Sheffield Wednesday: David Bates and Jordan Thorniley feature as Owls Under-23s crash to 2-0 Hillsborough defeat to Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday's Under-23s slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Birmingham City at Hillsborough this afternoon.
Second half strikes from Caolan Boyd-Munce and a Odin Bailey penalty stretched the Owls' winless home run to five matches.
Wednesday fielded an unchanged starting line-up from the side who defeated Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday. Their back four featured first-teamers Ash Baker, David Bates and Jordan Thorniley.
It was a cagey, scrappy start, with the visitors creating the first chance of note in the 11th minute. Jack Concannon squared to midfielder Boyd-Munce, who steered a shot wide from just outside the penalty area.
Moments later, Conor Grant linked up well with Ben Hughes and Preslav Borukov before sending a shot high over the top.
Birmingham full-back Ryan Burke tried his luck from long range after the Owls defence gave him too much time and space to run into but his left foot piledriver was well parried by Josh Render.
Grant spurned a great chance to give Wednesday the lead. He latched on to a superb through ball by Osaze Urhoghide but he delayed his shot and the Blues managed to snuff out the danger.
After Render saved another fierce effort from Burke, Fraser Preston lifted a shot over after more fine work down the left flank by Urhoghide.
Preston then turned provider, playing an exquisite pass to Grant in the 28th minute. The Irishman beat the Blues offside trap but saw his weak drive comfortably kept out Moha Ramos with the goal at his mercy.
Render maintained his concentration levels on the stroke of half-time, diving to his left to turn away Bailey's right foot curler.
Birmingham had the better of things after the break and deservedly opened the scoring in the 64th minute when Boyd-Munce curled an unstoppable left foot shot into the top corner.
Eight minutes later the Blues doubled their lead from the spot after Urhoghide was adjudged to have brought down Tate Campbell after a superb run by the substitute. Bailey made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Render the wrong way.
Bailey almost bagged a third in added on time but his free-kick rattled the post.