Owls Under-23s: Sheffield Wednesday 4 Birmingham City 1
Matt Penney and Preslav Borukov shined as Sheffield Wednesday's Under-23 thumped Birmingham City 4-1 at Hillsborough today.
Left-sided player Penney bagged a brace either side of half-time in a comprehensive Owls win, with Daniel Pudil and Borukov also registering. Kyle McFarlane scored from the spot to bag a late consolation for the Blues.
Watched on by head coach Carlos Carvalhal, first team trio Pudil, Jacob Butterfield and Marco Matias all featured. Pudil has made nine appearances this season but not been given a run-out since Cardiff City last month. Loan midfielder Butterfield will be unavailable for Wednesday against his parent club Derby County this Saturday. Matias has played twice in their EFL cup ties with Chesterfield and Bolton Wanderers.
It took only Wednesday four minutes to break the deadlock, with Penney's corner flying over Jacob Weaver's header.Presklav Borukov was a real livewire for the Owls in attack and he fed Penney, who surged forward at pace before seeing a fierce low drive tipped away by Weaver.Birmingham could have equalised in the 11th minute but Josh Martin steered his free header from Corey O'Keeffe's corner over.Matias, stationed on the left flank, blazed over when well-placed while Cameron Dawson made a smart stop at the other end to deny Charlie Lakin.Penney impressed on the right for the hosts and he slipped in Borukov, who turned sharply before drilling a rasping shot into the side-netting. James Murphy, playing alongside Butterfield in the middle of the park, spotted Weaver off his line and tried an ambitious chip from distance which flashed narrowly wide.Borukov continued to lead the line intelligently. He raced on to Freddie Nielsen's pass, shrugging off the attentions of Martin, before fizzing the ball across the face of goal but it eluded his strike partner Warren Clarke.On the stroke of half-time, Wednesday came close to doubling their advantage. A fine crossfield pass by Butterfield sent Ash Baker in the clear but the full-back's cross was superbly cleared away by Martin.Weaver then pulled off a stunning save to keep out Borukov's header after more good work by Penney.
The three overaged players were instrumental in the Owls' second goal in the 55th minute. Butterfield's superb raking pass was flicked on by Matias into the path of Pudil and he rifled a ferocious left foot drive past Weaver.
Penney'w set pieces caused Birmingham's defence all sorts of problems throughout and Steve Seddon had to be alert to clear Pudil's glancing header off the line.Pudil and Matias were taken off just after the hour mark.Things got even better for Wednesday when Penney notched his second from the penalty spot after he had been shoved to the ground by Beryly Lubala.Blues substitute Wes McDonald teed up O'Keeffe but fired wide when he should have at least hit the target.Bulgarian Under-19 international Borukov deservedly got on the score-sheet in the 80th minute. After jinking his way past his marker on half-way, the striker glided forward and held his nerve to calmly slot home into the bottom corner.
But Birmingham pulled one back late on from the penalty spot after Liam Williams was harshly penalised for bringing down O'Keeffe. McFarlane made no mistake from 12 yards.
Owls: Dawson; Baker, Nielsen, Williams, Pudil (Waldock 61); Matias (Prestkon 61), Murphy, Butterfield, Penney; Borukov (Kirby 84), Clarke. Substitutes: Wallis, Shaw.Birmingham: Weaver; Hutton, Redmond, Martin, Seddon, Boyd-Munce, Lubala, O'Keefe, Brock-Madsen, Lakin, McFarlane. Substitutes: McDonald, Siviter, Hale, Mulders, Anderson.