Sheffield Wednesday match report: Owls 1 Bolton Wanderers 1

Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton Wanderers
Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton Wanderers
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Substitute Aaron Wilbraham popped up with a late equaliser to deny Sheffield Wednesday all three points in their clash against fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers at Hillsborough today.

Wilbraham rose highest at the far post to head in Filipe Morais's cross and claim his first goal for the Trotters to cancel out George Boyd's controversial 78th minute strike.

The results extends the Owls' winless run to seven matches in all competitions and leaves them eight points above the relegation zone with nine fixtures remaining.

In truth, a point was all Wednesday merited following a patchy performance. Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith made a number of vital saves either side of half-time to frustrate Bolton, who have already beaten the Owls twice this season.

Some boos rang around the ground at the final whistle following yet another frustrating afternoon.

Wednesday chief Jos Luhukay rotated his squad, making six changes to his starting line-up. Jack Hunt, Frederico Venancio and Daniel Pudil returned in defence, Joey Pelupessy and Sean Clare came into midfield and Lucas Joao was recalled up front.

There was little to choose between the two teams in the early skirmishes. Clear-cut opportunities were at a premium.

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Pudil blazed over from an acute angle before Tom Lees produced an immaculate sliding tackle to stop Adam Le Fondre from racing on to Sammy Ameobi's neat pass.

Le Fondre's intelligent movement off the ball was giving Wednesday's defence plenty to think about and he fired wide after more good play by Ameobi but he was adjudged to have strayed into an offside position.

Joao showed lovely footwork deep inside Bolton's half before slipping in Hunt down the right wing but his cross turned shot went well wide much to the frustration of the home faithful.

Moments later, Ameobi's deflected free kick forced Wildsmith into action as the visitors continued to press for the opener.

Former Owls loanee Will Buckley then burst into the penalty area after shrugging off the attentions of Hunt only to steer a left foot effort wide.

Nuhiu could have given Wednesday the lead in the 32nd minute following great approach play by the energetic Adam Reach. Nuhiu tricked his way past two Bolton defenders but his fierce low strike was superbly blocked by Alnwick with his legs.

Wildsmith yet again came to the hosts rescue, producing a stunning save at the back post to keep out Buckley's downward header after a brilliant run and cross by the lively Ameobi.

It was Bolton who made the stronger start after the break and Buckley's right foot curler was saved by Wildsmith after a neat pull back by Andrew Taylor.

Wednesday, attacking the Kop end, struggled to string anything together as an attacking unit. They kept giving the ball away cheaply and Le Fondre tried his luck from long range but couldn't keep his strike down.

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Boyd and Joao combined well together in the 58th minute, with Boyd whipping in a dangerous cross which evaded everyone in the centre.

But the Trotters kept pouring forward in numbers and Venancio had to be alert to prevent Buckley from breaking clear before Wildsmith was equal to Ameobi's drive from just inside the penalty area.

Phil Parkinson's men piled on the pressure and Ameobi, their main attacking outlet, unleashed a rasping left foot attempt from distance which Wildsmith turned away.

Nuhiu's final contribution before being taken off at the expense of Jordan Rhodes was to nod Reach's cross agonisingly off target.

With 12 minutes left, Boyd claimed his second goal in Owls colours to hand Luhukay's side the initiative. The midfielder, signed on a free transfer last summer, drilled an unstoppable left foot shot out of Alnwick's reach.

The linesman originally flagged for offside but then reversed his decision. The call left Bolton's coaching staff and players furious. Referee Darren Bond eventually consulted the linesman but gave the goal.

As the rain continued to fall at S6, Bolton pressed for a leveller and Pudil's header from substitute Filipe Morais's free-kick was tipped over by Wildsmith.

And Wilbraham's dramatic late goal ensured they left South Yorkshire with a share of the spoils.

Owls: Wildsmith; Venancio, Lees, Pudil; Hunt, Pelupessy (Jones 90), Clare, Reach, Boyd (Fox 86); Joao, Nuhiu (Rhodes 77). Substitutes: Dawson, Palmer, Loovens, Butterfield.

Bolton: Alnwick; Flanagan (Wilbraham 84), Burke, Beevers, Taylor; Ameobi, Henry, Derik (Clough 84), Buckley (Morais 60); Pratley, Le Fondre. Substitutes: Howard, Dervite, Karacan, Robinson.

Attendance: 26,809

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)

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