Why Owls aim to get ahead at Lane

Flying start: Reda Johnson heads home at Hartlepool and nets one of the vital opening goals
Flying start: Reda Johnson heads home at Hartlepool and nets one of the vital opening goals
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IF Wednesday take the lead on Sunday then it could be time for United to start worrying.

When the Owls have scored the first goal during Gary Megson’s reign they have usually won.

The importance of netting that first goal is something that the club’s management stress to the players.

Since Megson took over, Wednesday have taken the lead in 16 games and lost only one of them.

That exception was the final match of last season: Jermaine Johnson struck with a stunning goal in the 13th minute but Exeter hit back to win 2-1.

Of the other 15 games, the Owls have won 13 and drawn two.

Assistant manager Chris Evans said recently: “We have also shown the character to come back from adversity, but we don’t want to go behind in the first place.

“If you look at the record since Gary Megson became manager, when we’ve gone ahead very rarely have we lost. The first goal is so important. The manager continually drums it into the players that the start is crucial. The opposition have to be put on the back foot.”

Lewis Buxton struck in the 17th minute of last Saturday’s 3-1 victory against Chesterfield.

Games where the Owls have gone ahead under Megson, showing the scorer of the first goal, were:

Feb 26 Carlisle A, Miller (20min), won 1-0; Mar 8 Oldham A, Beevers (3), won 3-2; Mar 26 Dagenham A, Teale (17), drew 1-1; April 2 Colchester H Mellor (25), won 2-1; April 5 Tranmere H, Miller (10), won 4-0; April 16 Hartlepool H, Miller pen (45), won 2-0; April 25 Swindon H, Potter (17), won 3-1; April 30 Bristol R A, Miller pen (3), drew 1-1; May 7 Exeter H, J Johnson (13), lost 2-1.

Aug 6 Rochdale H, Jones (16), won 2-0; Aug 27 Scunthorpe H Madine (5), won 3-2; Sept 10 MK Dons H, Madine (54), won 3-1; Sept 17 Yeovil A McGoldrick (10), won 3-2; Sept 24 Exeter H, Madine (43), won 3-0; Oct 1 Hartlepool A, R Johnson (33), won 1-0; Oct 8 Chesterfield H, Buxton (17), won 3-1.