RESULT: Alfreton Town 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Jack Hunt fires on goal against Alfreton
Jack Hunt fires on goal against Alfreton
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Sergiu Bus netted but the Owls were held to a 1-1 draw at Alfreton Town in their first pre-season outing.

Bus slotted into an empty net soon after the break following unselfish play from new signing Marco Matias.

Niall Heaton equalised for the hosts with a thumping drive in off the post on 72 minutes, ensuring parity in Carlos Carvalhal’s first game in charge.

The biggest talking point of the clash with the National League North outfit was an injury to Glenn Loovens which forced him off during the first half.

Wednesday started both periods brightly but looked leggy as each half wore on. Alfreton pressured well and ensured the afternoon was rarely comfortable for the Owls.

But it was the workout their new head coach was keen to see, and saw them stick to decent passing play.

Carvalhal came close to fielding two different sides in each half but Kieran Lee came back after the break along with Vincent Sasso, who replaced Loovens after half an hour.

Centre half Darryl Lachman was the only new signing to start the first half but the second half saw the introduction of Matias and Jack Hunt while Ross Wallace came off the bench.

Wednesday could have been in front after a matter of seconds when Atdhe Nuhiu met a fine cross from Liam Palmer, only to produce a tame effort that drew an easy claim from Nick Draper.

Chances were few and far between in the first period for both sides. Nuhiu failed to meet a cross from Claude Dielna seven yards out while Caolan Lavery curled a free kick just over from the edge of the box.

After the nine changes at the break, the Owls took the lead three minutes into the second half.

Ryan Croasdale’s well-weighted pass sent Matias through and he drew out the keeper before squaring to Bus who tapped into an empty net.

Wednesday had a bit more attacking threat in the second period.

Hunt fired well over the bar after a powerful run on goal while Lee struck a tame effort after meeting a Sam Hutchinson pass on the edge of the box.

The lively Croasdale forced a fine save from Draper on 65 minutes with a powerful drive on the angle. And Tom Lees headed just over the bar from the subsequent corner.

Though the Owls looked rather comfortable, Alfreton fired a warning shot when Dan Bradley surged from inside his own half and cracked an effort off the post.

But the warning was not heeded and four minutes later the hosts were level.

Heaton was released down the left by Joe Leesley and darted through on goal before smashing past Joe Wildsmith at the near post.

The game somewhat petered out with neither side really threatening in the late stages.

Alfreton: Draper, Mayo, Berry, Allan, Heaton, Jones, Bradley, Thanoj, Wilson, Johnstone, Ironside. Subs: O’Connor, Jordan, Smith, King, Gallinski, Palin.

Wednesday: First half: Dawson, Palmer, Lachman, Loovens (Sasso 29), Dielna, Lee, Semedo, Helan, Meadows, Nuhiu, Lavery.

Second half: Wildsmith, Hunt, Lees, Sasso, Vermijl, Hutchinson, Melo, Croasdale, Lee (Wallace 72), Bus, Matias.

Subs: Hornby.

Referee: Nigel Smith

Attendance: 1,547