Depleted Sheffield Wednesday bested as Michael Ihiekwe returns to the field
Sheffield Wednesday's U21s were in action on Tuesday afternoon, with one first team defender being called upon for the clash.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Michael Ihiekwe has been out of favour under new manager, Danny Röhl, the 30-year-old not playing at all since the German's arrival at Hillsborough as he opts for other options in his Championship backline.
'Icky' was back on the field at Middlewood Road this week, though, as Wednesday's second string took on Fleetwood Town in the Professional Development League with a chance to climb up to second place in the table.
Here’s how the young Owls lined up:
Jack Hall, Gui Siqueira, Michael Ihiekwe, Adam Alimi-Adetoro, Cian Flannery, Sam Reed, Rio Shipston, Jay Buchan, Favour Onukwuli, Joey Phuthi, Luke Cook.
Meanwhile, the substitutes bench consisted of Jack Phillips, Jarvis Thornton, Bruno Fernandes, Joe Emery and Reece Johnson – with Fleetwood’s starting XI featuring a handful of seniors including the very experience Jayden Stockley.
The hosts were missing their top scorer (Bailey Cadamarteri), captain (Sean Fusire) and first choice goalkeeper (Pierce Charles), and also had their main left back, Reed, playing in midfield. It was always going to be a tough afternoon for them.
And so it proved to be as they fell behind just before the half hour mark, 24-year-old Ryan Graydon opening the scoring at Wednesday’s training ground to make sure that the visitors went in 1-0 up at the break.
Ihiekwe came off at half time, replaced by Thornton, as the Owls pushed for an equaliser – and they didn’t have to wait too long either, with Reed being brought down in the box to hand Cook a chance to level up.
He took it, gratefully, and from there Wednesday were out to try and find the winning goal that was needed in order to leapfrog Birmingham City and move into second place in the PDL table.
But it wasn't to be, unfortunately, and heading into the final minutes of normal time they found themselves behind once more, Kyle White firing home from close-range to score what would be prove to be the winner - condemning Wednesday's U21s to just their second defeat of the season.
They now have a couple of weeks to wait for their next competitive fixture, a trip to Hull City on November 28th, as they look to try and get themselves back on track once again.