Sheffield Wednesday were left to regret the last minute equaliser they conceded in the original 4th Round F.A. Cup tie at Blackpool as Ian Holloway’s side swept the Owls aside in the replay at Hillsborough.
The 3-0 score line in favour of the visitors was pretty much a fair reflection of the match as the Championship side showed why they are well positioned to challenge for an instant return to the Premier League.
It may well have been a different game altogether had Ryan Lowe taken a very presentable opportunity for the home side early on but his weak effort was swiftly punished by goals from Matt Phillips and Lomana LuaLua.
Wednesday almost found a route back into the game before half-time when Rob Jones saw his close-range header well saved but the visitors were well deserving of their lead and the result was rubber stamped when Ludovic Sylvestre curled in the third before the hour mark.
Gary Megson had made a host of changes to his starting line-up with the busy league campaign understandably taking priority and the gulf in class was evident but the most disappointing element was the perceived lack of impetuous or endeavour on show from the home side.
With Reda Johnson now set to serve a 2-match ban as a result of his 10th booking of the season only Stephen Bywater and Danny Batth of the starting 11 against Blackpool can be assured of a starting place against Exeter on Saturday and none of the others did enough to suggest they warrant consideration. Batth and Bywater didn’t have their best games in the Wednesday colours either but the likes of Chris Lines, Liam Palmer and even Ryan Lowe did nothing that is likely to convince Megson that they are deposing the rested regulars from their 1st-team places.
It would be little to surprise if 8 or more of the team that started against Blackpool don’t make the first 11 at the weekend.