Date: 30th July 2008 at 9:47am
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Wednesday’s form in attack has given Wednesday fans reasons to be cheerful this pre-season, but it couldn’t have been any different in last night’s defeat at Chesterfield.

Akpo Sodje returned to the Owls starting line-up with three pre-season games remaining but left the pitch with his head down after missing two incredible chances which could, and should, have seen the result end up somewhat different to the 1-0 victory for the hosts at Saltergate.

Owls boss Brian Laws put arguably his strongest line-up out for the clash with Chesterfield, Richard Wood returning to centre-back while Peter Gilbert moved to right back, and Akpo Sodje partnered Marcus Tudgay in attack.

But it was Chesterfield that were doing all the running in front of a decent turnout at Saltergate.

Sodje did have an early effort which he blasted in to the Chesterfield kop but it was former Blades man Jack Lester who was almost gifted the opener when Lee Grant made a hash of his clearance to see the ball go straight to the Chesterfield front man.

But Lester’s chip went harmlessly straight back in to the hands of a relieved Grant.

Chances continued to come and go at either end but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock on 26 minutes when Jamie Ward’s glancing header gave Grant no chance.

Sean McAllister did have the chance to level things up before the break but his effort somehow came back off the bar when it would have been easier to score.

Deon Burton came on to replace Etienne Esajas after the break and the Jamaican international fired the first warning shot of the second half at the Chesterfield stopper.

But it was former Port Vale man Sodje who was guilty of two glaring misses, first he somehow managed to head the ball over the bar from just a yard out when it was easier to find the back of the net.

Next, he almost took advantage of an error from the Chesterfield ‘keeper as he rounded him at the edge of the box but fired his effort high and wide of an open net to the amazement of the large travelling Wednesday support behind the goal.

Wednesday did put the pressure on in the latter stages but it was too little too late.

And Owls boss Brian Laws will be looking for a much improved performance in their friendly clash with Wigan Athletic at Hillsborough on Saturday.