GOALS from Jean Beausejour and Obafemi Martins have given Sheffield Wednesday a mountain to climb in the FA Cup fifth round against Birmingham City, writes Ian Appleyard
Goals from Jean Beausejour, Obafemi Martins, and David Murphy gave the the Blues a 3-0 victory - and that was without the eight first team regulars who had not been risked ahead of next week’s Carling Cup final against Arsenal.
The Owls were simply unable to cope with the pace and power of the Premier League side and the quality of their defending was a major concern.
Birmingham took the lead after just five minutes when Beausejour was left unmarked to turn home a Lee Bowyer cross from 10 yards.
Martins made it 2-0 after 18 minutes after a mistake by Owls defender Michael Morrison allowed him a clear run on goal.
Owls manager Gary Megson has hauled off defender Mark Reynolds and sent on substitute Richard Hinds in a bid to stem the tide. He also removed Michael Morrison and James O’Connor at the interval.
Neil Mellor and Michael Morrison had spurned Wednesday’s only two goalscoring opportunities in the first half although both efforts were blocked well by Birmingham defenders.
Once Murphy increased the lead to 3-0 after 53 minutes, it was all over as a contest.
Murph rammed the ball into the roof of the net after Owls goalkeeper Nicky Weaver failed to hold a cross at a corner under pressure from Lee Bowyer.
Owls boss Gary Megson was livid with the standard of his side’s defending.
He said: “It was terrific for us for the first six minutes and yet again, each time the opposition have their first attack they score from it.
“Woeful doesn’t describe it adequately, the simplicity of the goals against us.
“It shouldn’t happen like that. If someone scores a world-class goal against you, or a lucky one, there is not a huge amount you can do.
“But the first goal is an awful one to give away. It starts on the halfway line and is a ball we should clear and be a lot stronger with.
“Next time we are touching the ball, it is in the back of the net. The second goal is even worse.”