Calling the Shots: FA Cup Rnd 2

Calling the Shots: FA Cup Rnd 2

With Wednesday riding high in the league and reaching the automatic promotion places last weekend, the already diminished importance of the cup competitions was even less interest than normal.

Added to the cold weather, run up to Christmas and the fact buy cialis 20mg Wednesday were playing a team in Aldershot who were non-league last season created a somewhat subdued atmosphere.

This is not to disrespect Aldershot but at a time when the team are building momentum towards a potential promotion season and the next home game is a promotion six-pointer againstHuddersfield, fans cannot be help but consider this match a side interest.
That said, the FA cup still means the most out of the cup competitions. It is rare that fans will have lengthy discussions about who they want in the next round of the league cup or talk about if they would rather a home or away tie in the JPT. Its significance and reward is dwarfed by the league but it still conjures up hopes of a run or an opportunity in the spotlight against a big boy of the Premier League.

The match itself was very similar to numerous other home games this season, it was a hard fought, if unspectacular win, which despite being a tight score line, was one that Wednesday never looked like losing.

The team selection was one that was forced upon Megson with the numerous players either suspended, cup tied or unable to play due to their loan agreements.

This caused no problem at the back with Rob Jones back from injury, Reda Johnson at centre half and Julian Bennett at left back. Given Bennett has lost his place; it’s a good opportunity to remind Megson that he must be picked.

The problems in both selection and performance were going forward. Chris Sedgwick who has almost become a forgotten man has a similar opportunity to Bennett. The problem was that Bennett’s performance was too noticeable for giving the ball away and losing position, where Sedgwick was unnoticed for contributing almost nothing.

That said, issues with individuals should not cloud of the lacklustre collective performance of the team nor should it take away fromAldershotwho came with a plan, which worked for large parts of the match. They had a plan to stifle Wednesday’s attack and attack on the counter. They had a flat back four, but one that operated in a way that stopped Wednesday from gaining any ground. They effectively played with three centre halves to win the ball off O’Grady and Lowe up front and their narrow midfield meant that Lines had no space to weave runs or passes through the middle. Thus without any pace or creativity on the wings there was no impetus to get team moving.

With such a poor first half, it would have been easy to make changes and give the team the pace and penetration it had been lacking. The obvious move would have been to take off the invisible Sedgwick for Jermaine Johnson. Johnson is the single most inconsistent, temperamental and frustrating player of recent years, but this was a moment made for him. Against League Two opposition and many players who were non-league last season, his pace and penetration would surely be too much. Instead Megson decided personnel wasn’t the issue and it was performance. Megson was right.

The difference was significant, there was more impetus and drive in the team’s play and it wasn’t long before Lowe scored in front of the Kop.

From there Wednesday had not just the lead but control of the game. Suddenly this cup game started to feel like another of the League wins.

Hard work, good shape and sparks of creativity providing the lead and then dominating as the other team chase.

Aldershot chased and at times came close to equalising, but were stopped by Richard O’Donnell or missed. Soon afterwards Lowe was back through on goal in an identical looking move to the goal and looked to mirror that with a tie-killing second goal, but somehow he managed to put the shot wide.

Following this there were a series of near misses, goal line clearances and good saves. Wednesday were dominating not making it count. This is not the first time of late and that needs to change. Dominance needs to count for more than a goal lead and worryingly this is not the first time this season. There will be times when the team will concede through dodgy deflections and bad refereeing, that is part of football and we need the insurance of more than single goal leads.

On reflection that is a pedantic point as the team’s momentum and winning habit continues. And with it brings another home tie with West Ham. So it will be a challenge between promotion challengers from the Championship and League One.  It will be a good test, not just for where the team are now, but a good idea, if Wednesday can win promotion, of how we would stand now in the division. We want to demonstrate that we are too good for League One, which we need to in the Championship. What better chance to show we belong in the tier above.

Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @jpowls

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