Date:Sunday October 7 2007
06/10/07 - 15:00
While the England rugby union side were putting in their best performance for four years to beat old foes Australia in the World Cup, the Owls put in arguably one of their worst performances in the last four years by falling to defeat against Leicester City on Saturday.
Those fans who decided stay at home and watch the egg-shaped game will have been happy with their decision as two goals in the first 14 minutes saw Gary Megson return to his old stomping ground to bag his first league victory since taking the Foxes hot seat.
The defeat will have sent shivers down the spines of the Owls faithful who may have thought the tide was turning following two successive league victories and a performance that should have merited more against table-topping Watford in midweek.
Owls boss Brian Laws was already given a mountain to climb before the match with a whopping number of senior players unavailable for selection through injury or suspension.
Jermaine Johnson was out after seeing red at Vicarage Road in midweek while Richard Wood, Tommy Spurr, Steve Watson, Frank Simek and Wade Small were all out through injury.
Lee Grant did return in goal in place of Rob Burch while club captain Lee Bullen returned to the fold alongside Michael Johnson at the heart of the Wednesday defence.
And although Wednesday made a bright opening to the match it was Megson's men who drew first blood after just five minutes after their first attack towards the Leppings Lane end resulted in Gareth McAuley getting on the end of a corner to put the visitors ahead.
And the Foxes doubled their advantage from an almost identical situation after just 14 minutes.
This time Akpo Sodje, yet to bag his first goal in the blue and white, was unfortunate to bundle the ball in at the wrong end from another dangerous Leicester corner.
At 2-0 down Wednesday were always going to find the going tough to get back in the game, with old boy Megson installing a flat back five and making it difficult for the Owls to produce anything of quality in the final third.
The lack of co-operation between the front two pairing of Sodje and Deon Burton was also clear for the majority inside a downbeat Hillsborough, with the Owls only threat coming from last month's player of the month Etienne Esajas on the left.
Graham Kavanagh also came through the clash with his head held high from a personal point of view, with another decent performance alongside Whelan in the centre of the Owls midfield.
But mistakes at the back were again costing Wednesday, with Peter Gilbert putting in another frightening performance, partly down to a distinct lack of confidence, while matters were made worse with youngster Mark Beevers being thrown in to the deep end after replacing the injured Michael Johnson.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0-2 Leicester
Half-time brought the biggest cheer of the match from the Wednesday fans with Roy Cropper taking to the pitch to do the half-time draw, but the Wednesday soap opera continued after the break with another lack lustre performance.
And it could have been worse for the Owls as Mark Beevers put in a superb challenge to deny Shaun Newton when it looked more likely that the winger would make it 3-0, and the performance of the young centre-back lifted the hosts for a few minutes at least.
Deon Burton saw an effort graze by Leicester stopper Fulop before Glenn Whelan also saw an effort flash wide of the goal.
Megson brought off his front two to be replaced by Carl Cort and DJ Campbell not long in to the second 45, a move which Laws would have been only too pleased to make, and he did not long after as Sodje and Burton were both replaced by Burton O'Brien and Francis Jeffers respectively, with the latter being partnered by Marcus Tudgay in attack.
But the move didn't pay off for Laws, as Wednesday continued to struggle in the final third as they were out battled by the stubborn Foxes defence.
And the one time the Owls did manage to breakthrough the Leicester defence they found their number one in tip top form by pulling a top drawer save out to deny O'Brien from point blank range after Jeffers had provided a fine ball inside the box before Tudgay was also denied late on.
Full-Time: Wednesday 0-2 Leicester City
Wednesday: Grant; Bullen (c), Johnson (Beevers 37), Hinds, Gilbert; Tudgay, Kavanagh, Whelan, Esajas; Burton (Jeffers 62), Sodje (O'Brien 62). Substitutes: Burch, Lunt, O'Brien, Jeffers, Beevers
Leicester: Fulop; Chambers, Kisnorbo, N'Gotty, McAuley (c); Stearman, King (Kenton 73), Newton, Sheehan; Hume (Cort 61), Fryatt (Campbell 61). Substitutes: Henderson, Kishishev, Cort, Campbell, Kenton
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Date:Sunday October 7 2007
|Sheff Wed||0||-||1||Derby County|
|17. Sheff Wed||33||9||12||12||-1||39|
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