Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

  • October 19, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton extended their unbeaten run to four games, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sheffield Wednesday at the Reebok Stadium.

Jermaine Beckford put Wanderers ahead with his second goal in as many matches, with 16 minutes played, but that lead lasted just 10 minutes as Alex Baptiste headed past his own goalkeeper to bring Wednesday level.

The visitors had a goal ruled out for offside with little less than 20 minutes to go, before Jose Semedo saw red inside the final five minutes for a dangerous lunge on Jay Spearing.

Matt Mills had two goalbound headers blocked by Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in stoppage time, as the game ended all square and both sides were made to settle for a point.

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman made one change to the side that won at Birmingham City at fortnight ago, with Chris Eagles coming in for Darren Pratley on the left-hand side of midfield.

After a sluggish start to the game, Wanderers almost went in front with eight minutes on the clock. Liam Feeney's cross from the right looked harmless, until Stephen McPhail sliced his clearance narrowly wide of his own goal. Mills got up to head the resulting corner towards goal, but the ball found its way straight through to Kirkland.

Beckford was close to tapping home a Feeney cross with 11 minutes played, before Giles Coke slammed a shot inches wide of Adam Bogdan's far post at the other end.

Coke was involved again, moments later, as he played Matty Fratt clean through on goal. The Owls forward only had Bogdan left to beat, but the Wanderers goalkeeper got down low to keep the game goalless with a magnificent stop.

Bogdan did well to keep out a Roger Johnson header on the quarter-hour, before the hosts broke up to the other end an opened the scoring. Neil Danns' perfectly weighted ball put Beckford in behind the Wednesday defence, and he made no mistake in clipping the ball past Kirkland with the outside of his left boot.

Beckford saw another goalbound strike deflected away on 20 minutes, while a long-distance attempt from Eagles was cleared to safety shortly afterwards.

The visitors were level at the 26 minute mark, however, as Baptiste headed into his own net following a cross from the Wednesday left. The former Blackpool defender was under pressure and tried to head the ball behind for a corner, but could only succeed in planting it into the far corner of Bogdan's goal.

That moment of fortune sparked a new lease of life into Dave Jones' side, and Reda Johnson headed over the top of the Wanderers crossbar shortly after the half-hour. The visitors then began to enjoy large amounts of possession, but struggled to get over the halfway line and put Bolton under a sustained amount of pressure as the sides went in level at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, and the first chance after the restart fell the way of the visitors. After being awarded a free-kick just outside the Trotters box, Lewis Buxton stepped up to take it. The Wednesday full-back hit the target, but Bogdan was equal to his attempt.

Wanderers then looked to hit the Owls on the counter-attack and they would have succeeded, had Feeney's final delivery not been played over the heads of both Beckford and Eagles.

Michail Antonio fired a warning shot to Bolton on 53 minutes, as his shot flashed just wide of the far post when found unmarked inside the penalty area. Antonio was involved again just after the hour but, this time, his goalbound strike was blocked by Spearing.

After a brief flurry of substitutions, former Wanderers player Jermaine Johnson broke free of Tim Ream and closed down on goal. Running away from goal, the ex-Jamaica international fired his shot across goal and wide of Bogdan's far post.

With 72 minutes played, Wednesday had the ball in the net. The travelling supporters thought their side had completed the turnaround when Johnson headed past Bogdan, only to stop their celebrations when they realised assistant referee Sian Massey had ruled the goal out for offside.

Antonio should have made the score 2-1 moments later, but he somehow contrived to scuff his shot from six yards and allowed Mills to make the clearance.

David Ngog, on as a substitute for Danns, almost made an instant impact upon his arrival. After powering his way beyond three Wednesday defenders, the former Liverpool forward was halted by Kirkland. The loose ball then made its way to Beckford, but his hooked shot was comfortable for the Owls goalkeeper.

Robert Hall went down on the edge of the box with ten minutes to go, but was told to get to his feet by referee Chris Foy. The Wanderers winger was clearly frustrated by the decision and went into the book for a late challenge on Buxton, which could easily have resulted in a red card.

There was to be a dismissal moments later, though, as Semedo saw red for a lunge on Spearing. The Wednesday midfielder appeared to make some contact with the ball but his studs-showing challenge was over the top of the ball and left Spearing requiring treatment on a badly swollen ankle, leaving the referee with little option but to send him off the field.

The final few minutes were all about Bolton and they would have won the game, had it not been for the reflexes of Kirkland. After a 20 yard shot from Mills failed to test the visiting goalkeeper, he was thwarted a further two times in stoppage time.

Both from corners, Mills rose highest to head the ball towards goal. His first attempt was parried behind by Kirkland, while his second attempt was blocked by the legs of the former Liverpool and Wigan Athletic stopper, who ensured his side left a rain-sodden Reebok Stadium with a point.

The draw sees Bolton drop one place, to 21st, in the Championship table, while Wednesday remain without a victory, in 23rd. Wanderers return to action next Saturday, when Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town made the long trip north.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Baptiste, Feeney (Chung-Yong 58), Kamara, Danns (Ngog 78), Spearing, Eagles (Hall 69), Beckford
Subs Not Used: Knight, Moritz, Pratley, Lonergan
Booked: Baptiste, Hall
Goals: Beckford 16

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Zayatte, Roger Johnson, Reda Johnson, Antonio, Semedo, McPhail, Coke (Palmer 90), Helan, Fryatt (J Johnson 65)
Subs Not Used: Maghoma, Mattock, Martinez, Llera, Nuhiu
Booked: McPhail
Sent Off: Semedo
Goals: Baptiste 26(og)

Referee: Chris Foy
Attendance: 17,177

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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