Craig Mitchell leaves it late as Worksop Town hold Sheffield Wednesday U23s

Craig Mitchell - Worksop goalscorer against Wednesday.
Craig Mitchell - Worksop goalscorer against Wednesday.

Craig Mitchell’s 86th minute equaliser earned Worksop Town a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday U23s in Tigers’ first home pre-season friendly last night.

Lynton Karkach put the Tigers in the lead on the stroke of half-time only to see Wednesday strike twice after the break and look to be heading for a win until sub Mitchell’s late leveller.

The Owls started well and Brandy cut in from the left and whipped in a ball towards the middle where Preslav Borukov headed back across goal and wide.

Borukov missed again two minutes later as he headed Stobbs’ delivery into the ground and over.

On 15 minutes a Wednesday trialist saw his 20-yard drive whistle just wide of the target.

The Tigers then had their first chance on 19 minutes as Leon Mettam fired over from a Templeton cut-back.

Several minutes later, the Tigers won a free-kick after Atherton’s cross struck the arm of Kirby.

Woolley curled the ball towards the back stick where Karkach beat the defender, but headed over the bar.

Hugo Warhurst then made a crucial double save to keep the scores level.

Charles Hagan burst into the area and attempted to slide the ball under the keeper, however, Warhurst got down quickly to save.

The ball was partially cleared out to the left where L’Varn Brandy cut in onto his right and saw his stinging effort palmed wide by Hugo.

On the stroke of half-time, Worksop Town went ahead thanks to Karkach.

Steve Woolley’s cross towards the penalty spot was punched away by the goalkeeper, but only into the path of Karkach, who beat Kirby to the ball and the winger fizzed home his third goal in two games.

The Tigers made eight substitutions at the break while the Owls changed 10.

Wednesday came out of the blocks firing in the opening stages and after four minutes were on level terms.

Liam Waldock played a lovely through-ball into the path of an unmarked Ben Hughes, who finished off his chance by firing over David Reay and in off the bar.

On the hour mark Wednesday almost went ahead when Ben Hughes’ cross met the head of Joe West, whose looping header was magnificently tipped onto the crossbar by Reay.

As the game entered the last quarter, Wednesday put themselves ahead thanks to a magnificently struck Alex Hunt free-kick which flew over the wall and into the top corner, leaving Reay rooted to the spot.

Moments later, Fraser Preston struck from range, but his rifled effort rolled just wide of Reay’s left-hand post.

On 84 minutes, Wednesday should have wrapped up the win when Ben Hughes skipped past Reay in the box, but took the ball too far wide which allowed the shot-stopper to recover and palm wide.

Wednesday were left to rue that chance as two minutes later, Worksop were level.

A mix-up at the back allowed forward Mitchell to tap the ball beyond Render from which he avoided the challenge and slid the ball into an empty goal.

Wednesday could have snatched a late winner as another trialist cut into the area before shooting wide of the near post.

By Devon Cash

Attendance: 452

Worksop Town: Hugo Warhurst (David Reay), Deegan Atherton (Josh Hobson), Niall Smith (Michael Trench), Steve Woolley (C), Steve Wankiewicz (Matt Reay), Max Pemberton, Jed Phillips (Steve McDonnell), Jack Brownell (Kyle Jordan) Leon Mettam (Andrew Gascoigne), Lynton Karkach (Matt Sykes), Matt Templeton (Craig Mitchell)