Owls 2-0 Reading
Mike Jones’ maiden goal for Wednesday and a Chris O’Grady strike gave the Owls a 2-0 win over Premiership side Reading at the Municipal Stadium, Albufeira, on Tuesday.
Jones scored on the stroke of half time and O’Grady at the death to decide the friendly encounter, which was the second for the Owls in three days following Sunday’s clash with European giants Sporting Lisbon.
Dave Jones again shuffled his pack, making a string of changes to his starting line-up. Substitutions came thick and fast after half time, with the main objective being valuable playing time for the squad under the Portugal sun.
The game was off to a quick tempo, with Jermaine Johnson making a string of trademark runs that put the Reading defence on the back foot.
The most dangerous burst came on ten minutes after an impressive four-man move and Mikkel Andersen had to move sharply to keep out Johnson’s low drive.
Mike Jones then volleyed wide after Chris Lines floated a free kick into the box as the Owls enjoyed the better of the early exchanges.
Returning keeper Stephen Bywater was almost a spectator as the first half unfolded and the Royals had to wait until just before the half hour mark before threatening.
Shaun Cummings sent a deep cross to the far post where Simon Church was loitering but Joe Mattock was on hand to clear the danger.
Reading went closer still on 33 minutes when Nicky Shorey delivered a terrific inswinging corner that Bywater diverted on to the crossbar and out for another flag kick.
Brian McDermott’s side grew into the game as half time approached but the Owls got the goal they deserved right on the whistle.
Mike Jones took possession 20 yards from goal and advanced to drill an unstoppable drive low past Andersen into the bottom corner.
It was all change for Reading after the break, with boss Brian McDermott switching every player save the goalkeeper.
Ex-Owls loanee Michail Antonio was one of the substitutes but there was little joy for the wideman as Wednesday contained the Royals’ threat.
At the other end meanwhile, the Owls could have doubled their lead on 65 minutes.
Jermaine Johnson picked out a fine looping feed to the onrushing Nejc Pecnik but the Slovenian’s clever chip over Andersen fell just the wrong side of goal.
Reading responded with Adam Le Fondre dragging a good chance wide from 15 yards when the ball fell kindly to the former Rotherham striker before Bywater did well to keep out a whistling shot from Jobi McAnuff.
Wednesday sealed the win a minute from time when Marlon Harewood burst in on goal only to be denied by Anderson but O’Grady was the man on the spot to fire into an empty net.
Owls: Bywater, Mattock, Gardner, Llera (Beevers 46), R Johnson, M Jones (Maguire 46), Semedo, Lines, Pecnik (Prutton 89), J Johnson (Harewood 76), Madine (O’Grady 70)
Reading: Andersen, Cummings (Gunnarson 46), Mariappa (Pearce 46), Gorkss (Morrison 46), Shorey (Harte 46), Tabb (Antonio 46), Leigertwood (Guthrie 46), Hunt (McAnuff 46), Church (Robson-Kanu 46), McCleary (Pogrebnyak 46), Roberts (Le Fondre 46)