Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

  • March 12, 2019 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/e0d5a

Bolton's hopes of Championship survival were dealt a major blow on Tuesday, as they were beaten 2-0 at home by Sheffield Wednesday.

After Saturday's victory over Millwall provided a much-needed boost in confidence, Wanderers were given a reality check against the Owls - with defeat leaving them five points from safety with nine games left to play, and rivals above them with a game in hand.

The deadlock was broken in the final minute of the first-half, with Steven Fletcher ghosting in behind Mark Beevers before slotting past Remi Matthews, while Rolando Aarons added a second just before the hour, latching on to a through ball from Adam Reach before finishing in similar style.

Just three days after their last outing, changes were expected in the Bolton side and two were announced prior to kick-off - with Craig Noone and Jason Lowe back from suspension to take the places of Will Buckley and Andrew Taylor.

Noone took the place of Buckley on the left-hand side of midfield, while Lowe slotted into the centre, allowing Callum Connolly to fill the void left by Taylor at left-back.

With 'Storm Gareth' sending howling winds around the ground, it was Wanderers who created the first chance of the evening.

After recycling a deep cross to the far post, Noone stepped inside a challenge before seeing a deflected drive go behind via the outside of Keiren Westwood's post.

Wednesday's first shot arrived with 10 minutes played, with Beevers only succeeding in half-clearing a cross from Barry Bannan, leading to Fletcher forcing Matthews into action from the edge of the box.

Connolly was next to try his luck for the hosts, bringing a routine save out of Westwood on 13 minutes, before both sides settled in midfield as the possession was shared between the two teams.

It wasn't until the 28th minute that the next chance of note, and it should have seen the Owls go ahead as Atdhe Nuhiu headed straight into the arms of Matthews from close range after he rose to meet a free-kick from Bannan.

Bolton saw appeals for a penalty turned down when Joe Williams saw a shot charged down five minutes before the break, moments before Aarons broke free of Connolly to send a powerful drive just wide of the target.

The deadlock was broken in the final minute of the half, however, as a through ball from former Wanderers loanee Bannan picked out the run of Fletcher, who lifted a shot over the oncoming Matthews to send the visitors in 1-0 up at the break.

Michael Hector sliced wide for Wednesday in the early stages of the second period, moments before Noone volleyed wide at the other end after Jack Hobbs had headed a corner from Gary O'Neil back into dangerous territory.

The game was effectively over as a contest on 59 minutes though, as a through ball from Reach put Aarons in the clear and he made no mistake with a first-time finish that rippled the roof of the Bolton net for 2-0.

Noone, again posing a threat at set-pieces, saw a goalbound attempt cleared off the line by Sam Winnall as Bolton looked to get themselves back in the match - all of which happened moments before a six-minute spell where the home side used all three of their substitutions.

Sammy Ameobi and Connolly both failed to hit the target with free-kicks from range, while Marco Matias and then Liam Palmer were unfortunate not to add to Wednesday's tally in the closing stages.

The final chance of the evening fell the way of Bolton substitute Clayton Donaldson, whose first-time effort from a narrow angle forced a smart save out of Westwood, who retained his clean sheet as Wanderers slipped to defeat.

Phil Parkinson, who has now completed a two-match touchline ban following his sending off at Leeds United, has an almighty job on to rescue his struggling side, who remain 23rd in the Championship table with just nine games left to play.

Bolton return to action on Saturday, when they face local neighbours Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Connolly, Beevers, Hobbs, Olkowski, Noone (Buckley 66), J Williams (Connell 72), Lowe, O'Neil (Donaldson 66), Ameobi, Magennis
Subs Not Used: B Williams, Taylor, Wilson, Wheater

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Iorfa, Lees, Hector, Palmer, Reach, Hutchinson, Bannan, Aarons (Fox 87), Nuhiu (Winnall 57), Fletcher (Matias 84)
Subs Not Used: Dawson, Pelupessy, Thorniley, Boyd
Goals: Fletcher 44, Aarons 59

Referee: Stephen Martin
Attendance: 13,624

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Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Millwall 37 37
21 Reading 38 37
22 Rotherham United 38 36
23 Bolton Wanderers 38 29
24 Ipswich Town 38 24
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2017/18 Player of the Year?
53.85% Ben Alnwick
13.11% Sammy Ameobi
10.49% Karl Henry
8.39% Antonee Robinson
4.98% David Wheater
3.41% Mark Beevers
2.1% Mark Little
1.84% Josh Vela
1.57% Darren Pratley
0.26% Reece Burke