TEN-MAN Rovers once more pressed the self-destruct button as they suffered their fourth defeat in five games.

Craig Conway went from hero to villain in the space of 17 mad minutes at the start of the second half.


The recalled winger opened the scoring 27 seconds after the restart before becoming the third Rovers player in as many matches to be sent off for a lunge on Alex Lopez.

Afterwards Paul Lambert, who was furious with the officials, said it was not a red card.

By the time Conway was given his marching orders high-flying Wednesday had already restored parity thanks to a fluke of an own goal by Adam Henley.

And they made the extra man count nine minutes after the moment that changed the game as Ross Wallace netted what proved to be the winner.

It rounded off a miserable and worrying day for Rovers fans which had begun with speculation over their manager’s future.

The only consolation was that the gap to the bottom three – nine points – remained the same after MK Dons were beaten by Saturday’s opponents Wolves.

Lambert made four changes to the side that started Saturday’s 2-1 derby defeat at home to Preston North End.

Three were enforced with suspension-free captain Grant Hanley taking the place of the banned Shane Duffy and Henley and Conway coming in for the injured Tommy Spurr and Tony Watt.

Matt Grimes was also preferred to Hope Akpan as Lambert switched to a 4-4-2 formation which saw Elliott Bennett join Danny Graham up front.

Despite their new look Rovers were comfortable in the opening stages against an Owls team chasing a fourth victory on the spin.

Indeed Jason Steele did not have a save of note to make until late on in an uneventful first half.

Not that his opposite number had anything to do either. However Keiren Westwood would have been forced into action had it not been for the bravery of his captain.

Former Wednesday loanee Ben Marshall made space smartly in the box before letting fly with a left-footed effort that Glenn Loovens blocked behind.

But the Owls had the opportunity to soften the ball in the 31st minute after Steele made a hash of a back pass.

The ball was eventually worked back into the area to Gary Hooper who did the hard part by turning Hanley only to see his shot on the stretch trickle into the hands of the Rovers goalkeeper.

That sparked a period of Wednesday pressure which Alex Lopez attempted to cap when he stung the hands of Steele from distance.

But they were unable to build up a head of steam against well-organised and hardworking opponents.

That said, Marshall aside, Rovers offered little going the other way before the break.

But that changed straight after half-time when Darragh Lenihan swung over a cross from the right into the box where Conway headed the ball brilliantly past Westwood into the bottom corner.

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However Rovers were pegged back in the 51st minute after referee David Webb missed a foul and a handball in an Owls attack that ended with Wallace’s cross taking a wicked deflection off Henley and looping over Steele into the net.

If that was unfortunate what followed two minutes later appeared reckless as Conway was given his marching orders for a challenge on Lopez which Webb deemed to be two-footed. Lambert later said it was not.

Just like against Preston following Duffy’s dismissal the game had been completely changed.

And Wednesday made their numerical advantage count in the 62nd minute after Marshall misjudged a long kick downfield from Westwood.

Fernando Forestieri nipped in before crossing for former Burnley midfielder Wallace to volley past the stranded Steele.

At that stage it looked like being a damage limitation job for Rovers.

But, while Daniel Pudil, Forestieri and Lucas Joao saw openings come and go, they remained in the contest.

Sensing something Lambert threw on Chris Brown and Simeon Jackson alongside Graham. 

But it was Wednesday who went closest to scoring again when one-time Rovers target Aiden McGeady cracked a long-range strike off the bar.

Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Loovens (Sasso 26), Lees, Pudil, Wallace (McGeady 77), Lee, Lopez, Joao, Forestieri (Nuhiu 79), Hooper. Subs not used: Wildsmith, Palmer, Matias, McGugan.

Booked: Lee.

Goals: Henley OG 51, Wallace 62.

Rovers: Steele, Marshall, Hanley, Ward, Henley, Conway, Lenihan (Jackson 84), Grimes, Gomez (Akpan 72), Bennett (Brown 77), Graham. Subs not used: Raya, Kilgallon, Lowe, Williamson.

Sent off: Conway 53.

Goal: Conway 46.

Referee: David Webb.

Attendance: 21,803.