Cardiff spirit a must for Hull of a job tomorrow

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WHILE some clubs have been enjoying a bit of cup glamour, some light relief may seem a long way off to Wednesday fans.

A league trip to title-chasing Hull and an FA Cup trek to MK Dons are not the most appealing of fixtures, I must admit.

It got me to wondering when Wednesday last won at Hull and when they last won a replay in the world’s best domestic knockout competition.

The answers are:

1. They won at the KC Stadium in the penultimate game of the 2004-05 season - a result that clinched their place in the play-offs.

2. After a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough against Wolves in January, 2000, it was a 0-0 draw at Molineux in the FA Cup fourth round and progress thanks to a 4-3 victory on penalties (scorers Andy Hinchcliffe, Wim Jonk, Gerald Sibon and Simon Donnelly.

Some would argue that even this wasn’t a proper win, as the issue was settled by a shoot-out.

There haven’t been too many FA Cup replays for the club over the years, so next week’s will be something of a novelty.

A draw against the Dons did not surprise me - nor would a Wednesday win next Tuesday, because you know what can happen in this competition when people write off a team - as some may be tempted to do after the Owls were shut out at Hillsborough by Karl Robinson’s team last Saturday.

And who is going to give Wednesday much chance at Hull? It’s second against 22nd, big spenders against the frugal.

Well, the Owls were 10 minutes away from getting something at Cardiff in December when the present leaders had been the hottest of favourites.

Wednesday frustrated the Bluebirds through effort and commitment and made one of the best chances of the game.

They are going to have give something of a repeat performance tomorrow to stand much chance of a reward.

Their capacity for nullifying the opposition is less of a concern these days. But their shortage of goals is the biggest worry.

There was no lack of them shortage in the reserve game at Middlewood on Tuesday, a 6-2 win against Rotherham. It was a world away from the intense spotlight that falls on the first team.

The presence of various scouts and officials from other clubs - including MK Dons assistant manager Mick Harford - was down to the fact that Wednesday sent around a circular about the game, no doubt so that certain players would be in the shop window.

It was entertaining, far more so than some recent first-team games

Jermaine Johnson sliced through the defence for one of his two goals; Chris Lines slotted his into the bottom corner with confidence; Chris Maguire followed up a colleague’s shot (from Lines), to poach his first, and expertly took his second after coolly rounding the keeper.

Young Harry Grant, the nephew of Martin Allen, joined in with a precise finish into the bottom corner.

It course it is a different matter trying to score against Championship defenders amid the general standards and pressures of that level.