Hand up if you got it wrong, ref. Gary Teale is full of sympathy for Chris Sedgwick over the incident that cost Wednesday victory and contributed to a spot of bother for Gary Megson.
The “sickening” handball decision against Sedgwick was just as contentious as one involving Teale which was the turning point in a defeat at Leyton Orient.
In both cases it was ball to hand rather than vice-versa and the Owls felt a sense of injustice.
A similar emotion followed Notts County’s winning penalty at Hillsborough - given for a challenge by Mark Beevers that was outside the box.
It could at times be Sod’s Law determining that a dodgy decision can crop up and ruin Wednesday pleasure when things seem to be going their way.”
“It was never a penalty,” said Teale, about the moment when the ball was driven straight at Sedgwick by Dagenham sub Darren Currie and struck him on the left arm.
“We’re disappointed, What’s Sedgy supposed to do? The ball just hit him. It’s a sickener.
“That seems to be the season we’ve been having - anything that can go against us goes against us.”
Teale’s early goal, headed home after Rob Jones flicked on a Michael Morrison throw, put Wednesday in control formost of the game, thanks also to one of their best defensive displays of the season.
It was so annoying for them and their 1,292 following when Dagenham were handed an equaliser: then within a few minutes an outstanding save denied Darren Potter, a big shout for an Owls penalty was rejected and a goal-bound shot by Tommy Miller was deflected past the post.
I have to say, however, that it wasn’t a penalty when Gary Madine, following up Potter’s effort, saw his shot hit centre-half Scott Doe. The ball stuck the defender’s leg not his arm.
Megson was not arguing about that incident. But his general frustration was understandable.
He was right to say that maybe in a game like this the Owls would have lost earlier in the season. On a hard, bumpy pitch, against a combative side who constantly launch high balls forward, and were unbeaten in five games, Wednesday lots of steel and organisation.
Centre-halves Rob Jones and Danny Batth won just about all their headers, and the team battled all over the park.
When they did go forward, Madine was a focal point.
As entertainment, the match was abysmal. The ball was in the air a lot, and in these conditions and against this opposition it was hard to get down it down and play.
The players who came in played their part in a wholehearted effort: Potter, Joey O’Brien and Sedgwick, with Paul Heffernan left out, Giles Coke unwell and Isaiah Osbourne out by a hip injury.
Megson, who has so often found fault with his team’s defending, this time directed all his criticisms at referee Steve Rushton and fourth official Richard Kendall.
It did seem unusual when, before the start of the second half, Daggers manager John Still and the referee walked together across the pitch and were clearly engaged in a good-humoured conversation. Megson, close by, appeared to say something as well.
There was also obvious confusion in the second half when Jones went back on to the pitch, apparently with the approval of the fourth official, after receiving treatment and was then told by the ref to go back off.
Megson pinpointed a foul by Lewis Buxton which was matched three times by Dagenham players without Wednesday getting free kicks.
The Owls boss described the penalty decision as “a joke”, the referee’s second-half display as “awful” and said the performance of the officials as a group was “as bad as I’ve ever seen”. The FA will also look at his claim that the referee was influenced by that half-time chat with Still.
There were a couple of other interesting incidents: a second-half foot-up by Dagenham keeper Roberts on Madine in the box, of the kind that is punished by an outfield player in other areas of the park, and a challenge by striker Jon Nurse on Richard O’Donnell at the far post, in the last minute of the first half, which bundled the ball into the net,.
The goal was disallowed and a foul was given.
But most the match was forgettable.
Teale said: “The game was awful. All Dagenham do, no matter where the ball is on the pitch, is lump it forward and try to get in behind your back four.
“The pitch is terrible, as well. I never saw them scoring; I thought we were going to hold on for a 1-0 win.
“The two new boys at the back [Jones and Batth] have been immense, last week and this week. They’re winning every ball.
“We’re looking a bit more solid now.
“We’ll obviously try to improve our performance. We need to make sure we start picking up points sooner rather than later, and work hard.”
“It’s about energy and determination at this stage of the season.”
Wednesday had plenty of both those qualities on Saturday.
The players showed resilience. I think we’d have buckled under that kind of pressure no so long ago.
Rob Jones looked a colossus back there, along with Danny Batth.
That’s not the type of football we want to play but we had to fight fire with fire. We had to battle. We had to scrap. The attitude was spot on.