The Owls booked their place in round five of the FA Cup on Saturday with a hugely entertaining 2-1 win over Rochdale.
But it was a hard day at the office for the Owls who had to see out the majority of the second half with ten men following Joe Mattock’s dismissal just past the hour.
After an even first half, Mattock nodded Wednesday in front from a corner just after the restart and minutes later, Oguchi Onyewu made it 2-0, prodding home from 12 yards from another Wednesday set piece.
But Rochdale promptly hit back on 60 minutes with an outstanding volley from Michael Rose minutes before Mattock saw red.
Despite Rochdale’s numerical advantage, the Owls held tight to advance into the next round of the competition, with the draw to be made on Sunday.
Wednesday were out to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions that dated back to late December and made a good start at Spotland.
An early attack caused panic at the back for Dale, as Ashley Eastham picked up a caution for a rash challenge on Chris Maguire inches outside of the area.
Wednesday continued to threaten inside the first 15 minutes and had a good chance to strike first through Caolan Lavery.
Kieran Lee fizzed a low shot goalwards that fell to the young striker via a deflection, but the Northern Ireland Under-21 international couldn’t quite adjust his footing inside the six yard box to punish Dale.
The Owls, though, were up against a Rochdale side full of confidence who were determined to add Wednesday to their growing list of cup scalps, and the hosts came within a whisker on the 20-minute mark.
Midfielder Peter Vincenti rose high to head powerfully from a dangerous Matt Done delivery but wide of Damian Martinez’ goal.
As the half progressed, Rochdale grew into the contest and had a golden chance to head into the break a goal to the good but Martinez made a crucial stop from Done.
As the seconds ticked down on an end to end cup clash, Onyewu hit the post with downward header from Maguire’s corner before Jacques Maghoma ran through on goal in stoppage time but couldn’t beat Josh Lillis in the Dale goal.
But just moments after the restart the Owls edged in front from a corner as Maguire whipped in a dangerous ball into the middle and Mattock got the final touch at the back stick to put the visitors ahead.
In what was an electric start to the second period, Onyewu then put Wednesday 2-0 up, with the goal coming from another flag kick.
The ball landed in the heart of the danger zone and the USA international stabbed home into the net.
But the game was far from over and that was proved on the hour mark when Dale captain Rose scored what was without doubt the goal of the tie.
The ball fell to the skipper 25 yards from goal, who unleashed a ferocious left-footed volley that flew past Martinez to halve the deficit.
The home side’s chances of a comeback were given a huge boost when, four minutes later, Mattock was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card.
It was backs to the wall for the ten man Owls in the late stages with Rochdale throwing everything at their Championship opponents.
But Wednesday prevented Dale from creating anything clear cut with some resolute defending to earn their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Rochdale: Lillis, Bennett (Camps 75), Eastham, Vincenti (Cummins 67), Hogan, Lund, Done, O’Connell, Rose, Allen (Donnelly 58), Henderson
Owls: Martinez, Palmer, Loovens, Onyewu, Mattock, Maghoma (Coke 82), Semedo, Lee, Maguire, Nuhiu (Johnson 78), Lavery (Helan 67)