A young Sheffield Wednesday side outclassed Hallam with a dominant 6-0 victory at Sandygate on Monday evening.
Three goals in six first half minutes gave the Owls a 3-0 advantage at the break. Three more came in the second period – including a Devante Rodney spot kick and a Simon Mirfin own goal, to complete a comfortable outing for the youngsters.
Hallam, who missed out on promotion to the NCEL Premier Division last season after a play-off semi-final defeat, welcomed their local Championship outfit for the first friendly of the new campaign at the world’s oldest football ground.
A bumper crowd of 300 turned out in the summer sunshine to watch the contest and it was the visitors, kicking uphill, who made the stronger start – an early glancing header only denied by a superb save from the Hallam keeper.
The non-league side quickly grew into the contest however, and had a good opportunity of their own after around 13 minutes – an attacker bursting through on goal before dragging his effort wide of the far post.
And Hallam were nearly gifted an opener in comedic fashion shortly after when goalkeeper Cameron Dawson was almost
lobbed by his own defender as he raced down the considerable slope to stop the ball rolling over the line.
But it was Wednesday who looked the more confident outfit and they finally broke the deadlock in the 37th minute courtesy of a close range finish from James Murphy.
Just two minutes later, the lead was doubled. Some good work from Jon Centeno down the right wing saw him pick out Sergiu Bus in the area and the Romanian found the bottom corner to make it 2-0.
The visitors were now rampant and Sean Clare should have scored just moments later when he raced through one-on-one – only to be denied by the legs of the goalkeeper.
But he quickly made up for it, converting Bus’ low cross from six yards out to make it 3-0 on the stroke of half
Hoping for a change of fortunes, Hallam brought out an entirely different eleven for the second half…even going as far as to change their strip from their home colours of blue to yellow!
Unfortunately for the home side however, it had little effect and Darryl Lachman’s powerful far post header gave the Owls a fourth goal in the 65th minute.
Seven minutes later, the referee pointed to the spot when Rodney was bundled down in the area and it was the same man who got up who convert the spot kick – beating the keeper to his left.
The misery still wasn’t over for the hosts yet though. Some magnificent work from Fraser Preston saw him charge down the right and into the box, sending in a cross that Mirfin could only deflect past his own goalkeeper to increase the deficit to six.
For a moment, Hallam looked to have earned a consolation courtesy of last season’s top scorer Michael Blythen. But any joy was short-lived as the goal was ruled out by the officials, keeping Wednesday’s clean sheet in tact as they ran out 6-0 winners with an impressive performance.
Hallam will now look ahead to the visit of Sheffield’s other club next Tuesday evening, as the Blades head to Sandygate, before beginning their NCEL Division 1 campaign next month.
Hallam 0–6 Sheffield Wednesday
James Murphy ’37, Sergiu Bus ’39, Sean Clarke ’43, Darryl Lachman ’65, Devante Rodney ’72 (p), Simon Mirfin ’78 (og)
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