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Late Own Goal the Difference as U23s Lose to Owls
Monday, 3rd Apr 2017 15:20 by Blair Ferguson

A 91st minute own goal from Blues centre-back Chris Smith (pictured) saw Sheffield Wednesday’s U23s beat their Town counterparts 1-0 at Playford Road after a competitive 90 minutes.

Teddy Bishop completed the entire game on his comeback from injury, but his inclusion ahead of Tuesday night’s match against Wigan makes his involvement unlikely, despite the absence of the now injured Cole Skuse.

It was the visitors, coached by ex-Town full-back Neil Thompson, who enjoyed the early possession, but it was Blues who troubled first.

Australian striker Ben Folami did well to find Tristan Nydam, but the midfielder couldn't find a way past keeper Dan Williams, who did well to get his foot to the ball and clear it from danger.

After that early seventh minute threat, clear chances subsided and the game evened out. A flurry of moves lacked final passes for Ipswich, the most notable being started by Corrie Ndaba's surging run from left-back and ended with a familiar misplaced ball.

Just shy of the half-hour mark the young Blues had the ball in the net after Andre Dozzell's freekick hit the chest of Williams for Ben Morris to fire in, but the referee's whistle sounded quickly to rule it out for a foul.

Morris came close again shortly afterwards, but the quick reflexes of Williams enabled him to keep the ball out after it took a deflection on its way towards goal.

Wednesday then created one of the clearer chances of the half with a clever corner routine. The short corner took the Ipswich defence by surprise and they all will have been grateful to see George Hirst, son of Wednesday legend David, eventually fire over when hitting the net looked easier.

The influence of Bishop began to show as the half came into the final 15 minutes, with a well-weighted pass to the wing starting a move before the ball quickly came back to him following a cross.

His quick burst into the box then saw his own shot blocked before Morris’s effort met a similar fate, ending up in the hands of Williams.

Folami was next to trouble the Owls’ defence as a clever first touch made room for a shot, but the execution failed to meet the quality of the build-up and the ball was sent past the post.

The visitors had Michael Crowe scrambling with a looped cross from Jack Stobbs that bounced off the top of the bar, one of their rare first-half efforts.

Ipswich managed to create a final chance before the whistle went for the break, but Folami couldn’t extend a long enough leg to get a telling touch on Conor McKendry’s cross from the right wing.

The second-half attacking performance lacked the pace of the half that had come before and saw several moves cut out as Ipswich tried to find a way past the Owls’ defensive line.

In fact, the only significant chances of the half were made by the visitors, with Connor O’Grady’s back-post header from a corner providing the main goalmouth excitement.

A late winner never looked on the cards for either side, but when Matt Penny launched a long throw into the Ipswich box, captain Smith was obliged to head it clear, only for the ball to travel backwards towards the far post, sealing the victory for Wednesday.

The loss wasn’t a fair reflection on the game and the performance of Bishop was a positive. Not only did he complete the 90 minutes but his passing, willingness to tackle and movement on and off the ball signalled that a return to full fitness may be imminent.

U23s: Crowe, Downes, Ndaba, Dozzell, Smith, Webber, McKendry (Lankester 84), Nydam (Blanchfield 71), Morris, Bishop, Folami. Unused: Meldrum, Wright, Wilton.

Photo: TWTD

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PortmanTerrorist added 15:30 - Apr 3
Good news in short supply these days. If Bishop and Dozzell are fit enough to play 90 minutes then what they doing on the pitch today ?

Need them at minimum on bench tomorrow night after watching our non-midfield perform (?) on Saturday, not risking injury in U23s

wherescounago added 16:46 - Apr 3
No Dozz and Bish tomorrow but we have Dougie and Big Dave!!!! Say no more.

runningout added 12:36 - Apr 4
Embarrassing all over our once great club... Needs a big shake up

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