WEDNESDAY crashed out of the FA Cup last night thanks to an avoidable penalty, a crazy set-piece and an undistinguished performance.
It fell below the impressive standards of the 3-1 Championship victory Hull - but the line-up bore little resemblance to last Saturday’s as well.
Dave Jones will have thought that even with seven changes his team could win.
But the Owls fell short, lacking the creativity, pace and punch that they showed at the KC Stadium - not helped by the very early departure of the injured Jermaine Johnson.
The first goal came from a penalty given away by a tug on an opponent by Lewis Buxton in the first half, and a free-kick from the wing that bounced into the far corner of the net, in the second half.
The JJ jolt came in only the 11th minute when he was left in pain on the floor on the halfway line.
After treatment he limped off to be replaced by Danny Mayor and seemed to be holding his back.
Johnson. one of only four survivors from the starting line-up at Hull, had been playing as chief central support to Gary Madine; Mayor came on to play just behind the centre forward.
Just before that, Paul Corry was not far away with a shot from 25 yards, and soon afterwards was a little further off target With an effort from similar distance.
Martin Taylor - skipper again with Anthony Gardner among those rested - sent a close-range header at the keeper from a corner by Nejc Pecnik, who was on the left side of midfield.
Despite the seven changes, Wednesday showed a fair amount of cohesion in the first 25 minutes.
The home team posed no threat but were given a breakthrough when the referee spotted the pull by Buxton on Dean Bowditch on the left side of the box.
Midfield man Shaun Williams - whose late strike at Hillsborough was brilliantly saved by Stephen Bywater - smashed the penalty into Bywater’s top corner in the 28th minute.
Pecnik knew he should have done better when he blazed high over the bar a couple of minutes.
But the Owls were maybe a shade fortunate not to concede a second penalty in the 37th minute. Daniel Powell was working his way into a shooting position when he seemed to be clipped by Martin Taylor, stumbled but stayed on his foot, and mis-hit his effort.
The Dons staff jumped around in frustration in the technical area when nothing was given.
Wednesday, however, refused to allow themselves to be placed under consistent pressure and were probing for an equaliser when a Miguel Llera free kick from wide on the right caused some difficulty for Davis Martin at his near post.
The Owls forced a few scrambles, but in the main the contest was almost as uneventful as the goalless draw between the teams at Hillsborough.
Wednesday did not look calm or clinical in and around the box though they probably did more of the first-half attacking than the home team.
In the one added minute of first-half stoppage time, Pecnik played a good low ball in from the right and Mayor, under pressure, was unable to make contact in front of the posts.
A bit of conflict between former teammates Llera and and Ryan Lowe added some spice to the contest.
A crafty nudge in the back by Lowe on Llera led to the centre-half conceding a corner and complaining unsuccessfuly that he had been fouled.
It looked like a bit of retribution soon afterwards when the defender chopped down the striker, who did not appreciate the challenge.
With 10 minutes of the second half gone, MK Dons getting on top a little and no sign of Wednesday piercing the home team, Dave Jones made a change.
He took off Pecnik, moved Mayor to the left flank and sent on Chris O’Grady to support Madine.
Llera went down and protested that he had been caught by Williams. Lowe gestured for him to get up.
Jones sought to further boost the team’s firepower when he replaced Kieran Lee with Michail Antonio just past the hour mark.
Again Wednesday created scrambles around the Dons box, and this time Corry was on target. His volley was sweetly struck from 18 yards but Martin was right behind it.
There was no real sign of Wednesday taking the initiative, and they were killed off by the second goal.
Dean Bowditch hoisted a routine free-kick into the box; as it dropped it eluded a number of bodies and bounced up to find the net just inside Bywater’s left-hand post.
Wednesday were unable to muster a fightback after that.
MK DONS: Martin 7, Otesmobor 7, MacKenzie 7 (Kouo-Doumbe 72), Kay 6, Lewington 7, Powell (88), Williams 7, Potter 6, Bowditch 7 (Chicksen 78), Smith 7, Lowe 6. Unused subs: Harley, Rasulo, Ismail.
OWLS: Bywater 7, Buxton 6, Taylor 7, Llera 6, Mattock 7, Lee 6 (Antonio 62), Corry 6, Semedo 7, Pecnik 6 (O’Grady 55, 6), J Johnson (Mayor 11, 6), Madine 6. Unused subs: Davies, Sidibe, Jones, Coke.
Bookings: Buxton, Semedo, Kay.