Owls development squad: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Birmingham City 0

Club captain Glenn Loovens made his long-awaited Owls comeback as Wednesday's development squad cruised to a 2-0 success over Birmingham City today.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 26th August 2016, 3:54 pm
Updated Friday, 26th August 2016, 4:59 pm

The Dutchman, fit-again following ankle surgery, got over an hour under his belt at Hillsborough. It was Loovens first outing since the Championship Play-Off final last May.

It proved to be a winning return for Loovens, with Claude Dielna and Warren Clarke registering either side of the interval to seal Wednesday's second successive home win.

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The hosts made most of the early running and it took a smart stop by Connal Trueman to foil trialist Reise Allassani after a clever reverse pass by Sergiu Bus.

Moments later, Warren Clarke turned sharply before unleashing a fierce shot which was brilliantly headed away from near the goalline by Josh Cogley as Wednesday continued to ask questions of Birmingham's backline.

Neil Thompson's side deservedly broke the deadlock in the 15th minute, Dielna curling an unstoppable 25-yard free kick past Trueman after Cogley had upended the lively Jack Stobbs.

Bus, who has been told he is free to leave Wednesday, could have doubled their lead after a defensive mistake by Cogley but Tureman stood up tall to deny him.

Owls trialist Reise Allansani

Aside from two ambitious long range shots by Noe Baba and Beryly Lubala, Birmingham created little as an attacking force.

Just before the interval, Sean Clare released Stobbs, who cut inside on to his weaker left foot and saw his low strike well saved by Trueman.

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The Blues came close to levelling things up on the stroke of half-time when Wes McDonald flashed a shot from distance wide.

Promising youngster Clarke stretched the Owls' lead in the 56th minute, rifling a left effort into the top corner after great build-up play involving Bus and Clare.

Owls trialist Reise Allansani

Bus led the line intelligently throughout and he freed Jon Centeno and the winger jinked inside only to be denied by the agility of Trueman.

Clarke's strike briefly jolted Birmingham into life and Cameron Dawson, who recently enjoyed a loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, produced an acrobatic stop to turn away George O'Neill's rasping shot.

Blues substitute O'Neill added an extra dimension to their front line and he was desperately unlucky not to reduce their arrears in the 74th minute, rattling the woodwork with a stunning free-kick.

To compound their woes, Daniel Cleary saw red in the closing stages after allegedly kicking out at Bus off the ball.

But Wednesday comfortably held on to claim their second victory in three matches.

Wednesday: Dawson; Percival, Loovens (O’Grady 63), Dielna (Lee 83), Penney; Stobbs, Murphy, Clarke; Bus, Allansani (Centeno 35). Substitutes: Wallis, Rodney.