New manager Dave Jones with Milan Mandaric
New manager Dave Jones with Milan Mandaric
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sheffield WEDNESDAY new manager Dave Jones saw his side come away with a point after Dale missed a penalty five minutes from time.

Photographers pointed their lenses towards the stand and not the pitch just before the kick off in anticipation that Milan Mandaric and Jones would emerge.

The new manager and chairman came out at the back of the stand and went to sit together around 15 yards behind the Wednesday technical area where caretaker boss Chris Evans and coach Neil Thompson stood.

The announcer gave a big build-up to Chris O’Grady and that was followed by a warm reception from the Spotland faithful for the striker who was making his first return to the ground since joining Wednesday.

The Owls followed their usual practice of applauding the away following before the start of the match and the Wednesday supporters were soon giving their team the usual backing.

Right in front of the away side of the stadium, Antonio made an electrifying run, outpacing left back Widdowson on the outside before playing a cross from the bye-line.

The first chance was created by Rochdale.

After a low ball from the right was not properly cleared, Thompson hit a low volley tamely at Bywater who was playing against one of his former teams. Antonio produced another show of pace but played his cross behind the goal.

Rochdale began to show some neat movement and passing, while after the first 20 minutes, Wednesday had yet to get into their stride.

The Megson controversy had not appeared to be on the away fans’ minds as they concentrated on the game. In the 27th minute, there was a chant of “There’s only one Gary Megson” but it came from a small section of fans in the stand.

As ever, Jones was a threat in the air, attacking set pieces but it was his centre back partner Batth who looked sure to score when he met a Lines corner at the near post and did everything just about right, heading the ball downwards into the ground and it bounced up and over the bar.

The Owls had built up a head of steam and kept driving forward, aided at one point by a great header by Madine to O’Grady. Long throws from Antonio on the right and Bennett on the left were another asset and from one of Bennett’s efforts, Jones flicked the ball across the goal but it ran away to the touchline without anyone getting a touch.

There had been little to excite the fans of either side so far, but Wednesday put together one of their best moves withing two minutes of the restart. Semedo won the ball near the half way line and played in Antonio who send Buxton running forward.

The right back crossed to the near post where Madine ran in to get a touch despite tight marking and the ball went just past the outside of the post.

Madine was showing familiar prowess by heading away balls from the Wednesday box, but there had not been too many of these.

Wednesday had a real let- off in the 61st minute after a corner. When the ball was put back in from the byline on the left by Kennedy, centre half Long side footed it hard, over the bar from eight yards out. Home supporters roared when Bywater made a save after Gary Jones had let fly from 25 yards but the keeper saw the ball all the way andcalmly touched it over the bar.

Prutton was taken off in the 65th minute and Ryan Lowe sent on to play just behind the front two.

The Owls had a close call in the 70th minute when a left wing cross found Akpa Akpro at the far post and his header trickled past the far side of the goal with Bywater at full stretch.

Lowe hooked the ball towards the empty net and it was cleared off the line.

The Owls could thank their lucky stars in the 85th minute when Rochdale missed a penalty. Rob Jones challenged Kennedy and was furious when it was deemed a foul. Jme captain Gary Jones stepped forwardonly to hammer the spot kick against the foot of Bywater’ s right hand post and the ball bounced away to safety.

Wednesday had a massive appeal for a penalty just before the end which was rejected.