Wednesday 1-0 Leyton Orient
26/11/11 - 3pm
Wednesday moved up to second in npower League One and made it 25 league points from a possible 27 at Hillsborough so far this season with a 1-0 victory against an in-form Leyton Orient side on Saturday.
Reda Johnson's first-half header was enough to give the Owls another three points on home soil and lift them above Huddersfield Town, who face leaders Charlton Athletic at The Valley on Monday night.
It was what Wednesday deserved, although Orient, who brought a ten-game unbeaten run in all competitions into the game, kept in touch with their hosts to make a tense final few minutes for Wednesdayites.
The Hillsborough faithful got their first sight of new loan signings Miguel Llera, who came in for the suspended Rob Jones, and James Tavernier, who filled in for the injured Lewis Buxton at right-back. Sanchez Watt, the Owls' other new loan addition, wasn't included in the matchday squad, with Chris O'Grady partnering Ryan Lowe in attack.
Both sides were in good form ahead of the contest and it was Orient, who'd bolstered their ranks with loan duo Tony Craig and Lee Cook in midweek, who threatened first.
Wednesday's new-look defence allowed Tom Clarke a free header on goal which rattled the crossbar after Leon McSweeney did the hard work on the wing to provide a pin-point cross.
It was to be the closest Orient would come all match, and while chances were at a premium early on, the Owls taught their visitors a lesson in how to finish at the other end when the took the lead 19 minutes in.
It was a well-worked set-piece, with Ben Marshall laying the ball off for Chris Lines, who provided a deep cross for Johnson to head in and give Wednesday a welcome advantage.
It gave Wednesday a boost, and they looked more threatening after finding the breakthrough, largely thanks to some top-drawer wing play from loanee Marshall down the left.
The next chance, however, was created by James O'Connor when the Owls midfield man threaded a neat ball through for Lowe, who saw Orient stopper Ben Alnwick come rushing off his line to divert the danger.
It was almost 2-0 Wednesday shortly after when Marshall saw a shot deflected just over the bar and Johnson saw a potential second goal ruled out by the officials for a foul in the build-up.
The Benin international was proving Wednesday's biggest threat and he almost tested Alnwick again just before the interval but he missed Marshall's mouth-watering cross by a matter of inches.
Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Orient
Wednesday had ended the first half on top and they started the second in similar fashion, forcing their visitors to defend in their own half , something that will no doubt have pleased Megson.
But at 1-0, anything could happen and the Owls will have been keen to double their lead and give themselves the luxury of a two-goal cushion against an Orient side that did looked capable of causing problems in their rare attacking moves.
The Owls, buoyed by the home fans enjoying a 'home away day' in the regular away end of the West Stand upper tier, carved out two good chances, both to Chris O'Grady, shortly after the resumption but Orient defended the danger well to keep themselves in the contest.
Megson introduced Liam Palmer in place of O'Connor less than ten minutes after the restart as Wednesday looked pretty comfortable on their lead.
The second goal didn't come though, despite more good work by Marshall down the left, something that troubled Russell Slade's men all afternoon.
Indeed, with Gary Madine absent through injury for an expected six weeks, the strike pairing of Lowe and O'Grady will be keen to get in the goals to prove they can keep their place when the Owls' top scorer returns to action. The watching Sanchez Watt, too, will be chomping at the bit to get his fair share of goals.
Clinton Morrison was introduced for Lowe but he couldn't ease the tension with a second, and Orient sensed they could snatch a point late on with possibly their best spell of the match late on.
The Owls, however, defended well, if a little deep late on, and they managed to hold on for a big three points and send Orient back to London with nothing to show for their efforts.
Eight wins from nine home matches for the Owls, a place in the automatic promotion spots for a couple of days at least, and impressive debuts for new arrivals - a good day at the office all-round.
Full-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Orient
Wednesday: Bywater, Tavernier, Batth, Llera, R Johnson, O'Connor (Palmer 53), Lines, Semedo, Marshall, Lowe (Morrison 78), O'Grady (Prutton 89). Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Bennett.
Orient: Alnwick, Craig, Cuthbert, Forbes, Lisbie (Laird 46), McSweeney, Spring, Smith (Cureton 83), Cook (Porter 66), Clarke, Mooney. Unused substitutes: Chorley, Butcher.
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.