Sheffield Wednesday: Owls Under-23s left to rue missed chances after Barnsley draw

Morgan Fox
Morgan Fox
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A strong-looking Owls Under-23s side were left to rue a host of missed opportunities in their 1-1 draw at Barnsley.

Cameron McGeehan lit up a dull first half on the Oakwell training pitch yesterday afternoon, firing the Reds into a 34th minute lead after Wednesday failed to clear their lines.

But the Owls, featuring defensive trio Liam Palmer, Glenn Loovens and Morgan Fox, laid seige to Barnsley’s goal and deservedly earned a point courtesy of Warren Clarke.

Barnsley were indebted to goalkeeper Nick Townsend, who produced a series of stunning saves to keep Wednesday at bay.

Owls Under-23s boss Neil Thompson told The Star: “I thought we deserved to win it in the end. We showed a lot of character against an experienced Barnsley side. It was a good test for the young boys but they didn’t shy away from it.”

Clarke was impressive throughout in the number 10 position. He and his strike partner Preslav Borukov both forced Townsend into actin before McGeehan broke the deadlock.

However, the visitors stepped things up after the restart. Clarke had a goal disallowed for offside and Borukov’s header from Palmer’s inviting cross was superbly saved by Townsend.

Their pressure paid off in the 58th minute when Clarke equalised. Another Palmer delivery caused mayhem in the Reds penalty area and Clarke drilled a left foot shot into the bottom corner.

“Warren has bags of energy, is athletic and gets around the pitch well,” said Thompson. “He makes things happen.

“He needs to tidy up one or two things which we have spoken to him about but he is a great lad to work with and gives everything he has got.

“He just has to keep progressing.”

Palmer’s 25-yard free-kick sailed over before Townsend came to the Reds rescue again in the 70th minute, acrobatically tipping over Borukov’s header.

Moments later, Ash Baker made an interception in midfield and went clean through on goal but his right foot curler struck the base of the post and bounced to safety.

Townsend then produced another top stop to foil the lively Clarke after a neat move on the left wing involving Fox and Penney.

The closest Barnsley came to snatching a late winner came through ex-Owls loanee Lloyd Isgrove but Dan Wallis held on to his fierce low drive.

Barnsley: Townsend; McCarthy, McDonald, Fielding, Fryers; Isgrove, McGeehan, Bird, Williams; Rowe, Thiam.

Owls: Wallis; Palmer, Neilson, Loovens, Fox; Preston, Murphy, Baker, Penney; Borukov, Clarke.