Report: Blues Under-23s 5 Sheffield Wednesday Under-23s 1

Blues Under-23s made it three wins in three.


Blues turned in a five-star performance and swept aside Sheffield Wednesday thanks to a brace from Josh Andrews and further strikes by Tate Campbell, Oriol Soldevila and Kyle Hurst.

Spooner’s men were in complete control from the opening minute and put the visitors to the sword with some fine second-half finishing.

It’s a third straight win for Blues who have seemingly turned their fortunes around since the New Year. The Under-23s have hit eleven goals in those three games and have conceded on just three occasions during the same period.

This latest victory puts Blues on 19 points in the Professional Development League North with Wigan Athletic and Barnsley next up - two sides within reach.

Blues dominated the opening exchanges at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre and but for some better decision could have been out of sight by the break.

With less than 90 seconds on the clock the hosts registered the first effort on goal and it was a sign of things to come. Josh Andrews received the ball midway through the Wednesday half and shifted it out to left where Kane Thompson-Sommers took one touch to control before unleashing a rasping drive, only for Luke Jackson to tip over at full stretch.

The stop only served to delay the inevitable and the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner. Remi Walker drifted a ball to the back post where Joe Redmond rose highest to nod back into the six-yard-box. The impressive Tate Campbell was on the move and prodded home from close range to set Spooner’s side on their way.

Encouraged from the technical area, Wednesday tried to press with more intensity after the goal but some neat, quick and incisive Blues passing scuppered any signs of improvement.

Amari Miller dropped a sharp step over after a quarter of an hour and saw his deflected effort brush the side netting as Blues pressed for a second.

Andrews glanced a header inches wide following another inviting cross from Walker and other than the occasional Wednesday attack, Blues were in complete control of the game.

Walker’s delightful set-piece deliveries were causing havoc and Geraldo Bajrami should have doubled Blues lead when he met the latest in a series in swinging crosses from the left.

The biggest chance to add to the scoring was created by an unlikely source. Joe Redmond fired a firm pass forwards and continued his run downfield. Andrews fed the Blues captain on the edge of the box and with some quick feet, the Irishman released Oriol Soldevila free inside the box.

The classy winger had options to square across goal but instead chose to shoot from a tight angle.

The break proved to be just a temporary reprieve for the Owls and the onslaught only increased in the second-half.

The lively Amari Miller hit the byline and fizzed a ball across the box which was begging to be turned in before the Wednesday backline managed to scramble clear

By this time, a second goal was coming and it was the goalscorer Campbell who this time turned provider. Bajrami released the Blues midfielder out on the right and after twisting and turning beyond Ryan Galvin he squared the ball to Andrews who had the simple talk of converting into the roof of the net.

It was nothing short of what Spooner’s side deserved and they were far from done.

Not to be outdone by his defensive partner, Bajrami won the ball high up the pitch and drove towards the Owl’s backline before sliding a deft through ball to Soldevila. Having spurned a similar chance in the first-half, he made no mistake this time around, opening up his left foot and slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

And it was all too easy for Blues by the time Andrews grabbed his second of the afternoon.

The powerful frontman raced onto a ball over the top, exploiting a high Owls backline, before steadying himself to calmly side-footing into the top corner.

With the game all but done, Spooner made a double change which saw Kade Craig introduced for his competitive Under-23s debut, along with the more familiar Ryan Stirk.

Stirk was immediately in the thick of the action, sending a perfectly weighted pass through to Kyle Hurst. The tricky winger prodded the ball beyond the onrushing Jackson, evading a likely collision in the process, before tapping a fifth into the empty net.

The only blotch on an otherwise flawless afternoon came two minutes from time. Alex Hunt whipped a free-kick into the Blues box where Declan Thompson slid in to prod home a consolation for Wednesday which was met with muted celebrations.

Blues: Clayton, Williams, Redmond, Bajrami (Craig), Burke, Thompson-Sommers, Campbell, Walker (Stirk 74), Miller, Soldevila (Hurst 71), Andrews

Substitutes not used: Niemczyski, Fernandez

Goals: Campbell, Andrews (2), Soldevila, Hurst