If Darren Moore’s pre-match instruction to his players was to shoot on sight, they certainly took heed.
Three stunning first half goals, all from range, swept Rochdale aside as Wednesday eased into the third round of the Carabao Cup at Hillsborough.
Jaden Brown, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Dennis Adeniran each found the target from distance to put the tie out of Dale’s reach by the interval.
Adeniran’s goal against Sunderland earlier this month was voted Goal of the Round and the midfield man certainly put down a marker for round two on a balmy S6 evening.
It was all change for the Owls – nine in total including a debut for academy product Jay Glover – and they made their intentions clear as early as the first minute when Adeniran embarked on a powerful and mazy run forward. But the finish inside the area, skewed and underhit, allowed Cieran Slicker to comfortably gather.
Little did Slicker know what was coming and after Callum Paterson unleashed a long ranger that whistled over the bar, the Owls scored the first of three beauties on 23 minutes.
A short corner routine saw Brown take possession 25 yards out and his rasping drive into the top corner gave Slicker no chance.
Thirteen minutes later, Dele-Bashiru got in on the act with a fierce hit not too dissimilar. More on the angle but well outside the box, the midfielder produced a rocket shot that fizzed past the despairing Slicker, nestling into the same place.
Slicker then did well to get something on a Brown cross that was on its way in but for a fingertip glance on to the woodwork as the Owls threatened to run riot.
There was nothing the Dale keeper could do two minutes before the break, though, as Adeniran netted the pick of the bunch.
Advancing from halfway, the 23-year-old motored upfield until, from all of 30 yards, striking an unstoppable curling effort into the roof of the net.
Rochdale’s task was to prevent the second half becoming academic and James Ball dragged just wide after advancing menacingly on goal. But that was a rare foray forward as the visitors continued to stay pinned in their own half.
Wednesday were in cruise control and might have added a fourth when Paterson had the ball taken from his toe by Aiden White after Sylla Sow burst clear down the right and squared.
But the earlier damage on Dale was enough and the Owls await the third round draw on the back of a hat-trick of worldies, comfortable win and comprehensive performance.
Wednesday: Dawson, Glover (A Hunt 69, Iorfa, Henighan (Ihiekwe 52), McGuinness (Galvin 46), Vaulks, Brown, Adeniran, Dele-Bashiru (Byers 69), Paterson, Sow