Date: 31st July 2007 at 11:25pm
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A Brian Laws-less Wednesday fell to defeat in their penultimate pre-season friendly as former Owls legend John Sheridan guided his Oldham side to a 2-0 success last night.

The Owls boss was out of the country on a scouting mission to bring a new number nine in to Hillsborough – and on this performance, Laws will need to be looking very hard to get the right man, as Wednesday again looked lacklustre against lower division opposition at Boundary Park.

Over 400 Wednesday fans travelled to Vale Park to see their team demolished 3-0 by Port Vale at the weekend, and although there weren’t as many Owls fans to witness this performance, Wednesday will have to pull something special out of the bag to give optimism from the clash with Birmingham this weekend.

Stand-in bosses Russ Wilcox and Sean McAuley included a strong starting line up with Lee Grant, Lee Bullen, Tommy Spurr, Jermaine Johnson, Steve Watson, Glenn Whelan, Chris Brunt and Deon Burton all starting for the Owls.

But first half strikes from Craig Davies and former Leeds United and Middlesbrough hitman Michael Ricketts were enough to defeat the Owls at Boundary Park and leave Laws plenty to ponder ahead of the big kick-off.

And the Latics had former Wednesday loanee stopper Mark Crossley in goal at the end, although he wasn’t called in to action early on, and it was an error between Whelan and Bullen which allowed Davies to pounce and put the hosts in front early on.

Ricketts stole in to double the Latics’ lead just before the break but there was more worry for Wednesday when striker Deon Burton was forced off before the end of the first half after going down from an Oldham challenge.

The Owls management team will be sweating over the fitness of the former Derby and Portsmouth man over the next few days as they look to sign off their pre-season on a high with victory over Premiership new boys Birmingham City at Hillsborough this Saturday (kick-off 3pm, tickets £10 adults and £5 concessions).

Wednesday: Grant, McMenamin (Simek 46), Bullen, Beevers (Hinds 46), Spurr, Johnson (Small 46), Watson (O’Brien 46), Whelan (Lunt 46), Brunt (Lekaj 46), Burton (Tudgay 42), Clarke (Folly 68).