Owls bounce back: Match Review

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Two first-half goals from on-loan striker Luke Varney ensured Sheffield Wednesday bounced back from their midweek defeat with a 2-1 win over fellow Coca-Cola Championship strugglers Plymouth.

It was a fourth victory from five for new Owls boss Alan Irvine, but for his counterpart Paul Mariner it was a sorry return to type despite his side taking the lead through Rory Fallon.

After 24 minutes of limited goalmouth action, aside from hopeful efforts from Fallon and Jamie Mackie, the game finally came to life with two goals in the space of 60 seconds from Fallon and Varney.

Varney then wrapped up the win for the home side, who lost at Scunthorpe on Wednesday, with his sixth goal of the season.

It was the visitors, buoyed by their midweek win over Derby, who struck first via an Alan Judge corner whipped in from the left.

Wednesday boss Irvine will have been dismayed to see Argyle's main target man Fallon left virtually unmarked inside the six-yard box, and the New Zealand international made the most of the freedom to nod home a low header past the stationary Lee Grant in goal.

But the joy of the visiting faithful was short-lived as Wednesday hit back immediately, much to the joy of the lion's share of 22,590 at Hillsborough.

Left-back Tommy Spurr flung a throw-in down the touchline, Marcus Tudgay won the flick-on and Varney, making his first start since re-joining the Owls from Derby on loan, was suddenly free behind Plymouth's backline and poked the ball home for the equaliser and his fifth league goal of the campaign.

And, after a further 20 minutes of lacklustre football, Irvine's men netted what proved to be the winner in a similar fashion shortly before the half-time break.

Again, the Owls attacked down the left and the same three players were involved as Spurr this time kicked a hopeful ball down the line towards Tudgay.

The industrious striker reached the ball ahead of Karl Arnason to win the header, which Varney was first to react to.

The simple play was apparently too much for Plymouth's defence, who were caught on the back foot, leaving the on-loan striker a free run at goal from wide and he duly slotted a low shot past David Stockdale and in at the keeper's far post.

After the break, Plymouth pushed for an equaliser themselves but failed to create too many clear-cut openings, despite some very sloppy play from their hosts.

The lively Mackie offered the visitors' most notable threat but, aside from a couple of blocked efforts midway through the second half, neither he nor his team-mates looked likely to snatch a share of the points.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Rory Fallon
Sheffield Wednesday
Tommy Spurr
Lee Grant
Alan Judge
Scunthorpe United
David Stockdale
Derby County
Jamie Mackie
Luke Varney
Plymouth Argyle
Marcus Tudgay

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