Sheffield Wednesday: Will Buckley makes winning return as Owls Under-23s maintain their lead at the top

Will Buckley
Will Buckley
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Will Buckley made his long-awaited return to action in Sheffield Wednesday’s Under-23s 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest today.

The winger was a big plus point for the Owls’ development squad, who recorded their sixth consecutive win thanks to an early strike by James Murphy.

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Buckley, making his first appearance since hurting his shoulder after coming on as a substitute in the Owls’ Hillsborough win against Preston North End over two months ago, completed 75 minutes of the Under 23s clash.

The 27-year-old, on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season, was part of a strong Wednesday side, featuring Cameron Dawson, Urby Emanuelson, Jose Semedo and George Hirst.

Victory means the Owls stay top of the Professional Development League Two with eight matches left.

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Wednesday manager Neil Thompson said: “It was a tough game. Sometimes it is not all always about playing pretty football.

“We counter attacked quite well at times but we were really organised. We were terrific out of possession and restricted an experienced Forest side to next to nothing.

“Cammy [Dawson] took a couple of crosses but I can’t remember them having a chance and that’s credit to the lads at the back and the midfield guys who did their jobs in front of them.

“It was a tough task for George Hirst up front on his own at times but he worked the line well.

“The lads really dug in and I thought we were well worth the win.

“I’m delighted and really chuffed with them.”

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Next up for Wednesday is a home showdown with Crewe Alexandra in a fortnight’s time.

“We have got ourselves in a good position,” acknowledged Thompson. “We’ve had six wins on the bounce and you have to feed off that.

“It is about developing the players and a winning habit.”

*Owls: Dawson; Baker, O’Grady, Thorniley, Emanuelson; Stobbs, Semedo, Kirby (Hayford HT), Murphy, Buckley (Preston 75); Hirst (Betra 89). Substitutes: Wallis, Williams.