Sheffield Wednesday: Stockport 0 Owls 3

Martin Taylor heads home the Owls second goal
Martin Taylor heads home the Owls second goal

Michail Antonio stepped up his comeback and sent the Owls on the way to victory at Stockport in the Rodger Wylde testimonial match last night.

Michail Antonio stepped up his comeback and sent the Owls on the way to victory at Stockport in the Rodger Wylde testimonial match last night.

He struck after 43 seconds after making his first start since he was carried off with a groin injury at Hillsborough during the game against Cardiff and missed last season’s run-in.

The forward also tucked another 33 minutes of match action under his belt after a brief outing as a sub against Steaua Bucharest last Saturday.

The other goals came from Martin Taylor and a Chris Maguire penalty.

Wylde was given an enthusiastic reception by the small crowd and, wearing a shirt that was half blue and white of Wednesday and half the white of Stockport, saluted the hundreds of Owls fans as well as home supporters.

Dave Jones was given a great welcome by the County crowd who remember how he took their club to promotion to League One and the League Cup semi-finals.

The home team kicked off with a line-up composed entirely of former Edgeley Park heroes. But it was a Wednesday star of the present who opened the scoring after 43 seconds. A defensive mistake by right back Keith Briggs on a far-post cross by new boy Jacques Maghoma knocked the ball into Antonio’s path, and his half-hit, left-foot volley bounced into the net.

A Stockport defence marshalled by Carlton Palmer was slit by Maghoma, who sped through the middle and forced a save from Conrad Logan.

The keeper also denied Antonio, but had no chance with a free header into the roof of the net by Taylor from a free kick by Rhys McCabe after Antonio was fouled.

The Owls had opened with Antonio and Maghoma up front, and Liam Palmer and Maguire on the left and right side of midfield respectively.

They were the better side - with Stockport’s thrown-together mixture unsurprisingly short of cohesion and then making a host of first-half substitutions.

Wednesday should have gone three up in the 31st minute: Antonio’s cross found Maghoma a couple of yards out but sub keeper James Spencer saved. As Antonio went off Danny Mayor came on, to the right side of midfield, and Maguire was switched up front.

A terrific central run by Maghoma, featuring slick pace and control, took him past two oponents before he was brought down by the keeper.

Maguire tucked away the penalty as Maghoma received attention and was replaced.

For the second half, Stockport fielded their current side, who will play in the Blue Square North, and showed more urgency.

Jose Semedo missed when he could have put away a close-range header. Sub keeper Cameron Dawson made two excellent saves, and Miguel Llera hit the bar with a 25-yard free kick. Wednesday fans will have yearned to see some of the old magic from David Hirst and Chris Waddle after they went on, along with a midfield trialist in the 74th minute.

* Stockport 1st half: Logan (Spencer 29), Briggs (Gibb 29), Griffin, Palmer, Clare (McNulty 18), McSweeney (Poole 28), Perkins (Gleeson 26), Dicker, Proudlock (Moore 26), Dickinson (Beckett 39), Rowe (Hamshaw 28).

* Stockport 2nd half: Ormson, Fagbola, Tunnicliffe, Charnock, Crainey, Hand, Jacobs, O’Halloran, Howard, Jeavons, Dennis.

* Owls: Davies (Dawson 52), Buxton (Corry ht), Taylor, Gardner (Llera ht), Floro, Maguire (Prutton ht; trialist for Prutton, 74), McCabe (Madine ht; Dieseruvwe for Madine, 80), Coke (Semedo 29), Palmer, Maghoma (Lavery 45; Waddle for Lavery, 74), Antonio (Mayor 33; Hirst for Mayor 74).

* Ref: Uriah Rennie (Sheffield).