Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • January 12, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's desperate search for an away win continues, after they were beaten 3-2 by Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Without a victory on the road since April and in the midst of a run which had yielded just two wins from 32 games in all competitions, Wanderers were much improved against the Owls but, as has been the case so often this season, they were left with nothing at the full-time whistle.

Fernando Forestieri put the home side ahead inside 14 minutes, only for Gary Madine to equalise against his former club. Gary Hooper restored Wednesday's lead seven minutes into the second half, but the visitors were level again just after the hour as David Wheater headed home a free-kick from Liam Feeney.

Hooper scored his second and Wednesday's third 13 minutes from time, though, as Bolton were left to rue a night of missed chances after a much-improved display from their weekend trip to Eastleigh.

Neil Lennon made one change to the side that started against Eastleigh on Saturday, Liam Trotter returning in place of Neil Danns for his first Wanderers outing since the opening day of the season.

Josh Vela started in midfield, on the same day it emerged a £500,000 offer from Cardiff City had been accepted, while Zach Clough, who has met up with Bristol City officials over a proposed £2million transfer, was on the bench. Mark Davies, the subject of a potential £700,000 switch to Wednesday, was left out.

Once referee Simon Hooper had blown to start the game, it was the home side who created the first shooting opportunity, but Ross Wallace's early sighter could only find the seats behind the goal.

Feeney and Madine linked up well at the other end, moments later, with the latter close to connecting with a wicked cross into the box, before Hooper, a one-time Bolton target, scuffed wide when presented with a one-on-one chance.

Wednesday took the lead just before the quarter-hour, though, as Wellington Silva was dispossessed in midfield and Forestieri unleashed an unstoppable 30-yard strike that looped up and over Ben Amos before finding the net.

But Bolton were level within five minutes, courtesy of a former Owls player. Silva, making amends for his earlier error, caused panic with the left-flank and his low cross was bundled home by Madine, who seemingly knew little about a misguided shot from Liam Trotter before prodding the ball beyond Joe Wildsmith.

Atdhe Nuhiu and Darren Pratley came close at either end as the clock ticked towards the half-hour, before Rob Holding saw glory, only for Wildsmith to pounce on the loose ball after fumbling an initial cross into the box.

Wanderers won two separate free-kicks as the half drew to a close, but Feeney was wasteful in front of goal - firing over the bar with the first effort, before shooting straight into the wall with the second - before Hooper's wastefulness at the other end, with him firing over from close range, ensured the sides went in level at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, which began with Wednesday taking the lead for a second time within seven minutes of the restart.

After racing away from Feeney down the Owls left-hand side, Pudil delivered a low ball across the face of goal and Hooper had the simple task of slotting home from close range, despite the best efforts of a scrambling Amos on his line.

Bolton almost equalised within 60 seconds, but Madine's close-range header was straight at Wildsmith. However, they did draw level just after the hour as an inswinging free-kick from Feeney was headed up and over the Wednesday goalkeeper by Wheater, who turned to see the ball nestle in the net.

Madine and Hooper came close with headers at either end, as both sides looked to score an all-important third goal for their teams, while Wheater once again caused trouble in the Owls box, with Wildsmith this time alert to prevent his flick from reaching an unmarked Madine.

Silva was inches away from hitting the target with a free-kick 15 minutes from time, awarded after he was hauled down on the edge of the box, before Wednesday went straight up to the other end of the field to take the lead yet again.

Ross Wallace's ball into the Bolton box looked set to be dealt with by Wheater, but Hooper outmuscled the Wanderers defender, albeit with a suspicion of a high boot, before slamming high into the roof of the net past a helpless Amos.

Silva was a constant thorn in the side of the hosts and he was the provider again on 80 minutes, crossing the ball low for Pratley, who somehow contrived to direct his shot wide of the far post when it had looked easier to score.

Vela's evening came to an end with six minutes to go, with Clough coming on in his place, and he was involved almost immediately, flicking the ball through to Madine, whose early shot was straight at Wildsmith.

Wednesday kept control of possession in the closing stages and were denied in their quest to add a fourth in stoppage time, with Hooper's hopes of a hat-trick thwarted by Amos, but Bolton couldn't find a way back and crashed to defeat that sees them remain at the foot of the Championship table.

Lennon's side return to action on Saturday, when they come up against former manager Dougie Freedman as the Trotters travel to Nottingham Forest.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Hunt (Palmer 82), Sasso, Loovens, Pudil, Wallace, Lee, Forestieri (Helan 79), Bannan, Nuhiu (Lucas Joao 63), Hooper
Subs Not Used: Semedo, Lopez, Sougou, Price
Booked: Hunt, Bannan
Goals: Forestieri 14, Hooper 52,77

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Holding, Dervite, Wheater, Moxey, Vela (Clough 84), Trotter, Feeney, Pratley, Silva (Woolery 90+1), Madine
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Spearing, Danns, Casado, Ameobi
Booked: Trotter
Goals: Madine 19, Wheater 62

Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 20,757

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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