Wednesday 2-1 Blackpool
27/10/07 - 15:00
Wednesday climbed out of the bottom three for the first time this season thanks to two second half goals in five minutes against a plucky Blackpool side at Hillsborough on Saturday.
Owls boss Brian Laws was under pressure to get a result following the midweek slump to his former club Scunthorpe, and it was the proverbial game of two halves against the Seasiders in an action-packed match.
Laws made two changes to the side that fell to defeat to the Iron in midweek, with Frank Simek returning to the side in place of Lee Bullen, while Akpo Sodje got his chance in attack alongside Marcus Tudgay in place of Deon Burton.
Wednesday were also handed a boost with the return of Steve Watson, but the former Everton man could only make the bench, with Graham Kavanagh taking to the field in what could be his final game in the blue and white stripes.
And with Wednesday desperate for all three points against a side who were without a win in eight, Laws' charges made an impressive start to the match, forcing the Tangerines back in to their own half and creating a number of half chances in front of goal.
This time last season Marcus Tudgay hit a rich vein of form which saw him bag seven goals in eight outings, and the former Derby man was hoping to repeat that following his double salvo at Stoke City last week.
Tudgay linked well with Jermaine Johnson not long in to the game before the latter saw his effort well parried by Blackpool stopper Paul Rachubka before Tudgay pounced on the rebound only to see his effort lashed off the line by the Blackpool defender.
And Wednesday continued to push forward against the lacklustre Blackpool side who struggled to create any real clear cut chances in the opening exchanges.
Tommy Spurr gave his usual 100 per cent commitment to the Owls cause and he almost hit a fortunate opener not long in when his cross-come-shot went just over Rachubka's goal to the relief of the former Manchester United trainee.
And when Wednesday forced three corner's in quick succession in front of the travelling Tangerine army, Rachubka had to be in to form again to produce a smart save from point blank range from his own man, after Burton O'Brien swung in two dangerous corners.
O'Brien hadn't exactly been a fans favourite at Hillsborough since his arrival, but recent performances have heaped praise from the Owls boss and fans alike, and the midfielder didn't disappoint.
But, as has been typical on home soil throughout this season, the Owls' defence again fell apart when Blackpool mounted their first dangerous attack of the game and promptly went ahead.
Former Owls target Wes Hoolahan failed to show any glimpses of his brilliance in the opening stages but he lived up to his reputation for the opener by causing all kinds of problems in the Wednesday area and launching a low effort in to the bottom corner of Lee Grant's goal.
Wednesday continued to battle on though, and Tudgay again had a good chance to level from a Michael Johnson ball but he sliced his effort high and wide to leave the Hillsborough faithful booing their players off the pitch once again.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0-1 Blackpool
But the proverbial game of two halves struck, with Wednesday coming out all guns blazing in the second half, and the fans showing their backing for the team until the end.
And Richard Hinds came inches away from bagging the leveller just minutes after the restart as Kavanagh lashed a dangerous ball across the face of the Blackpool goal only for the former Scunthorpe man to stretch his leg and come inches away from contact.
Kavanagh, playing in his final match of his one-month loan spell from Sunderland, was becoming more involved in the clash and it was his defence splitting ball which put Jermaine Johnson in, but the Jamaican mis-controlled the effort and it went harmlessly wide.
The Wednesday faithful were becoming frustrated, with chants of 'Allen Out' arising in the opening exchanges of the second 45.
But while Wednesday fans vented their frustrations with the board, they were also keen to show their continued support for the team, with the Kop trying their best to lift the team.
Sodje had enjoyed a good game alongside Tudgay in attack, but he was the man to come off for Deon Burton just after the hour mark, much to the displeasure of the 19,000+ crowd inside S6.
But Laws' change was to prove vital in the match, with Burton showing an improvement on recent below-par performances and linking well with Tudgay in the Owls attack once again.
And only four minutes later Wednesday made their pressure pay by levelling on 66 minutes, Marcus Tudgay brilliantly heading home a deep cross after a fine run from Jermaine Johnson down the wing.
Burton almost put Wednesday ahead just minutes later a she forced a fine save from Rachubka before sending an effort sailing over the bar from the edge of the box.
And the game was turned on its head on 71 minutes as a Kavanagh corner found the head of the on-coming Hinds who blasted the ball by Rachubka to net what turned out to be the winning goal.
As usual, Wednesday didn't make things easy as they clung on to their lead in the final 10 minutes, but after four minutes injury time the referee blew his whistle to see the Owls climb out of the bottom three for the first time this season and give them their second win in a week.
Full-Time: Wednesday 2-1 Blackpool
Wednesday: Grant; Simek, Hinds, Johnson (c), Spurr; Jermaine Johnson (Esajas 78); Whelan (Watson 76), Kavanagh, O'Brien; Sodje Burton (63), Tudgay. Unused subs: Burch, Beevers.
Blackpool: Rachubka; Coid (Welsh 76), Crainey, Barker (c), Jackson; Southern (Flynn 28), Hoolahan, Fox (Jorgensen 62) Gorkss; Parker, Vernon. Unused subs: Taylor-Fletcher, Bean.
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