Fine Lines shines as Owls beat pussycats

Morecambe 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2

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The Independent Football

Milan Mandaric was a notable absentee as Sheffield Wednesday survived a late rally from Morecambe to book their place in the FA Cup second round at the Globe Arena.

Wednesday owner Mandaric opted to stay away from the Lancashire coast after learning 24 hours before the tie that he will stand trial next year, along with Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, for two charges of tax evasion relating to their time at Portsmouth.

At least goals by Chris Lines and Chris O'Grady offered the former Portsmouth chairman some relief as Wednesday avoided a potential shock to book a second-round date with the winners of the Maidenhead versus Aldershot replay.

"No, Milan wasn't here," said Wednesday manager Gary Megson. "I think he's gone to Slovakia or Slovenia or somewhere like that."

First-round weekend has provided few surprises and, despite a late charge by the League Two hosts, three-times winners Wednesday rarely looked like being on the end of a shock result once Lines opened the scoring with a clinical 18th-minute finish after exchanging passes with O'Grady.

Morecambe improved after the interval, Laurence Wilson shaving the bar from distance, before Wednesday doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute when O'Grady headed home James O'Connor's cross. That should have been it, but 10 minutes later goalscorer Lines handled inside his own area to allow Wilson to score from the penalty spot and set up a grandstand finish.

Wednesday keeper Richard O'Donnell produced a fine save to deny Gary McDonald but Megson's side emerged worthy winners despite substitute Phil Jevons going close to earning a replay in the dying stages.

"The cameras were here for one reason and one reason only, to see if there was going to be a shock," added Megson. "We had everything to lose but we've got the job done and gone through."

Jim Bentley, Megson's opposite number, admitted his side failed to do themselves justice for two-thirds of the game. "I don't think we were good enough for the first 60 minutes," said the Morecambe manager.

Morecambe (4-5-1): Roche; Parrish (Haining 58), Fenton, McCready, Wilson; Reid (Alessandra 80), Hunter (Jevons 58), Drummond, McDonald, Ellison; Carlton. Substitutes (not used): Routledge, Fleming, Charnock, Price.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): O'Donnell; Buxton, Batth, J Johnson (Sedgwick 69), Bennett; O'Connor, Semedo, Lines, R Johnson; O'Grady, Madine. Substitutes (not used): Jameson, Prutton, Reynolds, Morrison, Cokes, Lowe.

Man of the match: Lines.

Referee: D Webb (Co Durham).