Tempers flared in Wednesday’s hard-fought friendly draw with SC Farense at the Estadio da Nora.
Things were heated, at times, and the referee issued a number of yellow cards. No quarter was given by either side. There were times when it felt like an old-fashioned derby
The contest eventually calmed down and Jorginho’s superb free-kick in the dying minutes cancelled out Steven Fletcher’s well taken 78th minute opener.
Wednesday chief Carlos Carvalhal, who fielded a much-changed side, said: “We did what we had to do; we gave players who weren’t involved against Portimonense more minutes.
“We gave chances to the three boys from the Under-23s to play 90 minutes and they did really well. There were a lot of positive things.
“The negative is we conceded a goal from a direct free kick in the last minute. But there were a lot of positives.”
Adam Reach was the sole survivor from the team who lined up against Portimonense the day before. True to his word, Carvalhal handed run-outs to development squad players Connor O’Grady, Jordan Thorniley and James Murphy. Centre-backs O’Grady and Thorniley acquitted themselves well in tough conditions and didn’t look out of their depth at any point.
Farense, who play in the Portuguese third tier, looked anything but overawed in the early stages, forcing four corners in the opening five minutes.
It took an immaculate block from O’Grady to prevent Fabio Gomes from forcing Joe Wildsmith into action after the striker wriggled his way past Thorniley near the half way line.
But Wednesday slowly found their mojo and Wallace underlined their positive intent by shooting from long range only to see Hugo Marques comfortably hold on to it.
Marco Matias was bright spark for the Owls on the left flank and the former Nacional player twice came close to opening the scoring.
He latched on to Lucas Joao’s pass before unleashing a ferocious right effort which Marques expertly pushed away.
And midway through the half, Matias stabbed inches wide following great build up play on the right involving Joao and Liam Palmer.
Thorniley, who has yet to make his senior debut, had to be alert to hack away a dangerous Filipe Godinho delivery as Farense continued to threaten. From the resulting corner, Tavino’s back header was gathered by Wildsmith.
Things threatened to boil over in the 37th minute after Bruno Berardo squared up to Wallace. A melee ensued between the two teams, culminating in Berardo receiving a yellow card. Berardo was booed by the travelling Wednesdayites as he trudged off the pitch at half-time.
It was a prickly lend-to-end encounter, with Leo Tome denied by Wildsmith before Godinho produced a fine piece of defending underneath his own goal to clear Wallace’s delightful centre.
Carvalhal freshened things up at the interval, throwing on Cameron Dawson and Steven Fletcher. Big striker Fletcher almost made an instant impact. He rounded substitute goalkeeper Miguel but his clever back heel was cleared off the line by Fabinho.
Fletcher was keen to make an impression and curled wide following more patient approach play.
A flurry of substitutions disrupted proceedings a little but Wednesday, who were held to a goalless draw in a behind closed-door friendly with Farense two years ago, looked the side more likely to break the deadlock.
Wallace whipped in a lovely free kick towards the six yard area which was headed in by Sam Winnall but the goal was ruled out for off-side.
Farense upped the pace in the final quarter and a combination of O’Grady and Palmer kept them at bay. From another free-kick, Andre Ceitilq turned sharply but his attempt was well held by Dawson.
Farense had their chances but were wasteful in front of goal and appeared destined to lose when Fletcher deftly flicked the ball in after Forestieri released him. It was a classy finish by Fletcher and Forestieri showed great technique and vision to send his teammate through.
But it was not be a fourth straight win for Wednesday as Jorginho’s exquisite free-kick near the end rescued a draw for Farense.
Owls: Wildsmith (Dawson HT); Palmer, O’Grady, Thorniley, Reach (Forestieri 58); Wallace (Boyd 72), Murphy, Abdi (Jones 72), Matias (Bannan 58); Joao (Winnall 58), Nuhiu (Fletcher HT).
Farense: Marques; Berardo, Gomes, Neca, Viera , Tome, Tavino, Ribeiro, Godinho, Kadri, Livramento. Substitutes: Miguel, Fabinho, Cassio, Celsinho, Brou, Silvestre, Zambujo, Jorginho, Coelho.
Star man: Ross Wallace