Sheffield Wednesday cruised to a comfortable victory over League Two Bury to maintain their 100 per cent record in pre-season.
Goals either side of half-time from Jacques Maghoma, Atdhe Nuhiu and Jacques Maghoma ensured the Owls jet out to Slovenia for their five-day training camp today in good spirits.
Wednesday boss Stuart Gray will be hoping the injuries to Jose Semedo and Caolan Lavery picked up in last night’s friendly will not keep them out of action for long. Semedo sustained concussion in an aerial challenge and Lavery suffered a knee problem.
As expected, Gray handed starts to new goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and centre-back Glenn Loovens.
It didn’t take the visitors long to hit their stride. Maghoma drifted infield in the second minute, exchanged passes with Lavery before coolly slotting a right foot shot past former Owls goalkeeper Shwan Jalal.
The hosts almost responded immediately when Chris Hussey, one of seven summer recruits, floated in a dangerous free kick to the near post which Jose Semedo did well to head to safety.
Wednesday looked the more accomplished team in possession and Kieran Lee forced Jalal into a smart stop after good approach play by Nuhiu.
Michail Antonio spurned a glorious chance to double the Owls lead in the 26th minute after cutting inside of Jim McNulty, with the winger dragging wide when well-placed.
Antonio then turned provider, releasing Lavery with a fine through ball but the young striker delayed his shot and Craig Jones managed to get back and poke the ball wide.
Just after the half hour mark, Liam Palmer saw his low right effort turned around the post by Jalal after lovely build up play involving Antonio and Lee on the right hand side.
Following a clash of heads in midfield, Semedo was withdrawn, prompting Gray to throw on Shakers old boy Coke, who was given a good reception by both sets of supporters.
Against the run of play, Bury levelled things up in the 40th minute as ex-Rotherham United striker Daniel Nardiello tapped in Hussey’s free-kick.
The goal visibly lifted the hosts and Hussey fired another set piece narrowly off target before Nardiello tried his luck from distance, forcing Westwood into a superb save.
Gray made three changes at the interval. Off went Westwood, Loovens and Sam Hutchinson and on came Joe Wildsmith, Joe Mattock and Kamil Zayatte.
Wildsmith had to be alert to keep out Jones’ effort as Bury picked up from where they left off after the interval.
However, Wednesday nearly regained the lead in the 52nd minute when Lavery drilled in a low centre for Nuhiu, whose shot was deflected wide.
Moments after Lavery limped off with an injury, Gray’s men grabbed their second, Nuhiu glancing in Antonio’s great free kick. Nuhiu’s header went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Both teams continued to make alterations. Wednesday came close to increasing their advantage in the 66th minute after Zayatte had been upended on the edge of the area by Mills, with Maghoma curling the resulting free kick inches wide.
Owls old boy Ryan Lowe missed three opportunities to equalise for the Shakers while Jalal kept out Maguire’s fierce shot at the other end.
Bury continued to ask questions of Wednesday’s defence and Jones slipped a neat pass into the path of Nicky Adams, who blazed over when he should have hit the target.
With 10 minutes left, Owls claimed a third through Coke. The midfielder latched on to Jeremy Helan’s clever pass and rifled a left shot past Jalal.