Portimonense 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Adam’s super winner is simply out of Reach

Kieran Lee with fans before the match
Kieran Lee with fans before the match
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Adam Reach’s second goal in three pre-season outings ensured the Owls maintained their 100 per cent friendlies record.

The left winger’s spectacular 25th minute goal was enough to secure Wednesday’s third successive victory as they continue their preparations for the new Championship campaign.

Owls v Portimonense action in Albufeira

Owls v Portimonense action in Albufeira

Reach was the standout performer in the first half at the Estádio Municipal de Albufeira and was a constant thorn in Portimonense’s side.

“I’m happy with how I have started pre-season and I want to keep my form going,” Reach told The Star.

“Results in pre-season are not the be all and end all but they are important because it gives you confidence.”

Reach played in three different positions last season; left-back, left wing and up front. He found the back of the net on three occasions but is keen to improve his finishing.

He said: “I want to address goal-scoring this season. I know I can improve on that.

“Scoring goals in pre-season will hopefully put that mentality into me and the other guys.”

Hundreds of Wednesdayites travelled to the Algarve to cheer on the team and Carlos Carvalhal’s side almost broke the deadlock in the second minute.

Summer signing George Boyd slipped in Jack Hunt, who made a clever overlapping run, and the right-back’s fierce angled drive was pushed behind by Ricardo Ferreira.

Drifting in off the wing to link up with the attack, Reach was a real handful and forced Ferreira into a fine stop midway through the half.

Reach deservedly got on the score-sheet following a delightful move.

Morgan Fox raced forward down the left and his crisp pull back was coolly dummied by Boyd, allowing Reach to lash an unstoppable left foot shot out of Ferreira’s reach.

Portimonense, who beat the Owls 3-2 in a training ground exercise last year, looked short on ideas on the ball. Wednesday were winning the contest in the stands and on the pitch.

Indeed, Portimonense’s best spell came just before half-time when Pedro Sa’s speculative effort flew agonisingly over the top. Substitute Dener also blazed over when he should have done better.

Carvalhal rotated his forward line at the interval. The impressive Reach was withdrawn and Sam Winnall also came off, with Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper introduced. Forestieri was stationed on the left but he didn’t receive good enough service to weave his magic.

As the temperature gradually dropped in the Algarve, so did the quality on show.

Primeira Liga new boys Portimonense should have equalised in the 63rd minute when Bruno Tabata was put clean through by a smart Fabricio pass but the forward’s composure deserted him at the vital moment and he side-footed off target.

Wednesday carried less of an attacking threat following a raft of second half substitutions but could still have extended their advantage courtesy of Forestieri. He dragged wide from near the edge of the ‘d’ before Hooper was denied a sight at goal.

In the dying embers of the match, Manafa wasted a glorious chance to rescue a draw for Portimonense. The attacking midfielder glided through the heart of Wednesday’s rearguard but sent his shot into the side-netting.

It was the final act of hard-fought friendly.

Reach said: “The mood is good in the camp.

“We have only brought in George and he has settled in really well. The rest of the lads were here last season so the team spirit and togetherness is high.

“We look forward to battling it out to get into the starting eleven come the first game of the season.

“I’m sure there will be one or two additions to the squad but we know what the manager does. He brings in players who have a good mentality and a good attitude who will fit into the squad well.

“We are all just raring to go and looking to the first game of the season.”

Owls: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Pudil, Fox; Boyd (Wallace 67), Bannan (Abdi 67), Jones (Hutchinson 67), Reach (Forestieri HT); Winnall (Hooper HT), Rhodes (Nuhiu 75). Substitutes: Wildsmith, Dawson, Fletcher, Palmer, Joao, Matias, Murphy, Thorniley, O’Grady.