Rangers fans brought Scottish fervour to Hillsborough last night and refused to be subdued by their team’s first defeat in six pre-season games.
Almost 5,000 away fans kept up an incredible barrage of noise even though Wednesday gave a sound performance and won 1-0 with an early goal from Michail Antonio.
PHOTO GALLERY: See our photographs from this match - click on the link marked Photos: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Rangers 0
Owls fans in a crowd of more than 16,000 enjoyed themselves too on an occasion that was no ordinary friendly.
Boisterous Rangers fans could be seen in the streets and outside pubs in the Hillsborough area and city centre long before the game.
A nd inside the ground the atmosphere became more like that of a cup-tie, with away fans filling the upper and lower West Stand and making themselves heard.
They were also allowed to stretch flags across seats in the empty north-west corner, plus a big one in the middle of the near-empty North Stand.
Blue and red smoke arose from the away end as the teams were read out - and some boos greeted the announcement of ex-Rangers midfield player Rhys McCabe in the Wednesday side, on his 21st birthday
Owls fans, who were in the Kop and the South Stand, added their voices to the din and were almost cheering a goal inside two minutes, with Gary Madine missing the target with headers in front of the Kop.
The crosses came from Joe Mattock and Michail Antonio, who was on the right wing as Jermaine Johnson partnered Madine up front.
Antonio struck in the 12th minute and became the first man to score against Rangers in their first six friendlies.
A Mattock right-side corner was helped on at the near post; Antonio mis-hit his shot downwards, the ball bounced up, then dipped and clipped the underside of the bar on its way to the net.
Wednesday defended soundly against whatever balls were played into their box in the first half,.
Trialist centre half Kamil Zayatte looked strong and capable on the right side of captain Martin Taylor.
Rangers tried to make progress patiently, but Wednesday threatened through the pace of Jeremy Helan, Johnson and Antonio.
It was an incisive move when Liam Palmer, again looking assured at right back, found the overlapping Antonio and his low cross was kept away from Madine at the near post by fine defending from Rangers right back Sebastian Faure.
Chris Kirkland was replaced by Adam Davies in only the 31st minute for a reason that was not obvious.
There seemed to be mutual respect and no antagonism between the rival sets of fans.
A banner saying ‘drummer Lee Rigby - lest we forget’ was passed from the away end to Owls fans who were at the bottom corner of the South Stand.
The tribute to the murdered soldier was also applauded when it was paraded around the pitch at half time.
Antonio was looking for first blood in the second half with a powerful shot to the near post that was held by Gallacher in the 55th minute.
By then Antonio had been switched to the left, with Helan taken off and Chris Maguire coming on to the right flank.
When ex-Sheffield United and Millers midfielder Nicky |Law dragged the ball across goal from a narow angle, it was Rangers’ first half-chance of the game.
Law set up striker Andrew Little for a better opportunity but Davies caught the ball cleanly.
Little also turned cleverly past Taylor and fired a good chance wide.
Madine volleyed a difficult opening over the bar from a fiercely struck ball by Maguire.
Again Rangers should have scored: unmarked sub Nicky Clark shot wide.
Paul Corry’s introduction on the left side of the Owls midfield meant Johnson going off and Antonio switching back up front.
A fine long-range strike by Lewis Macleod was beaten away by Davies and Bilel Mohsni missed from close range from the rebound but was offside anyway.
Probably no-one would have begrudged Rangers a draw - and their fans certainly made a big impression - not least with a big chorus of God Save the Queen which was applauded by home supporters near the end
And applause for the players came from all areas of the ground after the final whistle.