Date: 28th January 2010 at 12:38pm
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ALAN Irvine suffered his first defeat in charge of the Owls as relegation rivals Scunthorpe United battled their way to a 2-0 success on Wednesday night.

Irvine had led Wednesday to three impressive wins on the spin since taking charge earlier this month, leading the Owls out of the Championship relegation places.

The clash with Nigel Adkins’ Iron side proved an important one on the fixture calendar, with Scunthorpe sitting just a place below Wednesday going into the game.

But three wins from four is still a hugely impressive return from Irvine and his rejuvinated Owls squad thus far, and the Owls boss will face his first true test in getting Wednesday back to winning ways against Plymouth Argyle this weekend.

The defeat at Glanford Park may be worrying for some Wednesdayites, who witnessed some familiar mistakes and bad habits against the Iron.

But Irvine and co. will be left off in this instance – Owls fans may not be so sympathetic should a similar result come about this Saturday.

Irvine named the same side that ran out 2-1 winners against Peterborough United at the weekend, with Tom Soares continuing in midfield after seeing his loan spell from Stoke City extended until the end of the season.

But Irvine wasn’t expecting the start that greeted him.

Lewis Buxton’s loose ball was picked up by Grant McCann, and he put Gary Hooper through to open the scoring after just two minutes.

Scunthorpe boss Adkins was keen for his side to take revenge on Wednesday after the Owls punished the Iron 4-0 at Hillsborough earlier in the season – a result that the Iron boss described as their worst of the season so far.

And the flying start showed that the Iron players were well in-tune for a revenge mission.

But, if there’s ever a good time to concede a goal, it’s in the opening few minutes, with plenty of time left for Wednesday to get back in the game.

They almost did when Leon Clarke brought the ball down inside the box before flashing a goof effort straight at Scunthorpe stopper Joe Murphy.

The chance was the best of the half for lacklustre Wednesday, as chances were at a premium throughout.

If anything, the Iron could well have doubled their lead going into the interval when McCann launched a long-range blockbuster that Lee Grant had to tip over the bar.

Irvine must have had some strong words for his men at the interval as Wednesday came out in the second half looking like a different side.

Pegging Scunthorpe back in their own half for long spells of the second-half, the Iron defence held firm and refused to let the visitors in.

Tommy Spurr and Clarke both came close for the Owls as the pressure started to build on the home goal.

But it was the experienced Michael Gray that should have done better with Wednesday’s best chance of the match, as Tudgay put the former Sunderland man in but he scuffed his shot wide of goal.

Luke Varney, on in place of Tom Soares, almost made a fine introduction when he came close with an effort of his own before Wednesday were hit with a sucker-punch with 13 minutes remaining.

Scunthorpe fired a warning shot Garry Thompson thumped an effort wide of goal.

But they made it count next time when McCann drilled in a rebound against the run of play to all-but seal the victory for Scunthorpe.