A disastrous first half laid foundations for 10-man Wednesday to suffer a 3-0 defeat at Rotherham.
The Millers took complete control as Jamie Lindsay scored either side of a Dan Barlaser penalty, the award of which led to the returning Tom Lees sent off.
That pretty much encapsulated a miserable opening period that saw the Owls reduced to 10 for the second successive game.
But the bigger picture was a derby contest all but over at the break and although Wednesday were better in the second half, the earlier damage was conclusive.
The most unlikely of starts unfolded at the New York Stadium, with the game bizarrely suspended for 12 minutes, followed by a goal 40 seconds after the resumption.
The referee led the teams off the pitch just four minutes in with reports of a drone in the night sky. Confusion reigned but no sooner had play resumed, Wednesday were 1-0 down.
A deflected shot from Freddie Ladapo looped in the direction of the advancing Lindsay, whose hanging header dropped into the net right beneath the crossbar.
The Owls responded with a wave of attacks and carved shots from Kadeem Harris, Barry Bannan and Joey Pelupessy.
But they suffered another blow when Aden Flint was forced out of the action with what appeared a hamstring strain.
Wednesday pressed and Jamal Blackman dived low to keep out a Jack Marriott effort but on 34 minutes, Lees was dismissed and the Owls were 2-0 down.
Ladapo nodded a high ball round the outrushing Dawson and tangled with Lees in front of an empty net - the referee had no doubt on either front and pointed to the spot before issuing the red card.
Barlaser did the honours from 12 yards and Wednesday had a mountain to climb that was promptly made almost insurmountable three minutes before half time.
Ex-Owl Joe Mattock unleashed a fierce drive from distance and Dawson’s parry fell invitingly for Lindsay to slam home his second goal.
The danger was the second half becoming academic such were the numbers, both in goals and players on the pitch.
The contest was certainly more even although action of note dramatically declined. The extra man gave Rotherham that added zest to see out the game, while Wednesday had to show an improvement from the first 45.
This they did overall but despite the increased possession, it was Rotherham who went the closest to netting as Dawson’s instinctive save kept out substitute Michael Smith at the back post.
That was the last act of note on an evening to forget for the Owls across South Yorkshire and attention now turns to a huge game at Wycombe on Saturday.
Wednesday: Dawson, Odubajo, Flint (Palmer 17), Lees (S/O 42), Börner, Harris, Bannan, Pelupessy, Dele-Bashiru, Paterson (Windass 57), Marriott (Reach 70)