Report: Bolton 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday
In a game of few chances Bolton Wanderers were forced to settle for share of the points as their first game after the international break against Sheffield Wednesday ended in stalemate.
Dorian Dervite and Jay Spearing had the opportunities for Dougie Freedman’s side, the French centre-back twice coming close from corners, while Owls keeper Kieren Westwood held his ground well to deny the Bolton captain from range.
Owen Garvan came straight into the Wanderers starting XI as manager Dougie Freedman made six changes to the side that lost against Leeds United.
Mark Davies returned from injury to make his first appearance of the season, while there were also starts for Dorian Dervite and Dean Moxey.
Elsewhere Andy Lonergan started in goal in place of the injured Adam Bogdan.
In what was an even start to the first half, both sides were keen to press forward when given the opportunity.
The returning Mark Davies looked sharp on the ball for Wanderers, and was linking up well with Lee Chung-Young, Liam Feeney and Joe Mason, but with Wednesday doing well to get bodies behind the ball, the Whites were looking at their most threatening from set-pieces.
Bolton’s first chances of the match both fell to centre-back Dorian Dervite as the Frenchman twice rose highest to connect with two inswinging corners from debutant Owen Garvan, but he was unable to beat Wednesday keeper Kieren Westwood on both occasions.
At the other end Atdhe Nuhiu thought he had given the Owls the lead with a clever turn and volley in the box, only to see his strike chalked off for an infringement, while Matt Mills had to be alert to clear Chris Maguire’s goalbound effort off the line with Andy Lonergan beaten.
Wednesday saw stoppage time penalty claims turned away by referee Andy Haines after Nuhiu went down in the penalty area under pressure from Lonergan, but in a half of few chances both sides went in at the break with the scores goalless.
The visitors looked the brighter of the two sides after the break, and were unfortunate not to take the lead after Joe Mattock’s far post diving header somehow failed to hit the target with Lonergan left scrambling.
Wanderers fought back however, and could have taken the lead themselves on the hour-mark as Mark Davies’s blocked effort fell kindly to Jay Spearing on the edge of the area, but the Trotters’ captain could only fire straight at Westwood.
Nuhiu came close with another chance for Wednesday moments later, as Lonergan stood tall to palm the forward’s powerful strike away.
Lonergan was called into action once again soon after when Stevie May tried his luck from range, however the forward’s powerful strike was just off-target with the Whites keeper getting down well to cover his near post.
Jermaine Beckford and Craig Davies were introduced to the action in place of Mason and Garvan, while Darren Pratley replaced Mark Davies as Bolton switched to two upfront in their bid to clinch the win.
But despite an increased sense of urgency with balls being floated into the Wednesday area from either flank, the Owls backline held their nerve to prevent the Trotters from testing Westwood.
Wednesday continued to push and almost snatched a late winner only to be denied by Spearing, the Bolton captain being in the right place at the right time to claw a Tom Lees header off the line.
Substitute Royston Drenthe, May and Nuhiu all came close for Wednesday late on, but ultimately the visitors were also unable to find the breakthrough as Dougie Freedman’s side held on to claim a share of the points.