Wednesday 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
2/1/12 - 3pm
Wednesday started 2012 in winning fashion as goals from Reda Johnson and Chris Lines helped Gary Megson's men to three points and a place back in the npower League One top two.
Both Owls goals came inside the first seven minutes and it looked as though the hosts were going to stroll to victory against the Birkenhead club.
But Ian Goodison's 82nd minute goal gave Rovers, second best for most of the game, late hope as Wednesday failed to finish their visitors off, despite carving out plenty of chances in front of goal.
Clinton Morrison, Chris O'Grady and Ben Marshall were amongst the names guilty of failing to find the Owls' third goal but Megson's men held off a late surge by Tranmere for three big points.
Megson made just one change to the side that beat Preston on New Year's Day, with Morrison getting a rare start in place of Ryan Lowe, who dropped to the bench.
The hosts came flying out of the traps and, as with the 2-0 win at Preston, scored early on. Morrison won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Lines floated a dangerous ball in which Reda Johnson headed into the back of the net for the opener after just two minutes.
Wednesday were on a mission and, shooting towards the Kop in the first half, doubled their tally just five minutes later to confirm their control of the game early on.
James Tavernier did well down the right to cut in the box and provide a low cross for Lines to tap in from close range to make it 2-0.
Rovers were all at sea and Megson's men continued to create an avalanche of chances in front of goal, without adding to their tally and all-but sealing the points.
Danny Batth came close with a header from a Marshall corner before the on-loan Stoke man then got on the end of a Morrison cross but fired his powerful shot into the side netting.
Tranmere weren't helping their own cause with some sloppy defending, one such error leading to Paul Rachubka, the visiting goalkeeper, being forced into a good save to deny Morrison before O'Grady struck the rebound wide when he really should have done better with the goal at his mercy.
Morrison had another great chance to extend Wednesday's lead when he was left one-on-one with the stopper but Rachubka made another good save.
Nicky Weaver was a spectator at the other end in the Wednesday goal and the Owls were looking comfortable at the break.
Half-Time: Wednesday 2-0 Tranmere
If Wednesday were brilliant in all-but the finish for the most part of the first half, they struggled to live up to the pace they set in the second half.
Still, the visitors didn't look threatening at the other end although another goal would have put the game to bed and make the second 45 minutes a lot more comfortable for the majority of the 24,000-plus crowd inside S6.
The Owls did continue to carve out chances, especially early on after the resumption, but could find no further way through Rachubka.
Marshall saw an effort tipped over the bar before Johnson had what would have been his second goal of the afternoon chalked off for an infringement.
Wednesday needed to make a change midway through the half to freshen things up and loanee Sanchez Watt came on to replace Morrison.
He almost made the perfect impact when latching on to a loss Rovers ball but could only see his shot deflected wide.
Rovers knew they needed to up the pace in the last ten minutes if they were to leave with anything to show for their efforts and, with a number of changes having been made, they pulled a goal back with eight minutes to go.
Danny Holmes's cross found the head of substitute Ian Goodison to make it a tense final eight minutes inside Hillsborough.
Wednesday had the throwing away of points against Huddersield and Walsall in the back of their mind and only some resolute defending stopped them doing it for a third time over the festive period.
Mark McChrystal forced Weaver into a fine late save as Rovers rallied, but the Owls clung on for three crucial points to move them back above Sheffield United, who lost 3-2 at Carlisle, and into second.
Full-Time: Wednesday 2-1 Tranmere
Wednesday: Weaver, Otsemobor, Llera, Batth, R Johnson, Tavernier J Johnson 87), Lines, Semedo, Marshall (Prutton 90), Morrison (Watt 70), O'Grady. Unused substitutes: Bywater, Lowe.
Tranmere: Rachubka, McChrystal,Weir, Holmes, Bakayogo (Goodison 77), Taylor, Baxter, Buchanan, Tiryaki (Welsh 46) Akins, Labadie. Unused substitutes: Coughlin, McGurk, Raven.