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Report: Bristol City U23s 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday U23s

City Under-23s enjoyed an impressive 2-0 victory over their Sheffield Wednesday counterparts at Ashton Gate tonight.

Shawn McCoulsky and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans found the net either side of half-time on a night when Korey Smith and Adam Matthews were both given an hour to boost their match fitness ahead of Friday’s Severnside derby in Cardiff.

The Owls enjoyed some good early possession but were unable to create a notable chance, while City improved as the first half wore on. 

Lemonheigh-Evans was heavily involved as the hosts began to take control. After heading wide from Jake Andrews’ corner, the forward was presented with a better chance from Diego De Girolamo’s cutback only to shoot against the legs of a defender.

A rare sight of goal for Wednesday arrived when Devante Rodney seized upon a misplaced pass and rifled over from 20 yards.

But City were increasingly in the ascendancy and took a deserved lead on the half-hour.

McCoulsky should really have scored a matter of seconds before he did, as De Girolamo stood the ball up invitingly for the striker, but his point-blank header was somehow kept out by goalkeeper Dan Wallis.

Rather than dwell on the chance that got away, the striker was alive in the box again to meet Joe Morrell’s resulting corner with a well-directed header to find the far corner from eight yards, scoring his third goal in two games following a brace in the win against Southampton last time out.

City were playing with far more urgency and intent than their visitors. De Girolamo tried his luck from distance with a skidding low drive, while Lemonheigh-Evans left his man standing to surge into the box and force another save from Wallis at his near post.

Jamie McAllister’s young side started the second half the way they ended the first, taking only four minutes to double their advantage.

McCoulsky had already fired into the side-netting by the time De Girolamo found Lemonheigh-Evans with a raking diagonal pass.

The Welshman took it down, composed himself and twisted his way beyond the last defender before drilling a low shot past Wallis.

Smith and Matthews were each withdrawn after 61 minutes, with both men looking comfortable on their return to match action.

Andrews and McCoulsky both came close to adding further goals, while Morrell’s vicious strike took a deflection and forced another impressive stop from the busy Wallis.

The Owls kept plugging away, with Jack Stobbs lashing wide and Fraser Preston rattling the crossbar late on, but City were well deserving of a clean sheet to go with their second successive victory. 

City Under-23s: Wollacott, Matthews (Harris 61), Lyons-Foster, Challis, Kelly, K.Smith (Dowling 61), Morrell, Andrews (Difford 80), De Girolamo, Lemonheigh-Evans, McCoulsky. Subs not used: Robertson, McNulty.