Date:Thursday July 27 2006
The Owls' first pre-season friendly on home soil ended in embarrassment as a near full-strength side were on the wrong end of a 4-0 drubbing to League Two side Mansfield Town on Wednesday night.
Former Owl Matt Hamshaw ran the show for the Stags at Field Mill after being deemed surplus to requirements by boss Paul Sturrock last year after seven injury-hit years at Hillsborough.
Sturrock blamed the 'worst defeat in 13 years as manager' on jetlag after recently returning from the Owls successful pre-season tour of North America.
He told the official SWFC website: 'Football managers sometimes make mistakes; five minutes into that game I knew I'd made the biggest blunder I've made since I've been here - maybe the biggest in my management career.'
As a number of fans chanted 'what a waste of money' towards the end of the match, the Wednesday gaffer apologised to the 1600 strong travelling army of Wednesdayites who almost outnumbered the home fans.
He continued: 'A lot of supporters travelled and have been kicked in the teeth. But they can take it that their manager has made a mistake and held his hand up.'
Former Wednesday trainee Richie Barker gave the hosts the lead from the spot on 23 minutes after Hamshaw was felled in the Owls penalty box by a clumsy challenge from Deon Burton.
The second goal came with just 10 minutes left on the clock when Dawson broke free from the Owls defence and slotted a clinical finish by Chris Adamson to make it 2-0 and open the flood gates.
The former Owls' partnership worked for a second time minutes later when a cross from Hamshaw saw Richie Barker make it 3-0 and see scores of Wednesday fans head for the exits.
Mansfield made it 4-0 and seal Paul Sturrock's embarrassment after D'Layrea took advantage of some sloppy defending by the Wednesday defence to send the home fans wild.
One positive point to come from the evening's 'entertainment' was the performance of striker Steve Maclean. The former Scunthorpe and Rangers man silenced his critics with some neat play in the Owls attack as he hopes to break into the starting line-up at Preston in just over a weeks time.
Sturrock's men will have to step up a gear or five for the visit of Middlesbrough at Hillsborough on Saturday as the players look to boost their, and the fans', confidence ahead of the new campaign.
Mansfield Town (4-3-3): Muggleton; Mullins, Hjelde (Buxton 64), John-Baptiste, Jelleyman; Hamshaw (Beardsley 85), D'Laryea, Coke (Dawson 72); Brown (Reet 83), Barker (Lloyd 85), Boulding (Birchall 67).
Wednesday (4-4-2): Adamson, Simek, Coughlan, Bougherra (Spurr 59), Bullen; Brunt, Lunt (McAllister 74), Folly, O'Brien (Whelan 59); MacLean, Burton (Graham 59). Subs: O'Donnell, McArdle, Boden.
Referee: R Shoebridge
Att: 3,665 (1644 away)
Date:Thursday July 27 2006
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|Sheff Wed||0||-||0||Derby County|
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|8. Sheff Wed||7||3||3||1||3||12|
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