Sheffield Wednesday capitulate again as Owls' woes worsen against Coventry City

Sheffield Wednesday are out of the FA Cup after a second half capitulation against Coventry City.
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It was a game that nobody really wanted, or needed, on a cold Tuesday night in February, but as Wednesday and Coventry prepared to do battle for the fourth time in six weeks there was the prospect of a very winnable FA Cup tie on the cards for the winner.

Both sides have bigger fish to fry given their place in the Championship table as the Owls desperately seek to retain their position in the second tier and the Sky Blues try to get out of it – but who wouldn’t want to get into the quarterfinals of one of the most prestigious cup competitions in the world?

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Wednesday’s need for rest was more prominent, it seemed, given the selection of the two sides, and while Danny Röhl handed a full debut to young Gui Siqueira as part of the nine changes from Huddersfield Town, Mark Robins went strong. The hosts had a bench worth millions – the visitors’ was made up completely of academy graduates, free agents and loans.

It looked like it could be a long night for Röhl’s outfit after Kasey Palmer gave Coventry the lead in just the third minute, and he ghosted past about five Owls as he did so before firing it past young Pierce Charles.

But Wednesday rallied, and quickly. It took just seven minutes for them to find an answer, and it was that young man Bailey Cadamarteri who found it – firing home instinctively from close range after a Will Vaulks cross has caused trouble in the box. It’s his first goal in almost two months, and will have come as a great relief to him as he celebrated in front of the 2,000+ travelling fans who still weren’t tired of this fixture.

Coventry were the better side, almost completely bossing the game, but some good defending from Michael Ihiekwe and Akin Famewo kept them at bay in the first half, while Will Vaulks – wearing the captain’s armband – battled away in the middle to keep the Owls ticking over.

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Siqueira, after a tough 45, was replaced by Liam Palmer, and Di’Shon Bernard came on for Famewo at the break, and the plan will have been to keep it tight as the second half got underway. By the 58th minute they were 4-1 down.

Callum O’Hare got their second as he slotted it home following a lovely no-look pass from teammate, Palmer, and he was on the scoresheet again not long afterwards as he bent one inside the far post from the edge of the box. Haji Wright made it four before the hour mark as he got the better of Bernard and headed home a fantastic cross from Jay Dasilva. And just like that it was game over.

Wednesday fashioned a few half chances after the hosts took their foot off the gas, Ashley Fletcher coming close on a couple of occasions, but the Owls had had the wind well and truly knocked out of them.

There was a debut for young Wednesdayite, Sam Reed, and another appearance for his youth teammate, Joey Phuthi, if we’re looking for some positives, while Jeff Hendrick made his return to the field after a spell out with injury. By that time, though, there was nothing left to play for.

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So it’ll be Coventry playing host to Maidstone United for a spot in the quarterfinals, not Wednesday, but if there’s anyone to feel sorry for tonight it’s the travelling Owls fans who found the spirit to stick it out to the end at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Cup sojourn over, it’s time to focus completely on the league, and after watching his side concede seven goals over a 20-minute spell (12 v Huddersfield, 8 v Coventry) over the last two games Röhl will have some soul-searching to do. It’s not quite insurmountable yet, but it’s getting there.

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