Legs stretched and a three Prime Minister comeback: Sheffield Wednesday win in Huddersfield Town friendly
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But there it is anyway. It’s been 101 days. Long enough for Liz Truss to enter the history books but nowhere near as bad as it may have been when his knee injury was first diagnosed.
Amid the excitement of EFL Cup outings that saw him submit two early contenders for Sheffield Wednesday’s competitive goal of the season epic, his last appearance came in the 5-0 thrashing of Forest Green Rovers on August 27. It’s been a long road back.
Of the team that started, only Rio Shipston, a centre-half trialist and the armbanded David Agbontohoma could be described as anything other than first team players. Indeed, the side was as strong as anything they’ve put out in the Papa Johns Trophy.
There were others beside Adeniran that needed minutes, after all. Wednesday have seen only half an hour or so of Akin Famewo after he hobbled off on debut at MK Dons at the start of August.
In 90 minutes in relatively relaxed setting against a youthful Huddersfield side, the attributes he showed in that Buckinghamshire blast were put on display once more.
He’s a big unit who appears to be comfortable on the ball, particularly on his preferred left foot. He was as vocal as anyone on the day and looked fit and firing and ready to make the final step up from the substitute spot he occupied at Derby County on Saturday.
There’s no point dressing the afternoon up to be anything more than it was; a yawning, mismatched leg-stretch between one side of league pros and one of youngsters – Huddersfield’s first team are on their way back from a training camp in sunny Marbella – but for the purposes of what the match was set up for, it ticked lots of Owls boxes.
Wing-back pairing Jaden Brown and Jack Hunt got forward with regularity and combined to open the scoring after 17 minutes when the left-sided former Terrier crossed deep for Hunt to head over the keeper. Hunt’s experience showed a few minutes later when a rare and goal-bound Huddersfield chance was cleared.
Callum Paterson bustled about up top with Mallik Wilks, while there were energetic performances from Tyreeq Bakinson and particularly Shipston in the middle of midfield.
Paterson received a yellow card for his suggestion the referee he could perhaps be more protective of Adeniran, who was substituted as scheduled at half-time with a giant leap forward taken in his recovery.
His replacement Will Trueman doubled Wednesday’s lead with a tidy finish eight minutes into the second half following more fine work from Shipston, who looked at ease in a more senior setting.
And with 20 minutes to go Bakinson snaked his way through the Huddersfield defence and scored at the second attempt to allow the scoreline to reflect the dominance of the occasion. It sparked a mass round of substitutions that levelled the playing field a touch, but the clean sheet of a vocal Cameron Dawson remained unthreatened.
Given the confused state of the world, little moments like a return from injury for a smiling Dennis Adeniran make for pleasant viewing.
He and others got plenty out of a worthwhile outing in West Yorkshire.