Fringe players fail to impress as Owls exit Trophy

Wednesday’s interest in the Papa John’s Trophy ended at the first knockout stage with an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat to Hartlepool this evening.

Darren Moore rotated his squad, giving some of the fringe players a starting place, but they failed to impress in a lifeless Wednesday performance and the danger signs were there almost from the kick off with Wednesday looking disjointed and lacking an attacking threat.

Hartlepool had hardly looked dangerous themselves in the early exchanges but took the lead on 10 minutes when sloppy defending allowed Mark Shelton to head home at the far post.

Worse followed minutes later when Jaden Brown’s misplaced back pass to Joe Wildsmith beat the keeper and rolled into an empty net to make it 2-0.

Theo Corbeanu went close to pulling a goal back soon afterwards but his solo run ended with keeper Jonathan Mitchell smothering his shot.

Back at the other end, Wildsmith pushed away a 20-yarder from Joe Grey after Wednesday lost possession in midfield and Martin Smith missed a great chance to make it 3-0 when he shot wide from inside the box.

It was a similar story for Wednesday minutes before the break when Ciaran Brennan turned the ball past the post after it dropped to him 10 yards out.

Manager Moore, clearly disappointed with the first-half showing, made three subs at half time with Barry Bannan, Josh Windass and Jack Hunt replacing George Byers, Mide Shodipo and Sylla Sow and we began the second half in livelier fashion, Saido Berahino shooting straight at the keeper Mitchell in a rare Wednesday threat on 57 minutes.

A minute later, any chance of a fightback were all but ended when we failed to clear from a corner and Will Goodwin turned the ball home from close range for a third Hartlepool goal.

We never looked like pulling one goal back – let alone three – after that and when Windass lofted the ball well over the top from inside the box seven minutes from time that just about summed up a night to forget for Wednesday and the 5,000-odd fans inside Hillsborough.

Wildsmith, Paterson, Brennan (Adedoyin 84), Brown, Shodipo (Bannan 46), Wing (Agbontohoma 69), Byers (Windass 46), Dele-Bashiru, Corbeanu, Sow (Hunt 46), Berahino. Unused subs: Render, Waldock.


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