Date:Sunday November 4 2007
Home Park, Plymouth
03/11/07 - 15:00
Wednesday came from behind for the second year on the spin at Home Park to record their first back-to-back victories of the campaign thanks to a gritty performance against Ian Holloway's high-flying Argyle on Saturday.
The Owls picked up their first three points of the season at the Pilgrims ground last season, with midfielder Burton O'Brien bagging the winner as Wednesday came from a goal behind to secure all three points.
And it was a case of history repeating itself at the weekend, as O'Brien again netted the winner with Wednesday's second goal in four minutes, the first from Akpo Sodje, as Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's spot kick minutes in to the second half was left to count for nothing.
Things weren't looking good for Wednesday going in to the clash, with Graham Kavanagh finishing his loan spell and returning to Sunderland, while Glenn Whelan was missing through suspension and Richard Wood was also sidelined through injury from last weekend's 2-1 victory over Blackpool.
Yoann Folly came in to the centre of midfield to make a surprise start, while Richard Hinds came in to replace Wood at the back, and Steve Watson also made a welcome return to add some experience to the centre of midfield after returning from injury.
Owls boss Laws would have been relatively happy with a point to take back up to South Yorkshire considering his missing charges, and there was nothing to separate either side in the opening exchanges, with chances coming few and far between.
But striker Akpo Sodje, fresh off the back of an impressive showing in the blue and white stripes last week, got the first chance on goal as he burst through the Argyle defence from a fine ball from Marcus Tudgay before seeing his effort deflected wide for a corner.
And the former Port Vale hitman found the back of the net after just 20 minutes but he saw his effort chalked off by the referee for offside after slotting the ball home from a superb Jermaine Johnson run.
But the hosts weren't short of confidence coming in to the game, flirting with the play-off places prior to the clash, and they soon upped the gear and got themselves in to the clash when Ebanks-Blake forced Lee Grant in to a comfortable save from close rage.
And the strike pairing of Ebanks-Blake and former Sheffield United hitman Barry Hayles continued to cause the Wednesday defence problems, with the latter having the best chance of the first half when he flashed his header just over the bar.
But at the other end, Argyle had Krisztián Timár to thank to blocking a through-ball from Akpo Sodje which was destined to find strike partner Tudgay.
And Sodje continued to be the main threat for the Owls as he saw his close-range header cleared off the line by Luke McCormack after good work by Johnson to tee up the Owls' striker.
Argyle did have claims for a penalty in first half injury time but referee Andy D'Urso waved away the claims from the Argyle fans after David Norris appeared to have been felled by Grant after nodding the ball by the advancing stopper.
Half-Time: Plymouth 0-0 Wednesday
Wednesday will have been looking to come out and contain their hosts for the opening 15 minutes of the first half at least as they looked to leave with something from the game, which they certaily looked to have deserved going in to the break.
But where D'Urso failed to point to the spot in first half injury time, he had no hesitation in awarding the Pilgrims a penalty just minutes after the restart as Frank Simek felled Peter Halmosi when through on goal.
And it could be said that Wednesday's American right-back was fortunate to get away without seeing red, after the former Arsenal trainee appeared to be the last man.
But Ebanks-Blake made the Owls pay from the spot, comfortably sliding the ball by Grant to give the hosts the advantage and leave the Owls' management staff needing to change their game plan to take the game to Argyle.
And their response was almost instant.
It was Sodje who levelled for Wednesday within minutes, after Simek had propelled a long throw in to the box which was flicked on by Watson and found Sodje at an acute angle, before turning and firing an unstoppable effort in to the top corner to the delight of the travelling Wednesday fans behind the goal.
Sodje's strike saw the game become a more open affair, and a chance fell to Plymouth at the other end just a matter of minutes later as Michael Johnson put himself on the line to deflect an Ebanks-Blake effort over the bar.
And from the resulting corner, it was Wednesday who broke away through Folly on the counter attack before Jermaine Johnson fed the on-rushing O'Brien who raced towards goal and produced a superb finish to turn the game on its head and give Wednesday the advantage on 56 minutes.
Argyle were showing little to suggest they could find a way back in to the game after the sucker-punch, and the confidence that was oozing from Brian Laws' charges, and it prompted Holloway to make a number of changes to his attack.
Former Wednesday target Jermaine Easter came on for the hosts after recently signing on loan from Wycombe and it was he who came closest to levelling with a header from a Lee Martin cross.
But the hosts couldn't break down the stubburn Wednesday defence, who held on to help the Owls' claim their first back to back victories on the season and see them leap up the Championship table.
Full-Time: Plymouth 1-2 Wednesday
Wednesday: Grant; Simek, Hinds, M Johnson (c), Spurr; J Johnson (Esajas 87), Folly, Watson, O'Brien; Sodje (Burton 79), Tudgay. Subs not used: Burch, Lunt, Beevers.
Plymouth: McCormick; Connolly (Gosling 77), Timar, Seip, Hodges; Martin, Nalis, Norris, Halmosi, Ebanks-Blake (Easter 73), Hayles (c) (Fallon 72). Subs not used: Larrieu, Kouo-Doumbe, Gosling.
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Date:Sunday November 4 2007
|Derby County||3||-||2||Sheff Wed|
|10. Sheff Wed||34||11||13||10||-2||46|
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