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16:54 6th August 2011

Owls off to winning start

Wednesday were off to a flyer as the new League 1 campaign kicked off on Saturday.

Goals either side of half time from Rob Jones and David Prutton gave the Owls a 2-0 victory over a gallant Rochdale side.

The Lancashire outfit gave a good account of themselves in the S6 sunshine but Gary Megson's men had the edge and ran out deserved winners.

Dale, under the new management of Steve Eyre, asked the first question inside four minutes when Nicky Adams' precise effort from 12 yards was deflected wide by Lewis Buxton after good work down the right by Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro.

But Wednesday soon settled into their stride and played some nice football around the middle of the park, with Prutton at the heart of the action.

Owls v Rochdale

The summer signing sent Gary Madine in on goal with a delicious through ball but keeper Jake Kean was off his line swiftly to smother the danger.

But the Owls did make the breakthrough on 16 minutes. Julian Bennett launched a long throw into the mix and Jones was on hand to power a bullet header high into the Leppings Lane net.

Chris Sedgwick drilled in a daisycutter that fell just wide moments after the restart as the Owls maintained the upper hand.

Wednesday might have doubled their lead ten minutes before half time when Kean spilled Sedgwick's deep free kick but Clinton Morrison slipped at the vital moment of purchase and the chance was gone.

Buxton sent in another delivery to the back stick moments before the break that Sedgwick diverted narrowly over the bar and the Owls finished the first half squarely in the driving seat.

Owls v Rochdale

Rochdale needed an improved performance after the break and certainly came out of the traps with more purpose.

Akpa Akpro forced Nicky Weaver into a smart low save before the visitors came within a whisker of equalising on the hour.

Ashley Grimes turned on the edge of the box and attempted a curler into the top corner but the ball bounced back into play off the post.

But the Owls hit back and came close themselves only to be denied by a lick of paint as Buxton's header from a Sedgwick corner bounced off the deck and hit the crossbar.

Wednesday pressed on and deservedly went two to the good on 71 minutes. Sedgwick's corner was cleared to the edge of the area, where Prutton was waiting to slam home a wonderful dipping volley to put the game out of Rochdale's reach.

Owls: Weaver, Buxton, R Jones, Batth, Bennett, Palmer (D Jones 90), Semedo, Prutton, Sedgwick (Otsemobor 85), Madine, Morrison (O'Connor 81)

Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, R Johnson

Rochdale: Kean, Darby, Widdowson, Holness, Trotman, Kennedy, Jones, Grimes, Adams, Tutte (O'Grady 72), Akpa Akpro

Unused substitutes: Lucas, Twaddle, Thompson, Marshall

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.