WEDNESDAY added Premier League outfit Fulham to the growing list of scalps taken under Dave Jones when they attacked their way into the Capital One Cup third round at Hillsborough last night.
A second-half penalty by Gary Madine - his first goal of the season - separated the sides and this was a deserved victory for an Owls side who went forward with pace and purpose.
It improved the unbeaten run under Dave Jones to 17 games, and, by the end, the crowd were lapping it up after a low-key start
This was a modest occasion, to begin with, when compared with the excitement of Wednesday’s exploits in the Championship. With only the South and North stands in use for home fans, and a meagre away following in the lower West, the crowd was below average in size and fervour, yet this is normal in the early rounds of this competition.
There was little from two much-changed sides to rouse them in the first half.
But Wednesday always showed the great attacking enterprise, with Michail Antonio particularly a threat with his strong running.
They had strikes at goal, hit the bar and stepped it even more in the second half to leave Fulham strictly second best.
Fulham were rattled at times, in tackles from Steve Sidwell and Pajtim Kasami which brought bookings.
Sidwell lived dangerously when once again he offended Paul Tierney, the ref who sent off Gary Madine at Carlisle last season.
Tierney summoned Fulham captain Brede Hangeland to stand by Sidwell while a warning was issued.
Fulham had some movement, shape and organisation in the first half, but so did Wednesday and there was not much between two sides who failed to cause each other many problems in the first half hour.
Antonio exploded into action with a typical run, towards the Leppings Lane End, and struck a fair 25-yard shot that was held by Mark Schwarzer, the visitors’ first-choice keeper.
Three minutes after that came a chance: a left-wing cross by Maguire, and a free header for Madine. The striker could not get enough power into it and Schwarzer remained unruffled.
Antonio got the crowd going with another run but the shot flew over the bar when Maguire was waiting for a pass. Maguire drilled in a near-post cross intended for Madine, and Schwarzer went down smartly to gather at the No 9’s feet.
Wednesday kept going forward and causing problems, whereas Fulham produced not one first-half moment to trouble Bywater and had a let-off in the 47th minute when Mark Beevers got a touch to a right-wing corner by Jones and the ball was cleared off the line.
So when Wednesday took a 50th-minute lead it was merited.
Maguire was unceremoniously brought down by right-back Stephen Kelly, and Madine sent Schwarzer the wrong way to net his first goal of the season, clipping the ball low to the keeper’s right.
Bywater had just as little chance with an emphatic header by Hangeland from a free kick in the 64th minute. But a linesman’s flag was up and the visiting fans’celebration was silenced.
Going behind forced a slight increase in Fulham’s tempo, and Martin Jol made substitutions to aid the effort ot get back in the game.
But Wednesday could have made it 2-0 in an extraordinary incident.
A Fulham player knocked the ball goalwards but straight to Madine, who was in the clear as a linesman wrongly flagged for offside. Seeing the flag, the striker hesitated, but the ref had not blown, rightly, as an opponent had passed the ball to Madine. Schwarzer took advantage of the confusion to step forward and clear.
Within seconds a terrific save by Bywater from a close-range by sub Marcello Trotta preserved the Owls’ lead. The pace, entertainment and crowd involvement had all risen in this half.
A powerful, side-footed effort by Pecnik from the edge of the box clipped the top of the bar - with Schwarzer presumably getting a touch, as the ref gave a corner.
Both managers showed where their priorities lay, with their selections. Dave Jones made five changes to the side that started Saturday’s 3-2 win against Millwall, Jol six to the line-up that began the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United.
The ins for the Owls were Stephen Bywater, Chris Maguire, Nejc Pecnik, Daniel Jones - for his first appearance of the season - and Giles Coke after his run on the bench.
Out went the Johnsons, Reda and Jermaine, Rhys McCabe, Rodri and Chris Kirkland.
Meanwhile, midfielder Diogo Amado has gone home to Portugal only seven weeks after signing a two-year deal with the Owls and leaving Uniao Leiria.
It is understood that the 22-year-old has been suffering from homesickness. He has joined Estoril Praia, with Wednesday picking up an undisclosed fee. He had been regarded by Dave Jones as a possible player of the future.
A three-month loan move for David Prutton to Scunthorpe has come after he was seemingly not a part of the Owls manager’s first-team plans.
OWLS: Bywater 7, Buxton 7, Llera 7, Beevers 7, D Jones 6, Antonio 8, Semedo 7, Coke 6, Pecnik 6, Madine 7, Maguire
6 (Rodri 69). Unused subs: Jameson, R Johnson, McCabe, Mayor, Lee, Lavery.
FULHAM: Schwarzer 8, Kelly 7 (Riether 72), Hangeland 7, Hughes 7, Briggs 7, Duff 6, Baird 7, Sidwell 6, Kacaniklic 6, Kasami 6 (Trotta 63), Rodallega 6. Unused subs: Stockdale, Diarra, Halliohe, Smith.
Bookings: Sidwell, Kasami, Briggs, Baird (Fulham); Semedo (Wednesday).