Lee Gregory at the double as Sheffield Wednesday leave it late at Chesterfield.

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Sheffield Wednesday beat Chesterfield 2-1 on Tuesday night to secure their first win of preseason.

Drew Talbot was the man of the moment, coming out to address both sets of fans before the game. The Chesterfield legend, and Wednesday’s Cardiff 2005 hero, was here to celebrate a belated testimonial game after retiring back in 2019. The crowd, the biggest seen at this stadium for a friendly encounter, showed their love with a big ovation before things got underway.

It was a pretty slow start, and if anything it was the hosts who had the best of the early stages, but the first real chance came the way of Wednesday. Michael Smith, leading the line, used his body well to bring the ball down, and with Harry Tyrer well off his line he looked to get it up and over him. Sadly, though, it landed on the roof of the net rather than in it.

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The momentum stayed with Chesterfield, though, and while the visitors struggled to get things ticking Paul Cook’s side kept managing to slice upon the Owls backline. In the 35th minute they did so again, and after a low ball into the box hit Akin Famewo it bounced up and looked to hit Dominic Iorfa as the ball made its way past Cameron Dawson. It was no less than the National League outfit deserved having bossed Wednesday for large periods of the half.

Marvin Johnson and Luke Cook had swapped wings to try and get a bit more joy, but it still didn’t really seem to help, and Xisco’s men went in 1-0 down at the break. Aside from a couple of dangerous crosses, Tyrer hadn’t really been tested.

All change at the break as expected, with Josh Windass, Lee Gregory, Tyreeq Bakinson, Jay Glover and Sean Fusire coming on to freshen things up after what had been a very forgettable opening stanza.

Wednesdayites wanted more, and within minutes of the restart they got it. Iorfa, picking up the ball deep into his own half, drove his way all the way down the right wing before clipping a delightful cross into the box. Gregory - with practically his first touch - got into exactly the right position and clipped it over the ‘keeper gracefully. 1-1, and that was much better.

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Dawson made another great save, two in fact, but they were to be his last involvement in the tie. More changes came after an hour, with Pierce Charles, Adam Alimi-Adetoero, Cian Flannery, Joey Phuthi, Rio Shipston and Favour Onukwuli all making their way onto the pitch - Bakinson at centre back, and Windass/Gregory up top were the only seniors remaining.

George Byers made a welcome returning, getting a fantastic ovation as he came on for the last few minutes, and out wide Phuthi and Onukwuli caused all sorts of problems.

And wo of them connected in the dying embers of the game to give the Owls the win, Windass’ mishit shot falling to the feet of Gregory, and there’s no way the experienced number nine was going to miss from there. 2-1 in front of the 4,000+ Wednesdayites, and that was that.

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