U21 Derby: Lavery on target as Wednesday's youngsters claim derby spoils against the Blades

Caolan Lavery
Caolan Lavery
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Striker Caolan Lavery scored and missed a penalty as Sheffield Wednesday's U21s beat their Sheffield United counterparts in a mini-Steel City derby at Hillsborough this afternoon.

Lavery, who impressed on loan at Portsmouth earlier this season, opened the scoring with a header from Elliott Percival's exquisite cross. And after Jack Stobbs had put Wednesday 2-0 ahead with an assured finish, Lavery missed the chance to make it three when his penalty went well wide of George Willis' goal.

Wednesday, fielding Cameron Dawson in goal, started brightly and the visitors - who included trialists Daniel Akinwumni, a right-back from Reading, and Leicester centre-half Connor Anderson - struggled to establish a foothold in the game. The bright David Brooks had an early chance for United but with Alex O'Hanlon looking lively, Wednesday started to threaten.

Stobbs flashed a free-kick into the side-netting after Louis Reed had fouled Lavery, and Nathan Lowe drilled a shot wide of Willis' post. And the pressure told after just 18 minutes when Wednesday went ahead, Percival delivering from deep and Lavery heading home unmarked.

United looked to hit back immediately and almost levelled when Joel Coustrain's effort hit the crossbar, and Diego De Girolamo's follow up effort was disallowed for a foul on Dawson.

Dawson then made a good save to deny Jamie McDonagh, but it was Wednesday who went further ahead when Stobbs finished well, first-time, from O'Hanlon's cross after Akinwumni had been caught in possession.

Fellow trialist Anderson was replaced at half time, by Julian Banton, and the substitute was penalised for the softest of penalties on Lavery minutes into the second half. The Northern ireland youth international picked himself up to take the spot kick, but put it wide as Willis dived the wrong way.

Wednesday's Connor O'Grady was booked for a foul on McDonagh, and Lavery poked wide after Dawson's long kick caught out the United defence. At the other end, Reed hit the post with a driving shot, Terry Kennedy left the field with an injury and highly-rated youngster Regan Slater replaced injured substitute Stephen Mallon, but United couldn't get back in the game and Wednesday held on to claim derby-day honours.

Wednesday: Dawson, Percival (Penney, 75), Clarke, Lowe, O'Grady, Thorniley, Stobbs, Croasdale, Lavery, O'Hanlon, Centeno. Subs not used: B McDonagh, Hirst, Lee, Kirby.

United: Willis, Akinwumni, Kelly, Reed, Anderson (Banton, 45), Kennedy, McDonagh, Brooks, Cockerline, De Girolamo, Coustrain (Mallon, 49, Slater 70). Subs not used: Ramsdale, Gilmour.

* Before kick-off, both captains laid floral tributes in memory of Brenda Smith, mother of former United Academy coach and Owls favourite Mark, who recently passed away after a long illness. Brenda was a popular figure at the SteelPhalt Academy at Shirecliffe and a familiar face in the kitchen area, despite making no secret of her allegiances to the blue and white half of the city known. Both teams also wore black armbands as a mark of respect for the Wednesday season ticket holder with the flowers placed in her seat for the duration of the game.