Report: Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Bolton
Wanderers completed a clean sweep of victories on their travels in Yorkshire this season with a 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon.
Having started brightly, the Whites opened the scoring with eight minutes gone as Neil Danns bundled home Jermaine Beckford’s pass at the far post, with Chung-Yong Lee doubling the visitors’ advantage 11 minutes later as he slotted the ball beyond Chris Kirkland.
Not finished there however, Wanderers made it three in style on the half hour mark as Liam Trotter’s incredible volley from 35 yards eluded the Wednesday keeper to send the travelling faithful into raptures.
The home side did pull a goal back in the dying stages of a breathless first half through Joe Mattock from distance, a goal which visibly boosted the Owls in the second period, but their efforts were ultimately in vain as a resolute Bolton held out for all three points.
Wanderers’ starting eleven saw a professional debut for young defender Oscar Threlkeld, while Neil Danns returned to the fold after sitting out Tuesday evening’s clash with his parent club.
There were also places on the bench for under-21 regulars Tom Youngs, Georg Iliev, Andy Kellett and Andy Robinson.
Wednesday began with some early pressure, but Giles Coke’s tame effort from the edge of the area was comfortably collected by Adam Bogdan inside two minutes while Michail Antonio’s curling shot cleared the Bolton crossbar.
Wanderers were soon threatening themselves with Matt Mills’ powerful header deflecting over the bar to the dismay of the centre-half, but the Whites weren’t forced to wait much longer to break the deadlock as in the eighth minute, Jermaine Beckford broke free of the Owls’ defence before playing the ball back into the path of Danns who bundled home from close range.
The goal seemed to give Wanderers a boost, with Beckford himself putting the ball in the back of the net with 14 minutes gone, only to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag.
The Bolton frontman was certainly causing problems for Wednesday, with the Hillsborough defence seemingly struggling to contain Wanderers’ top goalscorer.
Having been peppered with pressure from the visitors, the home side did enjoy a half opportunity with Jeremy Helan’s volley clearing Bogdan’s crossbar by a matter of inches.
It wasn’t long before Wanderers were back on top however, and they were rewarded for their dominance with 19 minutes on the clock as Chung-Yong Lee pounced on an error by Mattock before sprinting forward and slotting the ball beneath a helpless Kirkland to double Bolton’s advantage.
No more than the Whites deserved, Wednesday were visibly shell shocked by the scoreline and found themselves struggling to break down a resilient Bolton defence.
It seemed only a matter of time before the Whites extended their lead, and they did so in some style with half an hour gone as Liam Trotter unleashed a looping volley from all of 35 yards which gave the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper no chance and made it three for Wanderers.
It was nearly four just three minutes later as Beckford again broke free and slotted the ball into the far corner of the net, but yet again the flag denied him a deserved goal.
Having failed to even really test Wanderers inside the first half of the game, Wednesday pulled a goal back in some style with 40 minutes gone as Mattock powered home from 30 yards with Bogdan rooted to the spot.
A goal which visibly boosted the hosts, the Owls proceeded to push forward as the half drew to its conclusion while Danns’ attempted to double his tally with a free-kick, only to be denied by an alert Kirkland on the stroke of half time.
As the second half got underway, it was clear to see that neither side were settling for the current scoreline with Wednesday pushing forward earlier on while Wanderers themselves powered forward through Rob Hall but to no avail.
Danns almost had his second of the game with four minutes of the half gone as Chung-Yong Lee played the ball into the feet of the advancing midfielder, but Kirkland was to be the hero for Wednesday as he scooped the ball from the feet of the Leicester loanee with him set to slot home.
The ever dangerous Beckford almost formulated Wanderers’ fourth in the 53rd minute as he fed Hall who flicked the ball into the path of Chung-Yong Lee, but the Korean just couldn’t keep his effort down as it cleared the crossbar.
The hosts however were certainly showing more mettle in the second period with sustained periods of pressure on the Bolton goal, but their efforts were being lapped up by a solid Wanderers defence.
Wednesday made a double substitution of Jack Stobbs and Paul Corry just short of the hour mark in a bid to pull themselves back into the clash, with the latter being denied what seemed a certain goal by a block from Matt Mills deep into the area with 64 minutes gone.
With the home side piling the pressure on, Wanderers introduced Lukas Jutkiewicz into the fold in place of Hall to offer the Whites a two-pronged attack as the game entered its final 20 minutes.
Helen almost capitalised on a mistake from Chung-Yong Lee on the edge of the box with 77 minutes on the clock, but the Frenchman’s looping effort failed to test Bogdan in the Bolton goal.
Wanderers meanwhile almost made it four with ten minutes remaining as Jutkiewicz played the ball back across the face of goal to find Danns in space, but the midfielder was denied yet again by a superb reflex save from Kirkland.
Having made his professional debut against Leicester on Tuesday, Andy Kellett was thrown into the mix again late on in the clash and almost made an instant impact as he fed Chung-Yong Lee at the far post, but the Korean somehow smashed the ball into the side netting.
Wanderers pushed to extend their lead as the game entered added time as Jutkiewicz was denied by some last ditch defending at the back post, but it wasn’t to matter as the referee blew for full time in West Yorkshire.