Sheffield Wednesday’s Under-23s suffer heavy home defeat to local rivals Barnsley
Sheffield Wednesday's Under-23s crashed to a second successive home defeat, losing 3-0 to South Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley.
Watched on by former Owls and Reds boss Danny Wilson, the Owls should have gone in front at Bracken Moor but highly-rated forward Conor Grant missed two great early chances.
But Barnsley, who fielded a strong forward line, took control after scoring from their first attack courtesy of centre-back Samuel Harry Fielding.
Luke Thomas added a second in the 19th minute and Patrick Schmidt lashed home a third deep into added on time.
"We made a bright start and had two good chances and if we had taken one of them it could potentially been a different game," academy manager Steven Haslam told The Star. "We found it hard going after conceding from Barnsley's first attack against a slightly more experienced team.
"It was a good experience for our lads to test themselves against lads who have already played in the Championship but we are disappointed to lose 3-0."
Wednesday, beaten 4-2 by Bolton Wanderers last week, spurned a glorious opportunity to take the lead inside the opening 30 seconds when Grant broke clear but Samuel Radlinger rushed off his line to make the block.
Moments later, the young Owls forward calmly rounded Radlinger before seeing his low drive hacked off the line by Clarke Oduour.
They proved costly misses for Wednesday as Barnsley opened the scoring in the sixth minute. Mailk Wilks fed Jordan Barnett down the right and he dinked a cross to the back post which was headed in by Fielding.
The hosts responded in a positive fashion to falling behind, with Preslav Borukov dragging a shot wide before midfielder Liam Shaw's effort from the edge of the penalty area went agonisingly off target.
Defensively Wednesday looked far from convincing and Elliot Simoes threatened to double the Reds advantage, seeing his audacious over-head kick from Wilks' centre sail just over.
But Barnsley's pressure paid off as Thomas made it 2-0. The skilful forward drilled a shot into the bottom corner past a helpless Josh Render after collecting Simoes' neat pass.
All the momentum was with the Reds and centre-forward Schmidt volleyed over after a great delivery by Thomas.
Grant forced Radlinger into a routine save from a 25-yard free kick but Barnsley finished the half in the ascendency and it took a brilliant clearance off the line on the stroke of half-time from Ciaran Brennan to stop Milks from grabbing a third for the Reds.
Things opened up after the break as Preslav Borukov sliced over when well-placed before Callum Styles dragged a shot wide.
Render then produced a good stop to deny Wilks as Barnsley pushed for a third.
Haslam threw on Jordan O'Brien just before the hour mark in an attempt to inject some pace and energy into his attack.
Yet it was Borukov almost got on the scoresheet, with the Bulgarian's fierce right foot strike from long range superbly turned away by Radlinger.
With 20 minutes remaining, Fraser Preston tried his luck from distance and the Scotland youth international's shot flashed just wide to add to Wednesday's frustration.
Styles's volley from Barnett's corner was acrobatically tipped over by Render in the closing stages. But the Reds were not to be denied a third, with Schmidt rifling home after good approach play by substitute Lewis Helliwell.
Owls: Render; Hughes, Brennan (Thompson 76), Lee, West; Uchegbulam (O'Brien 58), Shaw, Waldock, Preston; Grant, Borukov. Substitutes: Jackson, Hunt, Rice.