Date: 30th August 2009 at 3:36pm
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Wednesday grabbed back-to-back league victories and put their Carling Cup horror show at Port Vale firmly to bed with an impressive victory at Paul Sturrock’s Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

Owls fans and staff alike were keen to get their winning show back on the road after last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing of Scunthorpe was cancelled out by a cup exit at Vale, and the transfer listing of Francis Jeffers as a result of his daft red card.

Victory at Home Park was sure to put the midweek horror show to bed, and a double from Marcus Tudgay and a Richard Wood opener was enough to give Wednesday a vital three points and leave Paul Sturrock’s men in all kinds of problems.

Called into question over his decision to change a winning team at Port Vale, boss Brian Laws reverted back to the side that saw off the threat of the Iron the previous week, with Luke Varney, Jermaine Johnson, James O’Conner, Darren Purse, Richard Wood and Lewis Buxton all returning to the side.

Although Wednesday had endured problems of their own in midweek, Argyle fans were far from happy with their start to the Championship season, and Paul Sturrock was probably getting more credit from the away support at Home Park than that of the home fans.

A fast-paced start was crucial, and it was Wednesday who came flying out of the traps and Luke Varney found the back of the net in the opening exchanges, only for the referee to chalk it off for offside.

In a fairly even first half, the hosts hit back when Cillian Sheridan, a recent signing charged with changing the fortunes of the Pilgrims, headed over when left unmarked from a corner.

Although Lee Grant was never really troubled early on, the Wednesday defence hardly looked commanding, with sloppy passes and clearances giving the home side more chances than they merited.

Things got worse when Michael Gray had to be taken off to be replaced by Sean McAllister just under ten minutes into the clash.

Wednesday got more into the game as the half progressed, with the outlet of Jermaine Johnson doing the most damage as the visitors looked to hit Sturrock’s men on the break.

It was the Jamaican who went on a trademark run before unleashing a dangerous effort which the Argyle stopper had to push wide, forcing a series of corners as the Owls put pressure on the home goal.

it was from one such corner which Potter delivered that Tudgay headed back across the face of goal for Wood to head in from point blank range and make it two goals in as many games for the Wakefield-born Owl.

The hosts tried to hit back immediately as they upped their gear, but Lee Grant still remained untroubled between the sticks, although Argyle still had spells of possession around the Wednesday box.

It was Laws’ men, though, who could and should have added another goal to their tally before the interval when Luke Varney’s superb run picked out Tudgay inside the box, but the former Derby man couldn’t hold his composure and he smashed his effort way over the bar.

Argyle were desperate for a victory and they showed that when they came out fighting at the start of the second half.

Carl Fletcher came the closest when he gave Grant no chance with a long-range effort which came crashing back off the post.

The effort lifted the noise inside an otherwise dull atmosphere at Home Park, and lifted the eleven men in green on the pitch as Wednesday needed to be at their best defensively to hold off any further efforts.

It was working to the Owls’ advantage, with the pace of Johnson and Varney giving Wednesday the perfect chance to counter-attack.

From one such move, Varney, who missed a host of one-on-one chances against Scunthorpe last week, was put in again, only to see the Argyle ‘keeper come racing from his line to deny the loanee.

Jet-heeled Johnson was also brought down when he got clear of three chasing Plymouth defenders, the challenge looked like it could have been a sending-off offence for Marcel Seip, who only got a yellow card despite looking like the last man.

Seip was then at fault moments later when he brought Varney down inside the box for a clear-cut penalty, one which Tudgay grabbed the opportunity to bag his second goal of the season by lashing in the spot-kick.

The Owls looked home and dry, but in typical Wednesday fashion, they left the travelling support biting their nails until the end when Alan Gow curler in a superb free-kick to give the hosts a way back into the game.

It could have got worse for the visitors when Grant was left stranded and Gary Sawyer headed wide of goal when he really should have done better.

But the match was settled late on when Tudgay unleashed an unstoppable effort by the home stopper to send Wednesday away with all three points and lift them into a good position just outside the play-off spots.

Full-Time: Plymouth 1-3 Wednesday


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