FA Cup Report: Owls dumped out after Swans step up a gear - Swansea 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Spectacular effort from Owls Lucas Joao.....Pic Steve Ellis
Spectacular effort from Owls Lucas Joao.....Pic Steve Ellis
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Wednesday’s FA Cup adventure is over for another year.

Second half goals by substitute Jordan Ayew and Nathan Dyer booked the Swans place in the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since 1964.

Owls Jordan Rhodes with Swans Federico Fernandez.....Pic Steve Ellis

Owls Jordan Rhodes with Swans Federico Fernandez.....Pic Steve Ellis

It is the sixth occasion in the Owls’ last eight FA Cup replays played away from Hillsborough they have been eliminated.

Lucas Joao and Jacob Butterfield had opportunities to put Wednesday in front in an even first half but the half-time introduction of Ayew helped swing the tie Swansea’s way as Carlos Carvalhal got the better of his old club.

The Owls pocketed in excess of £600,000 by reaching the fifth round of the tournament but now their focus will turn to securing their Championship status. Jos Luhukay’s men still have plenty of work to do to ensure they avoid being sucked into a relegation battle.

Luhukay fielded a strong-looking team, handing recalls to Cameron Dawson, Glenn Loovens, David Jones, Jacob Butterfield and Jordan Rhodes.

Lucas Joao shot......Pic Steve Ellis

Lucas Joao shot......Pic Steve Ellis

Given Swansea are battling to stay in the Premier League, it was no surprise Carvalhal played a weakened side. He made five changes, resting a number of his big-hitters with one eye on their vital league clash against West Ham United this weekend. It is not a competition high on their priority list. So much for the romance of the cup.

There was not a lot to warm the old cockles in South Wales early on. It was a tight, cagey affair at a freezing, subdued Liberty Stadium, with temperatures plummeting to minus two.

Wednesday had the first sniff at goal when George Boyd whipped in a dangerous cross towards the back post but Lucas Joao could not quite make contact with the ball and Swansea dealt with the situation.

Midway through the first half, Ki Sung-Yueng’s clever free kick released Tom Carroll down the right hand side of the Owls’ defence and his centre picked out Tammy Abraham, who’s looping header was deflected over the top.

Sheffield Wednesday's George Boyd (left) Swansea City's Connor Roberts (centre) and Sheffield Wednesday's David Jones battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round replay match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Sheffield Wednesday's George Boyd (left) Swansea City's Connor Roberts (centre) and Sheffield Wednesday's David Jones battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round replay match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

There was little to choose between either side in a largely forgettable first half. Wednesday, deploying a 5-3-2 formation, were compact and disciplined, restricting the Swans to few sights at goal.

The original tie was a bore draw and the replay was not the best of spectacles.

Butterfield forced Kristoffer Nordfeldt into action on the half hour mark. The midfielder’s fierce left foot drive was superbly kept out by the Swansea goalkeeper. The Owls quickly recycled possession and Joao’s low attempt was turned behind by Nordfeldt.

Moments later, Sam Clucas’s spectacular overhead kick flew over as Swansea briefly threatened to break the deadlock.

Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng (left) and Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round replay match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng (left) and Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round replay match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

But Joao continued to cause the Swans problems at the other end. The in-form forward raced on to Butterfield’s well-weighted pass but Nordfeldt was equal to it.

Wednesday, missing a whole host of players through injury, were forced into making a chance when Jack Hunt suffered a knock and was replaced by Liam Palmer.

The contest finally started to open up and Mike van der Hoorn fed Ki Sung-Yueng, who drilled a low shot into the side netting from just outside the penalty area.

Carvalhal tinkered with his attacking options at half-time, throwing on Martin Olsson and Jordan Ayew. The double change resulted in Clucas moving into the middle of the park, with Ayew tasked with the job of supporting Chelsea loanee Abraham.

Nathan Dyer was a bright spark for the Swans and the speedy forward was foiled by Dawson, a product of the Owls’ youth system, two minutes into the second half.

It was all Swansea after the break and their pressure paid off in the 55th minute. Ayew coolly tapped home from close range after Carroll’s fierce 25 yard strike ricocheted off both posts.

Adam Reach shot......Pic Steve Ellis

Adam Reach shot......Pic Steve Ellis

To their immense credit, Wednesday produced a spirited response to going behind. Rhodes’ free-kick was easily kept out by Nordfeldt before Adam Reach failed to turn in the striker’s fine cross.

Luhukay tried to inject fresh impetus into his side by replacing Butterfield with Atdhe Nuhiu in the 68th minute.

Wednesday enjoyed a good spell of pressure but struggled to create clear-cut chances. Jones dragged an effort harmlessly wide following good approach play.

And Swansea caught the Owls napping on the counter attack with 10 minutes remaining. Abraham sent the impressive Dyer through on goal and his shot went through Dawson’s legs into the back of the net.

The Swans pressed for a third and Dawson dived low to his left to deny Ayew.

But the damage had already been done as Swansea recorded their sixth consecutive home win in all competitions for the first time since December 2007.

Wednesday hoped a good cup run would provide salvation in a dire campaign but there was to be no joy for Luhukay and the club’s 1,000 plus travelling fans.

Swansea: Nordfeldt; van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Bartley; Roberts, Clucas, Sung-Yueng (Olsson HT), Carroll, Dyer; Routledge (Ayew HT), Abraham. Substitutes: Mulder, Britton, Narsingh, Naughton, James.

Owls: Dawson; Venancio, Loovens, Pudil; Hunt (Palmer 38), Jones, Butterfield (Nuhiu 68), Reach, Boyd; Rhodes (Abdi 81), Joao. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Fox, Pelupessy, Baker.

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Star man: Cameron Dawson

Lucas Joao holds off Swans Tom Carroll...Pic Steve Ellis

Lucas Joao holds off Swans Tom Carroll...Pic Steve Ellis