SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY keeper Nicky Weaver was bizarelly substituted just 90 seconds into tonight’s Johnston Paint Trophy penalty-kick defeat at Bradford.
And Richard O’Donnell hadn’t replaced Weaver between the sticks for very long when further changes were made, Jose Semedo off for Giles Coke and David Prutton off for Cecil Nyoni.
It seemed that manager Gary Megson was protecting his assets in a competition few fans care a lot for.
Fans presumed Megson had been forced to start players he didn’t really want to risk, as part of the contractual arrangement with the football administrators.
All the action seemed to be on the side lines for the first 18 minutes although the Owls looked the more comfortable side when in possession.
And the topic for conversation at the goalless half time was more what had happened in the technical area than on the pitch.
Jack Compton began to spread confidence through Bradford’s team as the second half wore own.
Clinton Morrison had a chance to end the contest with eight minutes to go but powered over the bar.
The game, an awkward spectacle at best, ended without goals and went to penalties, with Bradford winning the sequence 3-1.
Owls starting line up: Weaver, Semedo, Beevers, Obileye, Reynolds, O’Connor, Prutton, Palmer, Sedgwick, Morrison, Uchechi.
Bench: O’Donnell, Lines, Madine, Coke, Nyoni.
*Meanwhile the Owls have signed scouse striker Ryan Lowe, 32, from Bury. He scored 28 goals last season.
Earlier today, they agreed to take Slovenian centre back David Kasnik on a six month loan from Olimpija Ljubljana.
While the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy isn’t everybody’s priority, Gary Megson was hoping to see some consistency from a team that has had its ups and downs already this season.
*Full analysis by Paul Thompson in Wednesday’s Star.