Sheffield Wednesday enjoyed a 1-0 win over Scottish side Rangers at Hillsborough on Wednesday evening in their only home friendly of the summer.
Prior to the match fears had arose in some quarters regarding the security of the fixture with fans from north of the border expected to travel in their numbers. Some Celtic fans had displayed more than a little 'over exuberance' by celebrating a recent pre-season win against Brentford by throwing flares before invading the pitch and swinging from the crossbar after the final whistle. Anyone expecting a similar display from the Rangers faithful on Wednesday evening would have been pleasantly surprised. They may not boast the team that they have had in the past but their stature in the sport remains high thanks to their history and their loyal support.
5000+ Gers fans backed their boys and created a carnival atmosphere in a 16,000 crowd. Their display of the union flag in memory of drummer Lee Rigby was warmly received by the home support at half-time and their all round fervent support will long be remembered by those in attendance.
Rangers, who play their first competitive match of the season this weekend, fielded a strong line-up while the Owls played a mixture of first team regulars and squad players. Full-backs Lewis Buxton and Reda Johnson were absent as were centre-backs Anthony Gardner and Miguel Llera but there were starts for Chris Kirkland, Michail Antonio, Jermaine Johnson and Jeremy Helan. Rhys McCabe, celebrating his 21st birthday started in the Owls midfield against his former club.
Wednesday were out of the blocks quickly and appeared to catch their opponents out in the early exchanges. Gary Madine and Jermaine Johnson went close in the first 10 minutes before Michail Antonio made the breakthrough with an untidy looking finish on 12 minutes, steering a Joe Mattock cross in off the bar for what proved to be the only goal of the game.
The Owls fans had cause for concern after the half hour mark when Chris Kirkland had to be replaced in goal by Adam Davies but it appears that the Wednesday number one was suffering from illness rather than any serious injury concern.
The second half saw Madine, Johnson and Antonio all go close to extending the home side's lead but the visitors also enjoyed chances of their own through Little, Law and most notably Mohsni who fired over with the goal at his mercy.
The final whistle marked Wednesday's 4th clean sheet in 6 pre-season games which will please Dave Jones, especially considering the fact that the Owls fielded a largely 2nd string defence. Keeper Adam Davies enjoyed a solid debut and on trial defender Kamil Zayatte did his chances of earning a contract no harm.
Wednesday finish their pre-season schedule at Chesterfield on Saturday ahead of the Championship kick-off at QPR on August 3rd.