Another match...but the same old problems for Carlos Carvalhal and Sheffield Wednesday as their winless Championship run stretched to six matches.
It was not that the Owls played badly against Bolton Wanderers. Far from it.
There was plenty of nice approach play. Just no end product.
If Wednesday had showed more composure in the final third, they would have been out of sight inside the opening 20 minutes.
It was evident for all to see that Wednesday looked short on confidence and belief at the business end of the field. Perhaps if they had a goal-scorer it might have been a different story.
It was exactly the same in last season’s fixture, with Wednesday controlling proceedings for long periods only to come away with just one point due to their lack of a cutting edge.
In the end, the Owls’ expensively assembled team failed to beat a side consisting of youngsters, free signings and journeymen to ease the pressure on Carvalhal.
Having been a defender during his playing days, Carvalhal can take heart from the fact Wednesday recorded their first league shut-out since their opening day victory over Bristol City. But it is wins Wednesday need to start climbing the table.
Following back-to-back league defeats, Carvalhal opted to freshen up his starting line-up, making three alterations.
He restored Jack Hunt to right-back, handed a debut to Michael Turner at centre-back and recalled forward Marco Matias.
It was Turner’s first start since April 25, with skipper Glenn Loovens dropped, meaning Tom Lees wore the captain’s armband. Liam Palmer and Ross Wallace also made way
As a mark of respect to Wednesday legend Ron Springett, who died aged 80 on Sunday following a short illness, Bolton’s flags adorning the Macron Stadium were at half-mast. The Owls will dedicate Saturday’s home clash against Fulham to the former England international. There will be a minute’s silence before kick-off and both sets of players will wear black armbands during the match in a fitting tribute to Springett, who made 384 appearances for Wednesday.
Owls dominated the early stages and Fernando Forestieri should have forced Ben Amos into a stop in the third minute after being put clean through by Jack Hunt, but the little Argentine slipped at the vital moment and Bolton cleared the danger.
Hunt continued to offer Wednesday width on the right flank and he drilled a peach of a cross into the six-yard box and Marco Matias looked set to open the scoring only to be denied by Prince-Desire Gouano, who heroically slid in to turn his effort away from the line and out for a corner.
Barry Bannan, who spent three months on loan at Bolton last season, sent Matias scampering clear again but the former Nacional man tried to round goalkeeper Amos and was dispossessed.
There were times when Forestieri’s pace and neat footwork work-rate unsettled Bolton’s backline and the little Argentine fed the impressive Bannan, who ballooned his shot over.
But the visitors did not have things all their own way and almost got caught by a suckerpunch.
It took a vital challenge by Lees to keep the lively Wellington Silva at bay before Derik Osede’s header from Liam Feeney’s corner went narrowly over the bar.
Another opportunity went begging for the Owls just after the half hour mark when Kieran Lee latched on to Bannan’s neat pass before gliding past Osede and seeing his fierce drive superbly pushed to safety by Amos.
Wednesday academy graduate Joe Wildsmith, playing in goal for the second match in a row due to Keiren Westwood’s side strain problem, pulled off a smart save to deny Wellington as the hosts started to get a foot-hold in an entertaining contest.
Bolton grew in stature and Wildsmith dived bravely to cut out Wellington’s dangerous low cross, with Gary Madine, who was booed by the travelling fans when his name was read-out before the kick-off, lurking in the six-yard area.
Forestieri was a constant nuisance and came close to breaking the deadlock just after the re-start following a neat knock down by Atdhe Nuhiu but the former Italy Under-21 international’s composure deserted him at the key moment as he fired over.
Bolton responded immediately and Arsenal loanee Silva drilled an effort into the side-netting before Madine wasted a glorious chance to give Neil Lennon’s side the lead in the 56th minute. The Gateshead-born player somehow headed over from close range when the goal was at his mercy.
There were a number of cautions in the second period and Hutchinson duly collected his fifth booking of the campaign after unceremoniously upending Zach Clough, leaving him out of the Fulham encounter due to suspension.
Stephen Dobbie, a replacement for the injured Clough, caused Wednesday’s backline a few problems, steering a right foot shot straight at Wildsmith before curling inches over.
Lucas Joao saw his venomous strike well held by Amos in the dying minutes as Carvalhal’s side fired a blank for the first time this term.
Bolton: Amos; Wilson, Prince, Derik, Moxey; Davies, Danns; Feeney, Clough (Dobbie 72), Wellington; Madine (Heskey 79). Not used: Rachubka, Vela, Spearing, Finney, Walker.
Wednesday; Wildsmith; Hunt, Turner, Lees, Pudil; Lee, Hutchinson (Lopez 77), Bannan, Forestieri, Nuhiu (Joao 73), Matias (Sougou 66). Not used: Price, Loovens, Semedo, Helan.
Attendance: 14,438 (1,925)
Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)