- Match reports
- 31 July 2005 00:00
- Posted by Leon Collins
City crossed the Pennines for a war of the Roses clash with Championship new-boys Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough today.
Buoyed by Saturday’s come-from-behind win at Stoke, manager Stuart Pearce, again went for a blend of youth and experience in his starting XI. But it was Wednesday who came out of the blocks quickest, Paul Sturrock’s men eager to impress in their first home pre-season outing.
Geert de Vliger was called into action with barely two minutes gone as he beat away a crisp drive. City’s first chance fell to captain, Sylvain Distin, following Willo Flood’s right wing corner. The Frenchman’s clean volley could only trouble the crowd and not David Lucas in the Wednesday goal.
The Blues young players were again catching the eye with Lee Croft drawing a smart stop from the home keeper. Moments later it was Ishmael Miller’s turn with a powerful run putting the hosts on to the back foot.
The Yorkshire side remained a threat, and after 27 minutes, Lee Peacock beat two City defenders before lashing a shot just wide of de Vlieger’s right hand post.
This encouraged the Owls as Chris Eagles single headedly tried to break the deadlock on 37 minutes. City were forced to clear three cross-cum-shots from the on-loan Manchester United man in a flurry that had Pearce’s team under pressure.
And the pressure was to pay off a minute later, as former City Academy player, Glenn Whelan put Wednesday in front with a fierce 25 yard drive.
Stung into action, City almost replied immediately, but Ishmael Miller blazed a shot just over the bar.
So despite a few chances, and Willo Flood’s dangerous deliveries from set plays, City had to head for the dressing room a goal down.
Half time: Wednesday 1 City 0
No changes for the start of the second half, as City took to the field hoping to keep up their run of solid, hard to beat performances during pre-season.
The lead gave the home side the confidence to go at City. And on 52 minutes de Vlieger saved from the lively Proudlock only for Eagles to drive wide when he should have made it 2-0.
Sturrock’s charges nearly paid the ultimate price as Croft broke into the area and was unlucky to be crowded out when trying to pull the trigger.
The game had opened up and Proudlock again went close shortly after, fashioning a chance from nothing, as he cut in from the left only to clear the crossbar from 20 yards.
City’s best football of the match came soon after, and it was no surprise Croft, Miller and Flood were all involved. Flood eventually struck the post with a crashing drive from distance but luckily Karl Bermingham was on hand with a poachers finish to make it 1-1 after 61 minutes.
Back in the game, the visitors looked most likely to grab a winner and nearly did through Danny Mills first, then shortly after, Bermingham’s shot was saved after good work by Stephen Jordan.
City had reduced the Owls to hopeful long balls but nearly undid the good work as Eagles fizzed in a couple of dangerous crosses late on.
The game finished a draw and Blues can be happy with an unbeaten weekend, no additions to the injury list, and can take heart from the further encouraging performances of the young players.
Full time: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Manchester City 1
Next up it’s Olympiacos at the City of Manchester Stadium in the final pre-season game before the big kick-off. The match kicks off at 3pm Sat 6 August with tickets still available from the Ticket Store.