Young Sheffield Wednesday under-23s side punished by Birmingham City in 2-0 defeat
Visiting Birmingham City were comfortable winners against Neil Thompson’s under-23 Sheffield Wednesday side at Middlewood Road in Monday’s Professional Development League match.
The Owls, who fielded a young side for the clash, started well and looked their most threatening from set pieces with both Joe West and Conor Grant coming close in early chances.
Despite creating their fair share of opportunities, it was Birmingham who took the lead through George Baker as he turned Olly McCoy’s driven free-kick past Josh Render in the Owls goal.
Wednesday looked to use Preslav Borukov as their main offensive outlet for the remainder of the half, as the front man slipped in Connor Kirby who fired over just before the break.
Thompson’s Owls were first out after half time and were the livelier of the two sides as they tried to find a way back into the game and build on last week’s Steel City derby win against Sheffield United.
But despite greater intensity and the lion’s share of the possession, Birmingham once again made Wednesday pay on the break.
The Blues were awarded a free kick after Jack Lee brought down McCoy in a tangle of legs on the right flank just outside the penalty area, which Odin Bailey whipped into the box.
McCoy met it well to nod a second past Render and put the game out of Wednesday’s reach.
It could have been three for the visitors but for an excellent stop from Render, who took a close range effort to the face from a Birmingham corner.
The Owls had one or two chances to find a way back into the match as Alex Hunt brought players into the game in the middle of the park.
Substitute Omar Damba was unable to turn the home side’s best chance of the second half past Zach Jeacock in the City goal after Hunt’s cross from deep infield was agonisingly out of reach.
Wednesday will hope for a quick turnaround before their next match away at Charlton Athletic on Friday.
Owls: Render, O’Grady, West, Hunt, Nielson, Lee, Hughes, Kirby, Borukov, Grant, Preston. Subds – Clarke, Jackson, Brennan, Damba, Waldock.
Birmingham City: Jeacock, Hutton, Forrest, Stirk, Bajrami, Redmond, McCoy, Boyd-Munce, Bailey, Bellingham, Baker. Subs – Dawes, Luyambula, McLean, Hurst.