U23 Professional Development League
Team: Dickinson, Williams-Lowe, Woollard-Innocent, Wells, Kefalas, Brown, Tilt, Bettache, Walker, Bansal-McNulty, Shodipo.
Sub Not Used: Cooper
The final U23’s fixture of the season kicked off at 2pm at a very warm Harlington training ground.
At No.6 was 20-year-old defender Tyler Brown, who I presume has been released by Crystal Palace?
On the bench was another new name: 18-year-old trialist Stephen Duke-McKenna. The midfielder had initially come through Everton’s Academy before joining Bolton Wanderers.
Included in the Wednesday starting line-up was Kieran Lee who made 8 appearances for the R’s in 2008 whilst on loan from Manchester United.
The first decent opportunity fell to the visitors following some poor defending, which allowed the Owls player, whilst in plenty of space, to fire in a low shot, forcing Tyla Dickinson into making a good save.
Later, the R’s keeper made an excellent stop with his legs from an angled shot.
Olamide Shodipo went on a good run, held off a couple of challenges en route to the bye-line. The Rangers winger then sent over a well-placed cross into the box, but no one read it.
The Owls took the lead on 20 minutes following a cross from the right, where an unmarked Preslav Borukov managed to get his left leg up to the ball.
At the other end, Bansal-McNulty directed a superb through ball to Walker, but his shot ended up well wide of the far post. Mr Hughes later booked the R’s No.9 after a strong challenge on an opponent.
Jack Lee required some treatment after the Wednesday defender had collided with his keeper following a high ball into the box.
Giles Phillips was introduced in the latter stages and at half-time it remained one-nil to the visitors.
Stephen Duke-McKenna was brought on for the second-half at the expense of Lewis Walker.
After Giles Phillips had made a good block, the follow-up attempt was headed behind for a corner.
Wednesday doubled their lead just before the hour mark when an unmarked Borukov headed in at the far post.
After replacing Faysal Bettache, Jake Frailing spent some time upfront.
Tyla Dickinson made an excellent save when he turned Ash Baker’s free kick round the post.
Borukov almost completed his hat-trick, but he saw his first-time shot come off the upright.
A good opportunity for the R’s fell to Chay Tilt. He met a ball put over towards the far post, but his header lacked power.
Stephen Duke-McKenna played in three different positions and, after Olamide Shodipo had returned to the left-wing, he sent in another excellent cross, but it wasn’t anticipated.
The visitors defended well and deserved their victory.
Ipswich Town won the league and Leeds United finished top of the Northern section.
Paul Hall’s side finished the season in the bottom three, and from the 28 league games, they had notched up eight wins, drawn seven and lost 13.