Owls strike back
Wednesday advanced into the second round of the Capital One Cup courtesy of a stirring second half comeback at Boundary Park against Oldham.
Trailing 2-0 at the break having conceded goals from Jordan Slew and Jean-Vyes M’Voto – and missed a Nejc Pecnik penalty to boot - Dave Jones’ side hit back in the second period with a Jermaine Johnson strike and Chris O’Grady double.
Michail Antonio then applied the final coating of gloss with five minutes to go of a pulsating cup-tie.
It was no more than the Owls deserved having turned the contest on its head following a dismal first half performance that saw the Latics took the lead on eight minutes.
James Wesolowski broke down the right flank and crossed inside for the onrushing Slew, who slotted beyond Chris Kirkland to claim a debut goal.
Slovenian midfielder Pecnik was making his first appearance for Wednesday and moments before Slew’s strike almost caught out keeper Alex Cisak with a looping hit from distance but the ball fell just the wrong side of the post.
Wesolowski and Robbie Simpson tried their luck with long rangers that fizzed wide before the hosts doubled their lead on 28 minutes.
The goal again came from the right, on this occasion Lee Croft sent an accurate cross into the mix and M’Voto did the necessary with a powerful header.
Things took another turn for the worse when the Owls lost both frontmen within minutes of each other before the interval.
First Gary Madine went off, soon to be followed by Chris Maguire, whose last contribution was to drill a low shot wide having burst free down the middle between two defenders.
Then, right on the half time whistle, a miserable opening 45 for Wednesday was summed up when Pecnik blazed over the crossbar from the penalty spot after Croft bundled Antonio over in the area.
Oldham stayed strong for the early throes of the second half and Croft forced a terrific diving save from Chris Kirkland five minutes in.
But three minutes later, the visitors pulled one back.
Clever footwork from Pecnik on the edge of the area saw the ball fall kindly to Jermaine Johnson, who smashed a daisycutter past Cisak from 20 yards.
Oldham responded with Wesolowski again bringing the best out of Kirkland before Wednesday snatched an equaliser on 62 minutes.
Miguel Llera swung a curling set piece into the danger zone and O’Grady was on hand to nod into the far corner.
And on 70 minutes, the comeback was complete when Jermaine Johnson found Pecnik, who in turn moved on to O’Grady and the big striker swivelled to bury a clever effort home.
To compound matters for Oldham, Antonio advanced menacingly four minutes from time to hit a high angled shot into the net and seal the Owls’ passage to round two.
Oldham: Cisak, Grounds, Wesolowski, M’Voto, Tarkowski, Croft, Furman, Slew, Simpson, Byrne (Smith 82), M’Changama (Hughes 75)
Unused substitutes: Brown, Bouzanis, Taylor, Millar, Winchester
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, R Johnson, Antonio, Pecnik, Semedo, J Johnson (M Jones 85), Maguire (Coke 40), Madine (O’Grady 29)
Unused substitutes: Bywater, Beevers, Mattock, Prutton