The 38-goal frontman, who put four past the Owls in that memorable December draw at Hillsborough, had just one decent opportunity, and when it arrived in the 82nd minute courtesy of substitute Gary Roberts’ cross, his header was comfortably held.
With Alan Lee getting little change out of centre-halves Llera and Batth, who is on loan from Wolves, Danny Ward was Town’s most dangerous attacker.
And it would certainly have been a different game had the former Bolton man’s angled 34th-minute effort from Rhodes’ flick-on gone in rather than narrowly wide.
That made it one escape apiece after Smithies tipped Madine’s header from Antonio’s long throw onto the top of the bar in the second minute.
Town had a string of corners around the quarter-hour mark, but couldn’t take advantage, while Llera served warning of his set-piece prowess when he drilled one just wide after another soft award of a free-kick for Peter Clarke’s foul on Madine.
Ward shot just over from another free-kick, this time for a 44th-minute challenge by Batth on Lee which brought the offender a booking, while Antony Kay came close with a header just before Llera’s curled opener.
But it wasn’t to be for Town, who would have been two down earlier were had it not been for the reactions of Smithies and profligacy of Antonio.
Town’s keeper made a great double save to thwart first Antonio, then Ranger in the 62nd minute.
Then when Ranger, played in by Chris Line’s smart through ball, hit the bar in the 67th minute, the well-placed Antonio blazed the rebound wide.
The ever-willing Lee Novak had a 65th-minute volley saved by Bywater, who then held substitute Danny Cadamarteri’s shot on the turn in the 88th minute, but Wednesday were good value for their win.
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