Scunthorpe 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Scunthorpe v Sheffield Wednesday,,,,,,,,Owls Rafael Floro stops Utds ex Wednesday player Sean McAllister
Scunthorpe v Sheffield Wednesday,,,,,,,,Owls Rafael Floro stops Utds ex Wednesday player Sean McAllister

Two swallows offered a distraction from the Glanford Park football when they kept flying into a passage near the press box to reach their nest under the main stand.

So hot weather was not the only manifestation of summer as Wednesday slogged through another useful if unremarkable pre-season workout.

Jeremy Helan swooped for his winner in fine style, as if to celebrate his move from Manchester City, and this was by far the highlight of the Owls’ 1-0 win.

“He enjoyed his goal,” said boss Dave Jones. “He could have scored a couple; we should have scored more . We retained the ball well at times and gave it away at other times.

“But at this stage it’s all about fitness levels, and players getting minutes under their belts.”

The three pace aces, Helan (on the left wing), Michail Antonio and Jermaine Johnson (both up front), of whom much will be expected next season, are only just getting back into it at this stage, and for the team as a whole it was a typical pre-season exercise, with not much play of any great note and steadiness from everybody.

Antonio caused a bit of a flutter among the 1,000 away following when he limped off in the 50th minute - but Jones cleared that one up: “He’s okay. It was just a kick on his toe.”

Helan’s goal came in the 41st minute when he got past centre-half David Mirfin

on the left side of

the box and from a tightish angle fired a low shot that flew into the far corner.

Jones started with Giles Coke on the right side of midfield and Liam Palmer at right-back, and the latter once again looked at home in this position, after playing there for the second half of the 3-0 win at Stockport last Tuesday when Lewis Buxton stayed off.

Johnson was always looking to get the ball, take people on and have a shot. He had one effort blocked in the first half, after a backheel to him from Palmer, and put a 54th-minute, 18-yard chance over the bar after a Helan assist.

Miguel Llera, still playing without his skull cap, saw an early header from a Rhys McCabe corner deflected just wide, and a second-half free kick-brush the bar. Helan cut inside and tested the keeper in the 50th minute.

Second-half changes included a role on the right flank for Chris Maguire, who hit the top of a post after being found by Palmer, and an indication that Rafa Floro can play on the left side of midfield as well as at left-back, where Joe Mattock took over for the last 19 minutes.

Jones concurred: “Rafa has got pace and a hammer of a left foot, and he’s comfortable on the ball.

“He needs games; he needs to know when to hit it long and when to play it short. His enthusiasm overtakes him at times.

“But he’s come from the development squad and we’re delighted with him. He’s settled in really well.”

This may have been a friendly but Jose Semedo, a starter in central midfield, put everything into a a couple of ball-winning tackles of the sort that have endeared him to fans in his time at the club.

McCabe’s chances of a regular place in the side as a midfield creator could be improving, with Jones again remarking that this will be a big season for the 20-year-old, and this time he will have the benefit of a pre-season with the club, having missed out last year because of the wrangle over his move from Rangers.

The Owls had several youngsters on the bench on Saturday, and there was a run-out for one of them, Ichalil Lambin, as a replacement for Johnson up front.

There were times when Wednesday had to defend solidly, which they did, and the fact that the Iron missed two good chances left Brian Laws and his assistant, Russ Wilcox, feeling they could have won.

In the first half, midfield man Matt Sparrow knocked a far-post cross back across goal instead of into the net, and in the second half striker Matt Godden failed to hit the target.

Laws told The Star: “The opposition were strong. Wednesday have some quality players. I thought it was a good workout for both teams, particularly in intense heat.

“We had some good possession where they had to work hard, and they had some possession where we had to work hard. There wasn’t a great deal of goalmouth action.”

But Helan’s clinical finish was decisive.

IRON: Slocombe, Nolan (Ribeiro 60), Mirfin (Waterfall 68), Canavan (Howe 83), Dawson, McAllister (Hornsey 77), Sparrow (Adelakun 68), Collins, Hawkridge (Wooton 83), Godden (Wootton 68), Fagan. Unused: Severn, Iwelumo, Esajas, Welsh, Jennings.

OWLS: Kirkland, Palmer, Llera, Gardner, Floro, Coke (Prutton 55), McCabe (Corry 78), Semedo (Maguire 55), Helan (Mattock 71), J Johnson (Lambin 62), Antonio (Madine 50). Unused: Taylor, Davies, Dieserauve, Obileye, McKenzie, Fenwick.

Attendance: 2,393.

Goal: Helan (41).

Referee: Craig Powson (S Yorks).