Sheffield Wednesday U21s 1
Barnsley U21s 0
A first half header from Wednesday’s George Hirst sealed the win for the home-side, in a game that had very little to choose between the two teams.
The Reds controlled the possession for much of the game, but were unable to create any clear cut chances which meant they were limited to long shots.
The only real chance of the first half was finished, as Hirst leapt highest in the Reds area to flick in a header at the far post. A quick response came, and shots from James Carvell and Matty Templeton followed, but nothing was troubling the Wednesday defence too much.
The second half was very short on chances, like the first. Wednesday had a considerable height advantage over the Reds which meant multiple crosses and corners into the box were being cleared by their defence.
In the last minute of the match, the Reds should have equalised on more than one occasion. Templeton worked himself some space down the left and put in an excellent cross, which Brad Ash connected well with but his effort struck the bar.
Just moments later, two big claims for a penalty were turned down following a scramble in the box. A clear hand-ball on the line denied the Reds an equaliser, but nothing was given and the match ended in a 1-0 defeat.
Under 21s Coach Paul Wilkinson gave his thoughts after the match.
Wilkinson explained, “It was a tough game for both teams. It was our third game in five days, so it obviously wasn’t going to be one that we would just come out and perform easily in.
“To be fair, I thought we kept our shape well first half and got into good areas but without really penetrating them well enough. We got outmuscled up top a little bit.
“The lads stayed in the game and kept working hard, they maintained the shape we asked them to play and we restricted Wednesday to very little opportunities.
“We were unlucky at the end. The last ten or 15 minutes we had a lot of pressure and built up a head of steam. We should have had a penalty, and we hit the bar. It’s frustrating, but it’s another step after last week and we’ve performed well in the last three games.”