Date: 2nd December 2007 at 11:07pm
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It was unlucky number seven for Wednesday as they slipped to their first defeat in seven outings against struggling Colchester with a lacklustre display at S6 on Saturday.

It was no surprise, maybe, following November’s Manager of the Month accolade going to Owls’ boss Brian Laws, with the ‘curse’ that usually follows in the following match well and truly kicking in in South Yorkshire on a miserable day for the majority of the 22,000-plus crowd.

Former England and Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham returned to action for the U’s and made an instant impact by putting the visitors ahead after just 52 seconds, while Elokobi added a second and an Akpo Sodje strike was all Wednesday had to show for their efforts.

Owls boss Brian Laws was forced to change his hand from the midweek win over Barnsley, with midfielder Yoann Folly being left out of the squad due to an illness affecting a family member, Glenn Whelan stepped in to the centre of midfield.

Mark Beevers was also thrown in at the deep end at the heart of the Owls’ defence, with Michael Johnson missing out at the last minute through injury.

Wednesday were four points off the play-off spots going in to the game, while Colchester were struggling at the wrong end of the table this term after losing key players during the summer.

But all Brian Laws’ preparations went straight out of the window with one of the quickest goals ever seen at S6, with veteran hitman Teddy Sheringham bagging after just 52 seconds.

Wednesday had their fair share of the ball as they looked to find a way straight back in to the game, but they struggled to string the final pass together in the final third, with Whelan unusually off-form.

But despite the Owls’ control over the ball in the middle of the park, it was the visitors who looked more likely to double their advantage, with Beevers putting in a superb last-gasp tackle to deny Kevin Lisbie from close range.

Marcus Tudgay came the closest for Wednesday but he headed over a Burton O’Brien pass to the early frustration of the majority of the 22,000-plus crowd inside Hillsborough.

But it wasn’t long before Colchester got their second, with Grant putting in a fine save to deny Elokobi, before the U’s hitman gathered himself to steer his next effort by the helpless Grant.

Teddy Sheringham came close to making it 3-0 with a sliding effort, while Wednesday thought they reduced the deficit minutes later through Tudgay, but the former Derby man saw his effort chalked off for offside.

But Wednesday got a goal at just the right time when Akpo Sodje was well positioned to steer home a Whelan cross at the second attempt to bag his fifth goal in six games and give the home crowd and players a huge confidence before the break.

But although the Owls pushed and pushed for an equaliser after the break, it was to no avail as the U’s made the long journey back down south with a much-needed three points.

Wednesday: Grant; Simek, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr; J Johnson, Whelan, Watson (c), O’Brien (Esajas 70), Sodje, Tudgay (Small 62). Unused subs: Burch, Bullen, Lunt.

Colchester: Gerken; Duguid (c), Connolly, Virgo, Elokobi; Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, McLeod, Sheringham (Platt 72), Lisbie. Unused subs: Cousins, Baldwin, Guttridge, Guy.