Joe Wildsmith endures an afternoon to forget as Sheffield Wednesday’s Under-23s suffer heavy home defeat​​​​​​​

Joe Wildsmith conceded four goals as Sheffield Wednesday's suffered a heavy home defeat to Burnley
Joe Wildsmith conceded four goals as Sheffield Wednesday's suffered a heavy home defeat to Burnley

Joe Wildsmith endured a torrid afternoon as Sheffield Wednesday's Under-23s crashed to a 4-2 home defeat to Burnley.

The goalkeeper, whose last Owls outing came against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup at the back end of August, made a number of costly mistakes in the second-string's loss at Middlewood Road.

As well as Wildsmith, Joost van Aken was also given a 45 minute run-out. The big Dutch defender has not played since August due to injury.

Wednesday looked the better side early on but the Clarets opened the scoring against the run of play in the 12th minute when lively striker Daniel Agyet's low drive beat Wildsmith at his near post.

Jack Stobbs equalised from the penalty spot in the 39th minute, sending Adam Legzdins the wrong way after Antony Glennon was adjudged to have tripped Liam Shaw.

But the Owls' joy was short-lived as Burnley regained the lead straight from kick-off, with Agyet's effort going straight through Wildsmith's hands.

Joost van Aken made his Sheffield Wednesday comeback

Joost van Aken made his Sheffield Wednesday comeback

Things got even worse for Wildsmith eight minutes after the restart when he spilled Dwight McNeil's cross from the left flank, leaving Tinashe Charwana with the simplest of tasks from close range.

Stobbs, a lively figure throughout, curled a right foot shot agonisingly over before Legzdins produced two fine saves to thwart Preslav Borukov and Fraser Preston in quick succession.

Burnley made Wednesday pay for their profligacy, adding a fourth courtesy of Olatunde Bayode after good play by Josh Benson.

Stobbs was the architect of the Owls' second goal in the 77th minute, swinging in a looping cross towards the back post which was headed in by Preston.

Fraser Preston has been called up to the Scotland Under-20 squad

Fraser Preston has been called up to the Scotland Under-20 squad

Winger Preston almost pulled another back in added on time, hitting the crossbar with a delicate lob after a lovely through ball by Jack Lee.

But Wednesday were left to rue sloppy defending and missed opportunities. 

Neil Thompson, the Owls’ development manager, told The Star: "I thought we played well. It seems funny to be saying that after a 4-2 defeat but I thought we played on the front foot, were really positive and started the game brightly.

"One or two individual errors cost us in terms of the goals but I thought we were the dominant team in possession. We could have used it a little better in that last third in terms of our final pass and being a bit more clinical.

“I don’t think we were on the back foot for large parts of the game. They were a threat and had a lot of pace of up front but I thought we were better with the ball. We just need to be more clinical.”

Owls: Wildsmith; Hughes, J Lee, van Aken (O'Grady HT), Clarke; Kirby, Shaw; Stobbs, Lonchar, Preston; Borukov (Hagan 67). Substitutes: McCulloch, West, Brennan.