Report: Ilkeston FC 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal issues his instructions
Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal issues his instructions
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It was mission accomplished for Sheffield Wednesday as they secured their first pre-season victory.

Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal continued his policy of experimenting in the warm-up matches, using 23 players, including six of his seven new summer signings.

Claude Dielna finds the going tough at Ilkeston last night

Claude Dielna finds the going tough at Ilkeston last night

Lewis Price, making his first appearance since arriving on a free transfer following his release by Crystal Palace, was never seriously called into action but his handling was excellent and he commanded his area with authority.

Ross Wallace impressed, adding extra trickery and class in the final third and Marco Matias grabbed his first goal since his big-money move from Nacional.

It proved to be a good work out against an Ilkeston side who are one of the few full-time sides in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

What will have encouraged Carvalhal is the way Wednesday dominated possession and dictated the tempo of the friendly. But the Portuguese will be acutely aware there are plenty of things for them to work on as they prepare for their Championship curtain-raiser against Bristol City on August 8.

Carvalhal said: “It was better than the last match against Alfreton and we showed a good attitude. We made a lot of mistakes in the first match.

“We are trying to create a winning team. I’m very happy we corrected some of our mistakes.”

The visitors made all the early running, with Sam Hutchinson’s fierce effort from distance testing the reflexes of Evandro Rachoni.

As an attacking force, Ilkeston struggled to string anything together as Wednesday monopolised possession.

Ryan Meadows, one of the big plusses from Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Alfreton Town, exchanged passes with Nuhiu before forcing Rachoni into a fine low stop.

Moments later, the Owls were forced into making a change as May was forced off with an injury, handing Ryan Croasdale another opportunity to impress.

Wednesday arguably looked most threatening from set-pieces. Sasso came close to opening the scoring six minutes before the interval following a dangerous corner by Sam Hutchinson. The French defender, on a season long-loan deal from Braga, saw his attempt hacked off the line by Luke Shaw.

Apart from stand-in skipper Tom Lees, Owls fielded an entirely different eleven in the second period and it took them only five minutes to find a hole in Ilkeston’s well organised rearguard, Matias tapping home from close range after good play by Wallace on the left flank.

Wallace added some much-needed invention in the final third and was unlucky not to get on the score-sheet just before the hour mark when his 25-yard curler was acrobatically tipped over by Rachoni.

With five minutes left, Ilkeston were indebted again to Rachoni when he pushed away Croasdale’s stinging right foot drive.

“I think the fans are enjoying the football we are playing,” added Carvalhal. “But we have got a long way to go and be 100% ready for the season.”