlock but he powered his header wide from a John Welsh cross.
Les Parry's men were getting closer and closer to opening the scoring and they even had the ball in the back of the net but Baxter saw his effort chalked off by the officials for offside.
Wednesday's first attempt on goal came through Chris Lines but Tranmere stopper Owain Fon Williams comfortably dealt with it.
But it was Tranmere who opened the scoring through Baxter. The Everton man found space right on the edge of the box and he was given too much time by the Owls defence to be able to pick his spot and fire his side ahead.
It was probably what Rovers had deserved but Wednesday weren't to allow their hosts take the lead into the interval when they hit back in first-half stoppage time.
A long Marshall throw-in caused havoc inside the Tranmere box and the ball slipped out to Lines, who struck a low effort beyond Fon Williams and into the back of the net to give Wednesday the momentum going into half time.
Half-Time: Tranmere 1-1 Wednesday
The Owls made a change at half time with Lowe coming on to replace Gary Madine and the visitors almost struck the front through that man Lines again. The midfield powered an effort on the half volley that just went wide straight after the resumption.
Wednesday were on top, visibly buoyed by Lines's strike just before the interval, and they went close again when Palmer skipped by two markers before drilling an effort just wide.
Rovers defender David Buchanan was then well position to divert a Lowe effort off the line at the back post as the Owls' pressure started to mount on the Tranmere goal.
Rovers' first real chance of the second half came through Andy Robinson, who directed an effort straight at Bywater. An even better chance fell to Baxter but he couldn't direct his shot on target.
Good chances were coming at both ends and O'Grady hit an effort over the bar before Lowe grabbed what proved to be the winner ten minutes from time. Johnson headed a Marshall cross back across the face of goal and Lowe was well-positioned to tap the ball into the empty net.
Full-Time: Tranmere 1-2 Wednesday
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Goodison, Welsh, Tiryaki (McGurk 68), Weir (Labadie 85), Robinson (Devaney 82), Taylor, Buchanan, Akins, Raven, Baxter. Unused substitutes: McChrystal, Coughlin.
Wednesday: Bywater, Palmer, Batth, R Jones, R Johnson, Marshall (Bennett 87) Semedo, O'Connor, Lines, Madine (Lowe 46), O'Grady. Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Prutton, Morrison.