All about combinations – Sheffield Wednesday made to work, but get what they came for from Alfreton Town

It was a sight for sore eyes… Sheffield Wednesday fans were there in numbers at the Impact Arena on Tuesday night as they finally got the chance to go and support their football club once again.

By Joe Crann
Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 9:18 pm
Liam Palmer took the Sheffield Wednesday armband for the second half.
Liam Palmer took the Sheffield Wednesday armband for the second half.

Wednesdayites made sure to take advantage of the situation after the Reds announced that there would be tickets for away supporters, and they belted out a bit of ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ before the game to let their players know that they were back.

They got their chips and gravy – as did this writer – and sat down to enjoy what will be the first time they’ve watched the Owls live for the best part of 18 months. It was lovely to see.

As for the game itself, Darren Moore switched things up.

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The last two games he’s gone with arguably his strongest side, but on Tuesday night he mixed things around, no doubt to try out a few different combinations, such as Barry Bannan and Alex Hunt in the middle, and Charles Hagan leading the line with new signing, Olamide Shodipo, and Josh Windass either side of him.

Because of those changes, it was a bit of a disjointed start from Wednesday, they struggled to really find their rhythm and almost got caught out in the first few minutes after a goalmouth scramble led to Alex Hunt clearing off the line.

Things did calm down though.

Bannan was once again the lynchpin in midfield, pinging balls over the top and on numerous occasions managing to find men in space behind the Alfreton backline, however the hosts defended well and kept them at bay.

The best chance of the first half fell to the newbie, Shodipo, who was inches away from finding the bottom corner after being found by the Owls skipper.

Then it was all change again – with Moore swapping out pretty much the whole team for the second half as they continue trying to get plenty of minutes in the legs of all their players.

It would have been all 11, but Fisayo Dele-Bashiru didn’t end up coming on, with Hagan keeping his place for the second half.

He seemed to come into the game nicely, spurred on by the extra time given to him, and Wednesday certainly grew in intensity as the match went on. Massimo Luongo superbly found Andre Green who had his effort saved, and seconds later Dennis Adeniran was desperately unlucky to see a volley clip the crossbar.

But they kept on knocking, and as they turned the screw they started to create more chances. They hit the bar from a corner, and then a few minutes later the deadlock was finally broken with Luongo finding Green once again – this time the attacker slotted calmly home though.

And that was all it needed in the end. Wednesday continued to press, and Luongo kept up an excellent return, but there were no more goals to be picked up before the ref called time on it not too long after the winner.

Another win for Moore, and he’s been given plenty to think about once again.