Though no one could blame the Olive Grove faithful to be somewhat optimistic, they had in the previous week lost out in a ferocious battle 3-2 to Sheffield United and were just about to hand a first team debut to Massey; a keeper who was considered unreliable and had never before played at a professional level.
Villa fielded the same side that hammered Liverpool 5-0 at Wilson Road whilst Wednesday’s only change was in goal with Massey replacing Allen. The home side lost the toss of the coin and were forced to play against the wind in the first-half.
The visitors started the game off brightly, attacking instantly, though Jamieson was on hand to intervene and another dash from Dorrell saw him smash over the bar. After being rewarded with a free-kick Chatt drove down the middle only to release Dorrell who found an offside flag waved in his direction as he shot towards goal.
Wednesday handed themselves a great opportunity to get into the game; Crawshaw did some excellent work, and via a beautiful pass and let Brady through who shot wide at the angle. At the other end Davis worked hard whilst Weltford was able to head away.
Wiles were forced make a fantastic save in the top corner of his goal after Brandon got on the end of a header whilst Athersmith fired wide for the visitors.
Dennis Hodgetts made a real mess of a glorious chance close in on goal and Dorrell made an hash of his chance, firing wide. At this point it was the Birmingham team that were doing all the attacking with Massey as fire practice.
Athersmith then took the game into his own hands and fired a shot in which the Sheffield Telegraph and Star could only describe as ‘for a Rugby one’ and shot at least 12 yards over the bar from in front of goal.
The home crowed were becoming restless and could sense a Villa goal coming soon, however in one quick swoop the Wednesdayites were cheering them on when Spiksley got hold of the ball, only to see his shot narrowly miss the goal.
Villa were awarded a free-kick just outside the box when Crawshaw hacked down the opposition, Russell flew the kick over the bar. The ball was pumped up front but the ever dependable Earp was on hand to clear.
But, back came the opposition front line with the determination to score; a appeal for a penalty against the Wednesday defence was waved away by referee Mr. Ormerod, though the Manchester official ruled a free-kick to be given. The Owls drove the Villans back again after that poorly taken free-kick.
Brandon and Langley combined only both miss kicked the ball with the wind proving costly for the home side. A Villa corner was cleared and in a rare moment Fred Spiksley slipped through the defence – showboating through three all at once. He ploughed in a clever centre to Weltford who cleared away from danger.
Chatt was then penalised for tripping where Wednesday gained some relief but back came the Villa, Athersmith got forward and found the goal at his own mercy - and with no one around him except the worried Massey. Thankfully Athersmith scuffed his shot; which was met with a great cheer from the crowed.
Massey then cleared twice with the Villa swarmed around him though was forced to give away a corner on the second clearance when Dorrell shot over the bar from the resulting corner.
The Villa then should have fallen, Wilkes rushed out of goal, he made a bad mistake with Brash swinging the ball into the box – and with Spiksley free he somehow skied it over the bar. At the other end Dorrell was only a yard away from scoring with the play coming quick and fast.
Right up to half-time it was the visitors who were enjoying the play, though would have been very disappointed not to see them in front after missing a hat full of chances.
Sheffield Wednesday: Massey, Jack Earp, Ambrose Langley, Harry Brandon, Percy Crawshaw, Jamieson, Brash, Bob Farrier, Davis, Brady, Fred Spiksley.
Aston Villa: Wilkes, Spencer, Welford, Reynolds, Cowan, Russell, Smith, Athersmith, Chatt, Dennis Hodgetts, Dorrell.
Referee: Mr. S. Omerod (Manchester)