Blackpool 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2
In a feisty match of six bookings, the deadlock was broken on 71 minutes against the run of play after a double substitution appeared to put new life into listless Blackpool.
Tom Soares got on the end of a Michael Gray cross and his shot from 15 yards took a deflection and curled over a stranded Paul Rachubka.
Blackpool tried hard to get back into the game but they were guilty of poor finishing and over-elaboration.
When they did get the chances on goal, Wednesday keeper Lee Grant was on top form with one particular point-blank save from Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
Wednesday sealed their win on 83 minutes when Marcus Tudgay got in a cross which Leon Clarke headed backwards over Rachubka, who was caught in no man's land.
Blackpool scored in second-half injury-time when Scotland international Charlie Adam produced a magnificent solo effort for his 11 goal of the season, but it was all too little, too late for Ian Holloway's side.
The Seasiders had dominated much of the first half and should have scored on six minutes when defender Alex John-Baptiste had a shot from his side's first corner blocked on the line by Darren Purse.
Four minutes later, Adam created a lovely opportunity for Daniel Nardiello but he headed wide. That was quickly followed by defender Ian Evatt hitting the post.
Irvine's side showed great character to weather the storm and the loss of Jermaine Johnson on 24 minutes with a hamstring pull after he had twice broken clear and sent shots flashing just wide.