Owls exit FA Cup
Sheffield Wednesday exited the FA Cup on Tuesday night at the hands of MK Dons, who won this third round replay 2-0 on a freezing night in Buckinghamshire.
The first strike came from a Shaun Williams penalty before the break and Dean Bowditch secured the Dons’ passage into the next round late in the second half.
Little separated the teams at Hillsborough ten days previous and the same was true at Stadium MK in a game of few chances that ultimately swung Mk’s way.
Dave Jones utilised his squad for the cup clash, making seven changes from the side that beat high-flying Hull in the Championship on Saturday.
Personnel switched all over the pitch and in midfield, Paul Corry – making his seventh appearance of the season – was first to show as the Irishman fired a rasping drive from distance that skimmed the top of the net.
The Owls were then dealt an early blow when Jermaine Johnson was withdrawn having suffered what appeared to be a back injury 13 minutes in.
But the visitors were undaunted and continued their promising start, with skipper Martin Taylor heading into the grateful arms of David Martin from a Necj Pecnik corner.
Just as Wednesday were taking a grip on the game, though, MK Dons stole into the lead on 28 minutes.
Lewis Buxton was adjudged to have pulled back Bowditch in the penalty area, the referee pointed to the spot, and Williams finished emphatically from 12 yards.
Three minutes later, it could have been two when Daniel Powell burst in on goal following a swift three-man move but Stephen Bywater averted the danger with help from Taylor.
But the Owls recovered and finished the first half with a flurry and substitute Danny Mayor narrowly failed to connect with a Pecnik feed that whistled low across the danger zone.
The second period began slowly and Wednesday introduced Chris O’Grady just before the hour in a bid to stoke the frontline.
And as the half unfolded, the visitors gained the upper hand but Martin remained largely untroubled between the Dons’ sticks.
Corry sent a stinging drive down the keeper’s throat on 70 minutes and second substitute Michail Antonio had a half-hearted appeal for a penalty waved away before the home side put the tie to bed 14 minutes from time.
The Dons won a free kick down the left flank and Bowditch’s looping cross foxed the Owls’ defence and sailed straight into the back of the net to secure victory.
MK Dons: Martin, Otsemobor, Lewington, Mackenzie (Kouo-Doumbe 72), Williams, Potter, Bowditch (Chicksen 78), Smith, Lowe, Powell (Alli 88), Kay
Unused substitutes: Harley, Rasulo, Ismail
Owls: Bywater, Buxton, Taylor, Llera, Mattock, Lee (Antonio 62), Semedo, Pecnik (O’Grady 55), Corry, Madine, J Johnson (Mayor 13)
Unused substitutes: Davies, Jones, Coke, Sidibe