Shaw hints at strongest side with final friendly selection

Worksop Town’s final pre-season friendly may have ended in defeat, but it gave fans some insight into the side likely to start the season on 17th August.

Worksop Town v Sheffield Wednesday XI. Left-back Josh Williams G130808-1a
Worksop Town v Sheffield Wednesday XI. Left-back Josh Williams G130808-1a

The result against the Owls Under 21s was, as ever in friendly competition, largely meaningless.

Mark Shaw, however, will be pleased that their were bright and competitive performances to point to, from players who are expected to play key roles this season.

Missing were skipper Leon Mettam and Phil Roe, both nursing injuries that they hope to have overcome for the FC United clash.

Worksop Town v Sheffield Wednesday XI. Chris Salt celebrates as he scores Tigers' goal G130808-1d

But the rest of the side are almost certain to feature when the Red Rebels visit.

Tigers finished the game with credit, having created enough chances to win the encounter.

But they started poorly, and conceded after just a minute as a driven long ball caught out Chris Salt, and Wednesday centre-forward Caolan Lavery stole in for a simple finish beyond Ben Hallam.

Worksop could have hit back almost straight away, Mitch Husbands finding time and space in the area, but he elected to try and find Tom Denton and Wednesday cleared.

Worksop Town v Sheffield Wednesday XI G130808-1g

A nice counter attack, started by Connor Higginson, ended in a nice link up between Denton and Muldoon, the keeper just palming the latter’s effort away at the last minute.

It was 1-1 on 12 minutes as Josh Davies’ corner to the back post was looped into the far corner of the net by Salt, the young centre-half making amends for his earlier mistake.

Muldoon was making a nuisance of himself, and another one-two with Denton saw him hare down the right before crossing to Husbands, 10 yards out, but he spooned it over with his left foot.

A quick dart from Higginson was found by a Davies free-kick, and when the ball was flicked to Denton he couldn’t react in time.

On 34 minutes everyone in the ground thought Tigers had taken the lead, as Alex Pursehouse found Higginson in the area and he slammed a shot goalwards, only for the Wednesday keeper to block at the last second.

And the hosts were punished for the miss less than a minute later, a lovely move from the Owls finished with aplomb by an unmarked midfielder.

Wednesday had a chance to make it 3-1 late in the half, when Pursehouse sent his back pass goalwards and Hallam was forced to handle, gifting the Owls an indirect free-kick in the area.

Laurence Gaughan was out of the wall quickly to get enough on the resulting shot and take it away from the top corner.

Worksop began the second half positively, Muldoon firing in a low shot from distance that the keeper was equal to.

Tigers’ best passing move of the day saw them work the ball around the pitch before Husbands was released, turning back inside his man and bringing a decent save from the keeper.

Wednesday came back into it however, a fine strike from a midfielder rattling the post and bouncing across the face of goal.

Muldoon then hit the woodwork at the other end, the ball somehow staying out from his low poked shot.

Mark Shaw sent on all but one of his subs by the 77nd minute, as only left-back Josh Williams remained on the pitch from the starting line-up.