Sheffield Wednesday match report: Doncaster Rovers 1 Owls 2

Sam Winnall opened the scoring for Wednesday
Sam Winnall opened the scoring for Wednesday
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Strikes either side of half-time by strikers Sam Winnall and Gary Hooper ensured Sheffield Wednesday recorded a hard-fought 2-1 victory over neighbours Doncaster Rovers.

Former Barnsley man Winnall put the Owls ahead in a one-sided first half, claiming his first goal of their pre-season programme.

But Rovers soaked up the pressure and hit back courtesy of Liam Mandeville.

However, Hooper ensured Wednesday picked up the local bragging rights and stretched their unbeaten run in pre-season to six matches.

The Owls fielded a strong side for their penultimate friendly. Keiren Westwood was passed fit to play, having shrugged off a knee problem he sustained in their pre-season training camp in Portugal last week.

Sam Hutchinson partnered Almen Abdi in the middle of park, with Ross Wallace and Fernando Forestieri deployed on the wings. Sam Winnall and Steven Fletcher were given the nods up front.

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There was no place in the matchday squad for Kieran Lee (hip) but captain Glenn Loovens was included on the bench after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Nearly 4,000 Owls fans made the short trip to the Keepmoat Stadium and they will have been impressed by how the Owls dominated early on.

Forestieri was a constant nuisance on the left and his speculative long range strike was comfortably kept out by Marko Marosi.

Fletcher's lob flashed narrowly over before Tom Lees saw his header cleared off the line by Tommy Rowe following great wing play by Ross Wallace.

Liam Mandeville made it 1-1 for Rovers

Liam Mandeville made it 1-1 for Rovers

It was one-way traffic as Darren Ferguson's side struggled to contain their South Yorkshire counterparts.

Forestieri was proving a real creative spark for Wednesday and he fired straight at Marosi after a neat one-two between him and Wallace.

Another magical run by Forestieri led to another chance in the 14th minute. His pull-back hit Craig Alcock and Marosi parried the ball away only for Butler to head the loose ball against his own crossbar.

Wednesday's composure in the final third continued to let them down as Forestieri lost his bearings in front of goal after racing on to Fletcher's clever pass.

Morgan Fox slides in to make a tackle for Wednesday

Morgan Fox slides in to make a tackle for Wednesday

Their pressure paid off on the half hour mark when Winnall ghosted in to head in Wallace's delightful centre.

Moments later, Alcock produced a stunning clearance to cut out Liam Palmer's dangerous delivery following a raking 50 yard pass by Hutchinson.

Rovers enjoyed their best spell of pressure at the end of half, with Alcock's drive deflected over by and then Tommy Rowe flicking over from the resulting corner.

And Rovers restored parity in the 42nd minute through striker Mandeville, who nodded in Danny Andrew's peach of a cross.

Wednesday made three changes at half-time, bringing on Jack Hunt, Marco Matias and Gary Hooper.

It was Rovers who created the first meaningful opportunity after the re-start. Andrews drilled in a low free-kick which was hacked behind by Hutchinson.

The Owls lacked fluency in the early period of the second half after it too some time for them to rediscover their poise.

Atdhe Nuhiu sent Marco Matias scampering down the left and the Portuguese winger's effort was brilliantly blocked by Butler.

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But Wednesday regained the lead in the 66th minute. Hooper beat the off-side trap and raced on to Barry Bannan's superb through ball before calmly lifting the ball over Marosi and tapping home.

Loovens made his return to action, coming on in the final quarter of the contest to get some much-needed minutes under his belt.

Rovers came close to grabbing a second after the Owls only partially cleared a James Coppinger free-kick. The hosts quickly recycled possession but John Marquis, their top-scorer from last season, headed straight at Westwood when well-placed.

Wednesday finished strongly and Matias was desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. He raced on to a brilliant through ball and flicked the ball past Marosi only to see his shot come back off the post.

Lees then squared to George Boyd and the Owls' sole summer signing forced Marosi into action at his near post.

Rovers: Marosi; Blair, Alcock, Butler, Andrew; Mason, Whiteman, Rowe (Ben Kemis 63), Coppinger; Marquis, Mandeville. Substitutes: Ogley, McSheffrey, Walker, Fielding, Fletcher, Scattergood.

Owls: Westwood; Palmer (Hunt HT), Lees, Pudil (Loovens 72), Fox (Reach 57); Wallace (Boyd 72), Hutchinson (Bannan 57), Abdi (Jones 57), Forestieri (Matias HT); Winnall (Hooper HT), Fletcher (Nuhiu 61). Substitutes: Wildsmith, Murphy, Rhodes, Joao, Thorniley, Dawson.

Attendance: 7,366 (3,971)

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