Sheffield Wednesday: On-song Fraser Preston shines as Owls kids edge derby

Sean Clare
Sean Clare
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It has been an unforgettable month for Owls teenager Fraser Preston.

Buoyed after penning his maiden pro contract, the 17-year-old continued his impressive form on the pitch yesterday.

Fraser Preston

Fraser Preston

Preston, contracted to the Championship outfit until June 2019, found the back of the net for the second time in the last three Wednesday Under-23 matches to help them edge past high-flying Huddersfield Town.

The winger, a second year scholar, drilled a low shot past George Dorrington after being fed by striker Devante Rodney, who never gave the Terriers defence a moment’s peace.

Development squad boss Neil Thompson told The Star: “It was a nice finish by Fraser. He is a talented boy and done smashing this year.

“He got himself really fit in pre-season, did very well for the Under-18s and performed well whenever he has been called upon by the U23s.

“Fraser has played a lot of 18s football but came up trumps for us against Huddersfield.”

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The final scoreline could have been very different had the Terriers taken their opportunities in a one-sided first half at Sheffield FC’s Coach and Horses Stadium. Dan Wallis excelled in between the sticks, producing two stunning saves to deny Jack Boyle and Dominic Tear. He also denied winger Lewis O’Brien and striker Rekeil Pyke.

“Dan made two or three good saves which kept us in it,” admitted Thompson. “We knew it was going to be a battle and a scrap.

“Huddersfield had the better of the first half and we didn’t really get close to them and put them under pressure. We sat off them for whatever reason.

“We had a little chat with them at half-time over what we needed to do. I told them to get closer and go and compete. When they are playing around with it in their half, I wanted them to go and put them under pressure and that’s what we did.

“We got closer to them in the second half and looked more dangerous. We had a lot more chances and got our goal.

“We had good bits of play where if we had made the right choices we might have scored two or three more goals.”

There were plenty of positives for Thompson’s side, with the result stretching their unbeaten run to three matches.

Connor O’Grady, who stood out in the first-team’s EFL Cup loss to Cambridge United last August, was a tower of strength at the back. He barely put a foot wrong alongside Jordan Thorniley at centre-back.

Preston grew in confidence and looked more threatening after his goal and Rodney pressed and harried Huddersfield’s backline into submission.

*Owls: Wallis; Centeno (Murphy 61), O’Grady, Thorniley, Penney; Stobbs, Kirby, Clare, Preston; Clarke, Rodney (Lonchar 75). Substitutes: Walker, Hayford, Lee.