Steel City derby match report: Sheffield Wednesday U23s 1 Sheffield United U23s 3
Talented forward Jordan Hallam played a key role in Sheffield United U23's deserved 3-1 win over local rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Hallam was an influential figure throughout at Hillsborough, creating two of the Blades' three first half goals as Travis Binnion's men claimed the Steel City bragging rights.
Midfield playmaker Paul Coutts, who completed the full 90 minutes as he continues his comeback from injury, registered from the penalty spot before Hallam set up Oliver Greaves' and Martin Cranie's goals.
United's 18 minute blitz left Wednesday with too much to do, despite a smart finish by Liam Waldock.
Other than David Jones, the hosts fielded a youthful team. Only Connor O'Grady, Jack Lee and Jack Stobbs had also previously tasted first-team football.
Nonetheless, it was the Owls, lining up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, who made all the early running. Liam Waldock fired a shot well wide from just outside the penalty after United only partially cleared a Jack Stobbs corner.
Joe West's lovely crossfield pass put Stobbs in the clear in the 10th minute but his tame shot was comfortably saved by Jake Eastwood.
Moments later, Preslav Borukov cut inside from the left and unleashed a fierce right foot drive which was turned behind by Eastwood.
Against the run of play, the Blades went ahead from the penalty spot after Joe West brought down the lively Harry Sheppeard. It was a definite spot-kick and Coutts, United's captain, made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Cameron McCulloch the wrong way.
From that moment on, United took over. Their greater experience and physicality came to the fore and they doubled their advantage in the 23rd minute, Greaves rifling home from 10 yards following a mazy run by Jordan Hallam.
A strong United team continued to dominate and were ruthless in front of goal.
So it was no surprise when Cranie added a third, rising highest to nod home Hallam's corner.
Waldock was neat and tidy on the ball and he gave the hosts a lifeline two minutes before half-time, calmly steering the ball past Eastwood after racing on to Stobbs' neat pass.
It took an outstanding stop from McCulloch to prevent Hallam from restoring United's three-goal cushion just after the restart. McCulloch dived down low to his left to push away Hallam's rasping shot.
Wednesday enjoyed a good spell of pressure, with Borukov testing the reflexes of Eastwood before Connor O'Grady's header from Jones' corner was cleared off the line by Daniel Lafferty.
United hit back immediately and McCulloch could only parry Reece York's effort into the path of Sheppeard, who headed wide from an acute angle.
Ben Hughes headed wide in the closing stages following an inviting delivery by Stobbs but it was the red half of the city who were celebrating at the end.