Wednesday 4-1 Bury
6/3/12 - 7.45pm
Dave Jones started life as Wednesday manager by guiding his new team to a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Bury at Hillsborough on Tuesday night.
A brace of strikes from Michail Antonio and further efforts from Gary Madine and former Bury hitman Ryan Lowe was enough to give the Owls three crucial points with Jones on the touchline for the first time since replacing Gary Megson. Steven Schumacher netted a consolation goal for the visitors, but it did little to spoil the upbeat mood in the Owls camp post-match.
Victory, coupled with defeat for Sheffield United at Walsall, saw the Owls close the gap on the top-two spots to just a point, leaving it all to play for in npower League 1.
Jones gave starts to former Bury men Lowe and Mike Jones, while Julian Bennett continued at left-back with Reda Johnson sidelined with a hamstring injury.
As well as new faces, Wednesday had a new way of playing. A patient passing approach, led by two out-and-out wingers in Jones and Antonio, fed a partnership of Madine and Lowe that blossomed as the game continued.
The first ten minutes saw both sides settling into their game and it was Wednesday who settled fastest to open the scoring through Antonio just eleven minutes in.
Good play between Madine and Lowe allowed the latter to move in on goal, round Bury stopper Trevor Carson and pull a superb ball back into the box for Antonio, on-loan from Reading until the end of the season, to power the ball into the back of the net.
It lifted Hillsborough and Wednesday looked for another, this time Chris Lines seeing a long-range effort drift off target.
The Shakers tried to get back into the game and Mark Hughes headed over from a corner - their best effort of the match up until that point.
But the hosts were in control, looking eager to win the ball at every opportunity and fighting to keep it with some slick passing.
The only disappointment will have perhaps been that the Owls didn't find themselves further ahead at half-time. Madine saw a curling effort pushed wide by Carson while Lowe also came close to scoring in front of his former supporters at the Leppings Lane end.
Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Bury
Lowe looked eager to score against his former club and he came a whisker away from doing so on the restart, heading a teasing Lewis Buxton cross wide from close range as the Owls looked to double their lead.
They didn't have to wait long thanks to Madine. Wednesday's second came just six minutes into the second half and Lowe's role was crucial. He flicked a Chris Lines free-kick towards goal and Carson could only parry the danger straight into the path of Madine, who made no mistake from close range.
It got Hillsborough bouncing, but Bury knew they were still in with a shout of getting something from the game after their heroics against Huddersfield Town at the weekend where they came from behind to draw 3-3.
Keen to see off their visitors, the Owls didn't hold back and got their third just seven minutes later. With Wednesdayites celebrating the fact that Walsall were leading the Blades, Mike Jones broke down the right and produced a brilliant cross that Antonio smashed into the back of the net at the far post to all-but seal the win.
The points were secure not long after, Wednesday hitting their visitors on the break but this time Antonio turned provider as he fed Lowe, who finally got his goal in front of the Kop to make it 4-0.
Bury did get a glimmer of hope when Schumacher grabbed a consolation, but despite a brief flurry from the visitors, the Owls held on for a pretty comfortable, and crucial, three points.
Full-Time: Wednesday 4-1 Bury
Owls: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, Bennett, M Jones, Lines, Semedo, Antonio, Madine, Lowe. Substitutes: Jameson, Llera, Prutton, O'Grady, Morrison.
Bury: Carson, Picken, Skarz, Sweeney, Worrall, Schumacher, Bishop, Hughes, Eastham, Amoo, Elford-Alliyu. Substitutes: Branagan, Grella, Sodje, Jones, Harrop.