Phew... - Florian Kamberi to the rescue as Sheffield Wednesday leave it late in the EFL Trophy
Sheffield Wednesday pushed their luck in the Papa John’s Trophy against Mansfield Town but managed to secure a win at the death, a rarity for the Owls.
There was nearly some early drama as Saido Berahino closed down George Shelvey in the opening minutes, and almost saw his block head goalwards, but the Mansfield ‘keeper watched with relief as it sailed wide of his post. But things didn’t get much more exciting than that, really.
Theo Corbeanu, one of Wednesday’s only livewires in the first 45, caused plenty of problems down The Stags’ right-hand side, but – aside from a strong effort from outside the box that was parried into Berahino’s path and ultimately dealt with – he was lacking in his end product.
Moore clearly thought things need to change after the break, bringing on Liam Palmer and Olamide Shodipo for Lewis Gibson and Saido Berahino – the young defender getting a good first 45 minutes under his belt in a Wednesday shirt after an assured performance in the backline.
The game continued at a bit of a pedestrian pace though, and it was Mansfield asking the early questions, forcing Wildsmith into a couple of saves before Wednesday got a chance through Corbeanu – who broke, but could only hit the side netting.
Jaden Brown was then brought into the mix, replacing Jack Hunt, and a goal followed shortly after – even though it came down the opposite side.
Lewis Wing found himself in acres of space, and Shelvey was in No Man’s Land as Marvin Johnson’s ball was floated into the box. Wing was able to head into an open net – and Wednesday were ahead.
It didn’t last long though, and it was former Sheffield United man, Stephen Quinn, with a terrific finish just a few minutes later – making it another game that the Owls will have to wait for a clean sheet.
Wednesday twice could’ve regained their lead, but a golden chance for Corbeanu was well-saved, and Sylla Sow saw his effort fizz past the far post from a tight angle.
An odd penalty shootout – for a bonus point - was looming, until Wing found Corbeanu, the Canadian found Kamberi, and the Albanian found the back of the net from close range. Job done – but only just.