Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday

  • October 14, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton ended a run of eight successive defeats and no goals by beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in an entertaining affair at Macron Stadium.

Making his second home debut following his summer arrival from Newcastle United, Sammy Ameobi was the man to finally break Wanderers' duck, cutting inside from the right before seeing his left-footed strike bend beyond Joe Wildsmith with just 10 minutes on the clock.

Wednesday substitute Sam Hutchinson sliced a corner into his own net just after the hour and although Kieran Lee pulled one back for the visitors, they were unable to force a draw as Phil Parkinson's side picked up three points for the first time since the final day of last season.

Having lost at Aston Villa prior to the international break, Bolton lined up with two changes to the side that started at Villa Park - as Ben Alnwick and Josh Vela came in at the expense of both Mark Howard and Jem Karacan.

With a renewed sense of optimism in the air, it was Wanderers who created the first opportunity of the afternoon as a wayward clearance from Wednesday goalkeeper Wildsmith fell at the feet of Adam Armstrong. After taking a touch to control, he immediately set his sights on the goal but failed to hit the target from 30 yards.

Ameobi took down a long ball from Mark Beevers moments later before firing over the crossbar, but it proved to be a sighter as the ball flew into the net on 10 minutes.

Having worked his way inside from the right-flank, Ameobi took aim with his left foot and bent an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner to give the hosts their first goal since August 22 - which coincidentally also came against the Owls in a Carabao Cup tie.

Bolton were the team in the ascendency at this stage, with Mark Little forcing a corner with a looping cross, while the returning Vela brought a save out of Wildsmith after he had been played in by Gary Madine.

David Wheater saw a goalbound header cleared off the line from the resulting corner, before both Ameobi and Wheater again narrowly missed the target as they looked to double Wanderers' advantage.

Despite dominating possession, Wednesday had failed to seriously threaten in the final third but they should and would have been level seven minutes before the break, only for the bravery of Little and Beevers, the latter of whom cleared an Adam Reach drive off the line to keep the lead intact going into the interval.

Unimpressed with his side's performance in the opening 45 minutes, Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal made two substitutions at the start of the second period - introducing Hutchinson and Jordan Rhodes in place of David Jones and Ross Wallace. Bolton, meanwhile, emerged unchanged.

With those fresh legs, it was the visitors who had the first chance following the restart, as Alnwick dove to his right to parry away a goalbound strike from former Wanderers loanee Barry Bannan.

Rhodes, one of those to have been introduced at half-time, should have levelled shortly before the hour, stealing in unmarked at the far post but unable to hit the target from six yards.

The former Blackburn Rovers forward was involved again moments later, with Alnwick this time required to make the save, before the visitors were the masters of their own downfall as Bolton doubled their lead.

Having escaped a major scare as Madine intercepted a clearance from Wildsmith and squaring for Vela, whose effort was deflected over, the resulting corner was sliced into his own net by Hutchinson, as the Trotters made it 2-0.

It should have been 3-0 from the very next attack, but Madine somehow managed to hit the post from six yards after he had been provided with the goal at his mercy from Vela's ball across the face of the box.

Madine's inexplicable miss then proved to be a turning point, as Wednesday pulled one back on 68 minutes.

Rhodes, who managed to beat Alnwick in the air, would have scored had it not been for the hand of Filipe Morais. Despite the obvious appeals for a penalty, and subsequent red card that would have followed, Lee made the most of an advantage and headed home from close range to make it 2-1.

Morais was booked for his handball in the build up and although a goal had been conceded, Wanderers were given the opportunity to keep 11 players on the pitch for the final 20 minutes.

Both sides then saw superb chances cleared to safety. First, Wheater saw a header cleared off the line as he went forward for a corner, moments before Little found himself in the right place at the right time to clear a goalbound shot from Rhodes at the other end.

Wednesday thought they were level with 13 minutes to go as Lucas Joao was picked out unmarked inside the box. With Alnwick committed to a dive to his left, he managed to stick out a foot and make an outstanding reaction stop.

Madine almost made amends for his earlier miss, only for Wildsmith to replicate the foot-stopping save of Alnwick, moments before Wheater saw a header cleared off the line as Bolton looked to wrap up all three points.

There was a heart-in-mouth moment with two minutes to play as Lee went down inside the Trotters box under a challenge from Wheater. Referee David Coote immediately blew his whistle, but awarded a free-kick to the hosts before promptly booking the Owls goalscorer for diving.

Six minutes of time was added for stoppages at the end of the game and although 10 were played, following an injury which saw Rhodes stretchered off, there was to be no further goalmouth action as Bolton ran down the clock to seal a first league victory of the campaign.

Wanderers remain five points from safety at the foot of the Championship table but they will have the opportunity to close that gap with another home outing next Saturday, when Queens Park Rangers are the visitors to Macron Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Little, Pratley, Henry, Vela (Cullen 84), Ameobi (Noone 72), Armstrong (Morais 60), Madine
Subs Not Used: Howard, Le Fondre, Robinson, Burke
Booked: Beevers, Morais, Vela
Goals: Ameobi 10, Hutchinson 61(og)

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Hunt, Lees, van Aken, Reach, Wallace (Rhodes 46), Lee, Jones (Hutchinson 46), Bannan, Hooper, Fletcher (Joao 75)
Subs Not Used: Dawson, Butterfield, Palmer, Pudil
Booked: Hunt, Lee, Hooper
Goals: Lee 68

Referee: David Coote
Attendance: 17,967

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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4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
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0.32% George Johnston