SHEFFIELD Wednesday were handed a Championship education on the south coast tonight.
The Owls nose-dived 3-0 against Brighton, at the Amex Stadium .
The South Yorkshire men had exerted most of the early pressure with Jermaine Johnson and Rhys McCabe homing in on former Manchester United goalie Tomas Kuszczak’ goal.
But a 23rd minute effort from 32-year-old former Chelsea and England defender Wayne Bridge from just outside the penalty box- following a dispute free kick - was deflected off a Wednesday player for Brighton to take the lead.
Jay Bothroyd, making his debut for Wednesday, was a thorn in Brighton’s side as the visitors tried to get back in the game.
But Brighton, generally, were in the driving seat.
Half time: Brighton 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday.
The interval saw a change in personnel, with Dave Jones bringing on Ross Barkley come on for Rodri.
But Wednesday, who had Miguel Llera booked, shipped in another goal when striker Craig Mackail-Smith finished off a Bruno move.
Bruno was on the move again to provide Brighton’s third, setting up young midfielder Will Buckley to score.
Two goals conceded in four dreadful minutes.
It was going to be a long night for the fans who had travelled 230 miles to watched their team unable to live with Brighton, who dominated possession and bore all the hallmarks of a settled and accomplished Championship outfit.
With 15 minutes on the clock, Michail Antonio crosses the ball for Bothroyd who forced a wonder save from Kuszczak.
It wasn’t enough to stop Bothroyd being substituted for Gary Madine in the dying embers of the match.
The result sees Wednesday in eight place.
SEAGULLS: Kuszczak, Bruno, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Bridcutt, Dicker, Hammond, Barnes, Mackail-Smith, Buckley. Subs: Ankergren, Dunk, Dobbie, Orlandi, Calderon, Lopez, LuaLua.
OWLS: Kirkland, Mattock, Taylor, Llera, Beevers, Antonio, McCabe, Semedo, J Johnson, Bothroyd, Rodri. Subs: Bywater, Madine, Maguire, O’Grady, Pecnik, Lee, Barkley.
Referee: Nigel Miller (Co Durham).
Read Paul Thompson’s analysis in Saturday’s Star.
*Tweet of the night: Geoff Hatcher: Panic! Panic! Panic! Wednesdayites: it’s a bad night, we’ve not had many of them in recent times. Wake up.