A glut of first half goals gave Wednesday the foundation for what turned out to be a far tougher than expected win at Accrington Stanley.
Darren Moore has called for a ruthless streak in the final third and got exactly that as Chey Dunkley, Theo Corbeanu and Florian Kamberi all found the net.
But replies either side of the break from Lewis Mansell and Joel Mumbongo gave the home side hope.
Stanley went all out for a leveller and one save from Bailey Peacock-Farrell was world class as the Owls held on for the points.
The contest was open from the start in soaking conditions at the Wham Stadium and could quite easily have spawned three goals inside the first 10 minutes.
Harry Pell unleashed a ferocious drive from distance that flew inches past the post with Peacock-Farrell at full stretch before Harvey Rodgers crucially intervened to clear a Callum Paterson cross almost off the line.
Kamberi had the ball in the net from the next attack – again from a Paterson feed – only to be called offside, but Wednesday hit the front on 13 minutes.
Barry Bannan’s corner to the back post was pinpoint and Dunkley stooped to head his side into the lead.
The action came thick and fast, with chances for Accrington and then the Owls within moments of the restart.
First Peacock-Farrell dived to keep out Michael Nottingham’s near post header, then a Bannan volley from Massimo Luongo’s cross was a whisker away from creeping in across James Trafford.
But the Reds’ keeper was powerless to prevent two quickfire goals in three minutes as Wednesday took complete control.
On 20 minutes, Corbeanu picked up possession out on the left from Liam Palmer before advancing to slam an unstoppable hit that gave Trafford no chance.
And with the travelling Wednesdayites still celebrating, it was 3-0 two minutes later. Palmer picked out Kamberi in the danger zone and the striker’s audacious finish with the outside of the boot sailed high over the rooted Trafford and into his net.
But any prospect of Wednesday having the points in the bag were given a jolt just after the half-hour mark. Pell’s corner caused problems in the backline and Mansell hooked a half volley home with his back to goal 10 yards out.
The Owls had an instant opportunity to restore the three-goal cushion with half time looming when Paterson took advantage of a defensive mix-up to advance on Trafford but this time the keeper came out on top.
It was a breathless opening period and the net was bulging again just eight minutes into the second half.
Little seemed on for substitute Mumbongo on the edge of the area on the angle but the Swede jinked his way into space and curled a delightful effort into the far corner.
Stanley tails were up and they were so close to completing the comeback on 62 minutes. Kell lined up a long range free kick from 25 yards and his accurate shot was goalbound until Peacock-Farrell acrobatically tipped wide.
Wednesday were pinned back as the hosts pressed but broke on 72 minutes when Lee Gregory, off the bench in the final third, was denied from close range by the outrushing Trafford.
Fellow substitute Jaden Brown powered forward and again Trafford was called into action to give Stanley a fighting chance.
At the other end, though, Accrington seemed to have drained their energy tanks and with that went the threat of an equaliser, which allowed Wednesday to manage the game to victory.
Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell, Palmer, Dunkley, Brennan, Hunt, Bannan, Luongo, Dele-Bashiru, Corbeanu (Brown 64), Paterson, Kamberi (Gregory 64)