More to come: FA Cup Rnd 1

More to come: FA Cup Rnd 1

Gary Megson never said that he hates the cups, or even that he wanted to take part, but his selections, substitutions and body language during Wednesday’s defeat to Bradford in the second of the JPT meant many came to that conclusion.

This it was somewhat of a relief to see a full strength team face Morecambe and the ESPN cameras on Sunday afternoon.

Megson was clear in the build up that the TV cameras, even those of a minority sports channel, were not there to watch a Wednesday win, but in the hope of an upset.

Wednesday’s job is to spoilt the party.

ESPN were not afraid to build the prestige of Wednesday up. This was bought in two forms; the usual clips of 1993 and that year’s semi-final hero as pundit: Chris Waddle. This is not a criticism of ESPN, whose coverage is understated and professional. Waddle is the obvious choice as a former Wednesday hero and someone is still follows the team and lives in the area. But Waddle’s presence symbolises Wednesday’s good times and its fall. He remind us supporters of what once was and reminds the neutral that Wednesday used to boast England internationals amongst its players.

He is knowledgeable in a way that Steve Clarridge on the BBC is supposed to be. This is, of course, an insight to the average fan watching at home, rather than the Wednesday fan sitting at home.

He constantly talked of the frustration that Jermaine Johnson is. How he has the ability to play in the Premier League but whose inconsistencies are why he is not.

This is obvious to anybody who has watched him play for 30 seconds, but not to any non-Wednesday fan watching at home.

Sadly, from a Wednesday point of view, the good Johnson failed to shine for the cameras. He often ran into good positions, only to see a good pass missed or the ball over the stands. Yet, he was not typical in what was a good hard fought team performance. It became clear in the opening 25 minutes that Wednesday’s spine; Baath, R Johnson, Lines, Semedo, Madine and O’Grady would be too strong for Morecambe. Wednesday dominated possession and were opening up the Morecambe defence with ease.

Wednesday’s goal looked inevitable and Chris Lines opener was not reminiscent of Waddle, but John Sheridan, with a perfectly placed drive into the bottom corner of the net. This entrenched Wednesday’s dominance and as has been typical of late, there was domination without reward. Morecambe would have been thankful it was only 1-0 at the break.

Morecambe were better value and caused more problems after the kamagra gel break, for those wanting an upset, this gave hope, until Reda Johnson doubled the lead. That really should have been goodnight, but a combination of wasted openings and unsuccessful penalty appeals meant Wednesday failed to make a Wednesday win an inevitability.

Instead Morecambe were very fortunate with their penalty. Chris Lines was sliding off the pitch and the ball colided with his arm, Wednesday had much better appeals turned down, but credit where it’s due for the clinical way the penalty was finished. This created a very nervy finished and much excitment from the ESPN commentary team who were clearly hoping for a comeback to force a replay at Hillsborough. From a Wednesday perspective, fears of a repeat of recent collapse at Carlisle were surfacing and this time it would a much higher profile humiliation.

It appeared as though the headline writers had their wish as Morecambe converted a paried shot, only to be bought down to Earth by the offside flag. That was their chance and after that Wednesday tightened the screw and finished the job.

The way in which Wednesday saw out the five minutes of stoppage time was indicative of the difference between the sides. It wasn’t so much technique or tactics as a clinical knowledge of how to win; how to control the game, force mistakes from their opponents and take opportunities. As the stoppage time went on, Wednesday passed the ball between themselves and Morecambe had no chance.

Credit should go to Megson for taking the game seriously and the manner of the performance to prevent embarrasment. Embarrasment that happened to Huddersfield at Swindon, or nearly happened to Plymouth at home to lowly Stourbridge, who will host the League Two side in a replay.

Huddersfield are approaching 50 league games unbeaten, which is a feat only matched by the likes of Brian Clough’s Forest or Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal ‘invincibles’.

It remains to be seen if the cup defeat will affact the league but a winning mentality is key at this stage of the season. A winning mentality is not maintained by opting to lose some games.

Wednesday have a home tie with lower league opposition in the next round and without being complacent, the third round is within sight. A chance to go to new grounds and a good test for the team that can only be positive. What’s more, if we build a run, build momentum and prove that we can beat higher league opposition it will build the momentum of a team that is suited to a higher league than the one they are currently in.


Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @jpowls

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