Sheffield Wednesday 1 Celtic 3: Owls fall to defeat but it's miles in the legs in the Welsh sunshine
Sheffield Wednesday fell to a 3-1 defeat to a youthful Celtic in their opening preseason friendly in South Wales.
There was a fittingly Scottish feel to the build-up to Wednesday’s third-minute opener, with Celtic fan Barry Bannan earning possession in midfield before spreading it out to Scotland international Liam Palmer, who in turn twisted inside to find former Rangers man Josh Windass. Nae bad at all.
It was a smart first-time finish from the forward, who continued his fine run of form from the tab ends of last season and could well find himself at the centre of more transfer conversation in the coming weeks, despite the ‘hands-off’ note slapped on his forehead by Wednesday.
By the time Massimo Luongo had fired one over the bar after 15 minutes it was the Owls that had enjoyed the bulk of possession against a very youthful Celtic side that included recently departed Owl Liam Shaw, wearing a Bhoys shirt for the first time.
On a spotless summer surface at the plush Welsh FA-owned Dragons Park training facility – Parc Y Ddraig if you’re ever required to find it on a SatNav – both teams sought to pass the ball about. For a while Wednesday did it better.
But the fact is that it did feel very much like a typical preseason run-out; some of the numbers on the back of the Celtic shirt may well have represented the birth years of their parents and at the half-hour break everything stopped for a glass of water.
It transpired they were playing three 30-minute ‘halves’ and from all the easy-breeziness of that first foray, Wednesday switched off, Joe Wildsmith could perhaps have done better and Bhoys youngster Albien Ajeti scored to level things up. It was here that the Owls stepped off a touch.
All change at the 45-minute mark and Andre Green was the only man to stay on as the Owls drained the youth club.
Korede Adedoyin, the young striker robbed of his first season at Wednesday by injury, looked bright and linked up nicely once or twice with Ryan Galvin on the left. Charles Hagan did his thing on the right.
Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, whose debut season also never quite got going last time out, was bullish and produced one or two nice touches.
But it was Celtic, not bearing the after-effects that come with a 10-man change, that took the lead through a smartly-taken Owen Moffat finish that left Cameron Dawson helpless.
Moffatt was one of a handful of young Bhoys that came into their own a touch as time went on and for all their effort, the Owlets were unable to climb back into the match and when Odsonne Edouard added a third late on, it flattered nobody.
All in all? The main point is that Wednesday are underway in what will be a busy preseason. Much will change.
There was something pleasant about seeing Massimo Luongo back on a football field again, Dominic Iorfa looked fit in the pre-match warm-up and there were plenty of little reasons to be cheerful with the youngsters.
Miles in the legs? Check. Next stop, Chester.