It was a disappointing opening game for promotion candidates Sheffield Wednesday yesterday as they were only able to secure a 3-3 draw with Portsmouth, failing to get off to a winning start to 2022/23 at Hillsborough.
Marvin Johnson opened the scoring within 10 minutes when he was given acres of space to fire a first-time finish into the Pompey net, giving Darren Moore’s side the best possible start.
They managed to hold on to this lead going into the interval and though the visitors were unable to test David Stockdale until the 48th minute, Connor Ogilvie levelled it for the visitors five minutes after half-time.
Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Sheffield Wednesday played at these 26 stadiums?
It looked as though their efforts to get back into the game were in vain when Fisayo Dele-Bashiru struck a couple of minutes later, but the away side were back level before the hour mark when Michael Jacobs had the simple task of heading home from close range.
New signing Colby Bishop put the south-coast outfit ahead for the first time not long after – but Dele-Bashiru managed to grab his brace in the 81st minute to ensure the Owls didn’t go home empty-handed – though Lee Gregory’s red card put a dampener on things in stoppage time.
Taking a deeper look into this game, we pick out one winner and one loser from Moore’s side following what was a very entertaining match in South Yorkshire.
Winner: Fisayo Dele-Bashiru
There was only one real candidate and that was Dele-Bashiru following his brace, proving to be an instrumental figure for the Wednesday despite only making 25 league appearances last term.
He started alongside Barry Bannan and George Byers, though there certainly isn’t any shortage of competition for spots in midfield with Will Vaulks, Dennis Adeniran, and Tyreeq Bakinson also available as starting options for Moore when all are fully fit.
Vaulks and Bakinson have the advantage of having plenty of second-tier experience under their belt and this could make it difficult for Dele-Bashiru to retain his place, especially with Byers proving his worth and Bannan continuing to operate as a key figure in the middle of the park.
If he can continue performing how he did yesterday afternoon though, there’s every chance the ex-Manchester City man will retain his place.
And with the Owls trying to tie him down to a new contract amid interest from the likes of Blackpool and Norwich City, high-class performances will only put him in a stronger position at the negotiating table.
Loser: Dominic Iorfa
Gregory is probably a strong contender for this one considering he wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet and will miss their big game against MK Dons next week – but one particular defender has to be the loser from this weekend.
Although he wasn’t solely responsible for yesterday afternoon’s shaky performance in defence, he was one player that certainly looked off the pace and could potentially lose his starting position.
In fairness, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man was starting alongside two new signings but he didn’t look ready for the start of the campaign – and that’s a real blow for him considering the lack of football he’s played in the previous two seasons.
He will be desperate to have a much more positive campaign during 2022/23 – but Akin Famewo may come in to take his place next weekend with Liam Palmer also available as another option.
A good week in training will be required from the 27-year-old if he wants to have any chance of retaining his starting spot for his side’s trip to Stadium MK.