U18s Report: The Tigers 3 Sheff Wed 1
The Under-18s returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion with a fine 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Bishop Burton on Saturday morning.
Goals from Max Sheaf, Keane Lewis-Potter and Mason Wilson-Rhiney were enough to secure the Tigers first win in three games and ensure Jordan Lonchar’s goal for the visitors was nothing more than a consolation effort.
After being on the end of a heavy defeat away at Huddersfield Town last time out, Richard O’Donnell rung the changes, with Jacob Greaves, Lewis-Potter and Tyler Hamilton all coming into the side.
As the wind howled in and the temperature dropped, both sides struggled to assert themselves upon the game early on as the match started in scrappy fashion.
The first real chance of the game fell to Owls forward Lonchar, whose shot forced Charlie Andrew into making a good save, with the Tigers’ keeper getting down well to block the effort.
Andrew kept the hosts in the game once again as he parried a Fraser Preston shot, and although the ball dropped to Lonchar inside the box, he could only hit the side-netting when well-placed.
City were made to wait 15 minutes before they even got a sniff of a chance in front of goal, although Charlie Dunkerley’s effort was comfortably dealt with by Owls keeper Dan Wallis.
As the first half ticked on, it was looking more and more likely that the visitors would be the ones to break the deadlock, but their finishing in front of goal was letting them down.
First, Lonchar’s shot grazed the crossbar, before Alex Hunt’s long-range effort was narrowly off target.
And Wednesday were made to pay for failing to take their chances when the Tigers opened the scoring before the break. Lewis-Potter won a free-kick on the edge of the area, and Sheaf stepped up to fire a delightful Gareth Bale-esque shot past a five-man wall and into the bottom corner.
The Owls were visibly fired up at the start of the second half and within minutes of the restart, Liam Waldock was denied by the woodwork.
But the visitors found themselves two goals down shortly after when Lewis-Potter, who was making the step up from the Under-16 side, found space on the penalty spot to double the Tigers’ lead with a precise finish to slot the ball past Wallis.
Wednesday tried to find a way back into the game and only a superb last-ditch tackle from Stephen Akbas prevented Lonchar from scoring what looked like a certain goal.
Lonchar wasn’t to be denied for much longer though, as he made it 2-1 to give his side hope of a comeback. The striker beat the offside trap, and showed good composure to round Andrew and slide the ball into an empty net.
For a while, it looked as though the game could go either way, and after Josh Reaney shot over, City were put under plenty of pressure at the back.
However, with Wednesday throwing caution to the wind as they went in search of an equaliser, the Tigers took full advantage to make certain of the three points. Substitute Wilson-Rhiney was set free and he kept his cool to fire his shot through the legs of Wallis.