Date: 22nd January 2008 at 11:13pm
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Wednesday crashed out of the FA Cup 3rd Round in the worst possible way as Derby County bagged a 4th Round clash with Preston on Saturday thanks to a victory on penalties at Hillsborough on Tuesday night.

The Owls weren’t disgraced though, and they could well have had the game all but wrapped up in a first half they dominated against the struggling Premiership side, but only a Steve Watson strike gave the hosts a slender advantage going in to the break.

Kenny Miller bagged the leveller for the Rams before the Premiership outfit took the cooler penalties to bag their progression and give former Owls boss Paul Jewell victory.

Owls’ boss Brian Laws made two changes to the side that picked up a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at the weekend, with Steve Watson replacing the ineligible Ronnie Wallwork in midfield while Wade Small came in to replace Burton O’Brien on the left.

Luckily, the rain had eased allowing the clash to go ahead at the second time of asking, but the pitch was anything but the surface to see any flowing football.

The Rams have all but accepted relegation from the Premiership and could well be returning to Hillsborough next season but under Paul Jewell they have a manager who never gives in, and it showed with the fast-paced start from the visitors.

Former Barnsley loanee Lewin Nyatanga had the first effort for the visitors as he blazed over an effort, before Kenny Miller saw his snap-shot well turned around the post by former Rams ‘keeper Lee Grant.

Grant was one of a number of former Derby players to be lining up against their former club, with Marcus Tudgay also lining up in attack, while Deon Burton started on the bench for the replay.

The Owls’ defence withstood the early Derby pressure and it paid off on nine minutes as Steve Watson flung himself at a Jermaine Johnson cross to give Lewis Price no chance and give the Owls’ the early advantage in front of the Kop.

The goal saw the Owls continue on top for the remainder of the first half, with Wade Small coming close to doubling Wednesday’s advantage while Johnson, Whelan and Sodje also came close to extending the advantage going in to the break.

And it was one of Derby’s own players who almost made it 2-0 Wednesday, as Craig Fagan headed goalwards from a Whelan corner before Marc Edworthy used his experience to clear the danger from the line.

Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Derby

Wednesday may well have had an easy ride in the first half, but Derby boss Paul Jewell made sure it wasn’t the same in the second half as his troops came firing out of the blocks to enjoy a strong ten-minute spell similar to the Steel City derby on Saturday.

But this time, it took the visitors just two minutes to find the back of the net and get back on level terms as Scotland hitman Kenny Miller directed a superb effort by the sprawling Grant to give Derby the boost they needed.

The visitors continued to enjoy the best of the possession, but failed to create any further clear cut chances as the game almost boiled over midway through the second half.

First, almost every player on the pitch got involved after an altercation between Tudgay and Stephen Pearson, before Owls’ fans were left fuming that the referee failed to send off Edworthy after dragging back Jermaine Johnson when through on goal, albeit on the halfway line.

Both sides had chances to win the game late on, Deon Burton almost taking advantage of a mix-up in the Derby defence, before Miller saw a header go flying over Grant’s bar at the other end minutes later.

But with little to decide between the two teams in extra-time, a penalty shoot-out decided the victor, with the Rams keeping the cooler heads to progress through to the 4th round at the second time of asking.


Whelan: Misses
Miller: Scores
Lunt: Misses
Lewis: Scores
Tudgay: Scores
Earnshaw: Scores
Burton: Scores
Fagan: Scores

Full-Time: Wednesday 1-1 Derby (AET, Derby win 4-2 on pens)

Wednesday: Grant; Bullen, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr; Johnson, Whelan, Watson (Lunt 50), Small (Burton 80); Sodje (Clarke 70), Tudgay. Unused subs: Wood, Gilbert.

Derby: Price; Edworthy, Leacock (Moore 82), Davis, Todd; Pearson, Barnes (Lewis 42), Teale (Earnshaw 106), Nyatanga; Miller, Fagan. Unused subs: Hinchcliffe, Macken.