WEDNESDAY fans made up just over half the crowd at Gigg Lane last night but that was the only aspect in which the Owls dominated as little Bury condemned the team to a second successive defeat.
The Owls never fully recovered from an awful opening 28 minutes in which they fell behind to a bad goal and lost captain Rob Jones and debut-maker Chris O’Grady.
Bury made it 2-0 just before half time then a terrific goal by Chris Sedgwick three minutes after the break breathed new hope into Wednesday and their 2,618 following.
But the Shakers managerial duty of Richie Barker and Peter Shirtliff, both Wednesdayites, must have been proud of the way their team defended and produced some cohesive stuff going forward.
Gary Megson sprang two surprises with Nicky Weaver unfit but O’Grady ruled fit for a debut though the Owls boss said after the Bournemouth game that he would not be ready because of his heel problem.
Richard O’Donnell, a penalty-saver in the Cup shoot-out against Blackpool, returned to the side, Clinton Morrison dropped to the bench and Chris Lines made his full bow in place of Liam Palmer.
Lines, starting on the left side of midfield, hit a near-post corner from the right which was glanced across goal by the head of O’Grady, and the away fans filling that end and giving their team great support so nearly celebrated a goal.
But they were jolted a minute later when right winger David Worrall delivered a pinpoint cross and Wednesday’s marking was non-existent as striker Ryan Lowe buried a header into O’Donnell’s top left-hand corner from 10 yards.
Another blow followed seven minutes after that: Jones had to go off with what looked like an eye problem and was replaced by Reda Johnson.
But almost immediately the Owls should have been level: Julian Bennett rose for a far-post cross yet barely made contact.
Wednesday found it hard to settle, and they had some defending to do before Chris Sedgwick fired a left-footer just past the angle from 25 yards in the 27th minute.
It all seemed to be going wrong as O’Grady came off a minute later, and it would have been worse if striker Andy Bishop had scored with a header as he should have done.
Sub Jon Otsemobor went to right back and Lewis Buxton to the right side of midfield, with Sedgwick switching to the left, and Lines playing just behind Gary Madine.
A lovely through ball by Lines made an opportunity driven across goal by Buxton from a narrow angle.
Then in the 41st minute it was 2-0. Big midfield man Damien Mozika wriggled past Johnson just inside the box after receiving a through ball and then side-footed home.
Although Johnson soon bundled the ball into the Bury net in a challenge on Cameron Belford, it was the sort where the decision always goes the keeper’s way.
A peach of a goal three minutes after half time was just what Wednesday wanted. David Prutton made a forward run and played the ball to Chris Sedgwick. From the left-hand corner of the box, Sedgwick curled a right-foot effort into the far corner, off the bar.
Offside was given after a fine move between Buxton and Otsemobor and a finish by Madine - but this was more like it from the Owls.
Bury refused to be bowed and kept looking sharp going forward; plus they defended well, and though Wednesday piled in the effort, they could not develop a full-blown fightback.
Loan signing Danny Uchechi was sent on up front near the end but it was Bury who almost snatched a late goal, Lowe forcing a flying save from O’Donnell.
BURY: Belford, 7, Picken 6, Sodje 7, Hughes 7, Skarz 7, Worrall 6 (Cregg 90+2), Sweeney 7, Mozika 6, Jones 6, Bishop 7 (Oyenunga 90), Lowe 7. Unused subs: Futcher, John-Lewis, Branagan.
OWLS: O’Donnell 7, Buxton 6, Batth 6, R Jones (R Johnson 15, 6), Bennett 6, Lines 8, Semedo 7, Prutton 6 (Uchechi 79), Sedgwick 7, Madine 6, O’Grady (Otsemobor 28, 7). Unused subs: Morrison, Cuff.
Referee: Colin Webster (Tyne and Wear).
Goals: Lowe (7), Mozika (41), Sedgwick (48).
Attendance: 5,219 (away 2,618).
Bookings: Prutton (6) foul, Johnson (18) foul, Hughes (65) dissent.