Rovers smash and grab
Doncaster carried out the archetypal smash and grab to emerge from Hillsborough with a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
Despite bossing the derby contest from the first whistle to last, Wednesday were undone by a sucker punch from loanee striker Federico Macheda, whose second half strike handed Rovers the most unlikely of wins.
The defeat left the Owls still seeking their first win of the season, although they could quite justifiably claim that this result was a far from fair reflection of the game.
Dave Jones shuffled his pack following the previous week’s heavy defeat at Birmingham.
Miguel Llera, Giles Coke, Jermaine Johnson and Atdhe Nuhiu all started, while Kamil Zayatte, David Prutton, Jacques Maghoma and Liam Palmer dropped to the bench.
New recruit Matty Fryatt – signed on loan from Premiership Hull on Friday – was also a substitute.
Wednesday started the brighter and took the game to Rovers, who struggled to move the ball from their own half.
The Owls’ pace players caused the Doncaster rearguard problems but the visitors did hold firm to keep a clean sheet intact as the first half developed.
Half chances came Wednesday’s way, with Atdhe Nuhiu almost profiting twice following good approach play down the flanks and by and large, the home side were well in the ascendancy.
But for all their dominance, the Owls fell short of troubling Doncaster keeper Ross Turnbull who – like Chris Kirkland – was a virtual spectator in the opening 45.
The start of the second half saw Wednesday in the driving seat too and they continued to knock on the Doncaster door.
Nuhiu again went close, having one goalbound shot blocked at the last, before Llera suffered the same fate as Chris Brown was in the right place at the right time to divert the Spaniard’s header.
It seemed only a matter of time before Wednesday would make their possession count – but completely against the run of play, Rovers stole into the lead on 71 minutes.
Substitute James Coppinger floated an inviting cross into the heart of the six-yard box and Macheda was on hand to head powerfully into the roof of the net past Kirkland.
It was a hammer blow for the Owls, who counted themselves hugely unfortunate to be trailing and they continued to press forward.
Rovers, meanwhile, were content to hold their lead and the closing stages were one-way traffic.
Nuhiu’s glancing header from a Stephen McPhail corner struck the far post and that pretty much summed up what proved a luckless afternoon for the hosts.
Owls: Kirkland, Spence (Maghoma 84), Llera, Roger Johnson, Reda Johnson, Antonio, Coke, McPhail, Helan, Jermaine Johnson (Fryatt 69), Nuhiu
Doncaster: Turnbull, Quinn, Husband, Furman (Coppinger 46), Jones, Brown, Macheda (Duffy 84), Khumalo, Keegan, Wellens, Robinson (Cotterill 60)