Report: Derby 2-2 Wednesday
Pride Park, Derby
18/8/12 - 3pm
Reda Johnson rescued a point for Wednesday on their return to the Championship as Dave Jones's men battled from 2-0 down to earn a share of the spoils at Derby County.
The Owls won't want to make a habit of gifting their opposition a two-goal start - Wednesday did the same at Oldham in the League Cup on Monday before running out 2-0 winners - but the desire shown to get something from the game should bode well this season.
Nathan Tyson had fired Nigel Clough's side ahead just eleven minutes in and things got worse for the visitors, backed by around 6,000 supporters, just before the half-hour mark when Jake Buxton doubled the Rams' lead.
Chris O'Grady reduced the deficit with a pin-point strike at just the right time before the interval and, after mounting attack after attack on the Rams goal, Reda Johnson grabbed a deserved leveller to keep Dave Jones's unbeaten record as Owls boss in tact.
Jones made two changes to the side that won at Oldham with former Ram Chris Maguire and Gary Madine both dropping to the bench, seemingly from niggling injuries sustained at Boundary Park. Chris O'Grady and Rhys McCabe came in.
Both sides were keen to make bright starts to their respective campaigns but it was Wednesday who looked the more threatening in the opening exchanges.
Jermaine Johnson, scorer at Oldham last time out, was at the thick of the action and he forced Rams stopper Frank Fielding into the first save of the match before sending another effort high and wide following a typically mazy run.
But the hosts settled and grabbed the opener just eleven minutes in. Gareth Roberts had a shot on goal but it deflected to the feet of former Nottingham Forest man Tyson, who made no mistake from close range to put the hosts 1-0 up.
It settled Derby and put them on the front foot following a good start by Wednesday, who retreated slightly after conceding the opening goal.
And the Rams built on their goal, adding a second just before the half-hour mark to leave it all to do for the visitors.
Paul Coutts provided a pin-point cross for Buxton to direct his header beyond Owls stopper Chris Kirkland and into the back of the net to make it 2-0 and silence the huge travelling army of Owls fans.
The hosts were in full control of the contest so it was somewhat against the run of play that Wednesday grabbed a lifeline. O'Grady, fresh off the back of netting twice in the cup, picked up the ball at the edge of the Derby box before turning and firing an unstoppable effort into the top corner.
Half-Time: Derby 2-1 Wednesday
It set-up a tasty-looking second-half and both sides started it with attacking intent, the hard-working Jamie Ward forcing Kirkland into an early save from a free-kick before the lively Jermaine Johnson had a chance for the Owls at the other end.
Wednesday grew in confidence as the second-half progressed and O'Grady had a chance to double his, and his side's, tally but Fielding made a good save to deny the on-song attacker.
Jones introduced Madine for Nejc Pecnik ten minutes after the break and he almost made an immediate impact when he directed Lewis Buxton's cross into the net only for the linesman to flag for offside.
O'Grady also saw an effort ruled out by the referee for a handball in the build-up, but Wednesday could sense a leveller was coming, and it did right in the nick of time.
Buxton's cross was headed back into the danger area by Madine and Reda Johnson was there to prod the ball home and give Wednesday a deserved point for their efforts.
Full-Time: Derby 2-2 Wednesday
Derby: Fielding, Brayford, Roberts, Bryson, Buxton, Keogh, Coutts, Hendrick, Tyson (O'Connor 73), Ward (Robinson 83), Hughes (Gjokaj 87). Unused substitutes: Jacobs, Legzdins, Doyle, Bennett.
Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner (Beevers 83), R Johnson, Antonio, Semedo, McCabe, J Johnson, Pecnik (Madine 56), O'Grady. Unused substitutes: Bywater, Mattock, Prutton, Coke, Maguire.