Aaron Wilbraham rescued a dramatic point for Bolton Wanderers right at the death after a controversial George Boyd goal had threatened to gift Sheffield Wednesday an undeserved victory at Hillsborough.
The assistant referee had initially flagged for offside in the build-up to the Owls' goal, only for him to bring his flag down which prompted the referee Darren Bond to let the goal stand.
And with time running out Wilbraham came off the bench to head his first goal in Wanderers colours to earn a share of the spoils and send the travelling 1800 Wanderers supporters into ecstasy.
Phil Parkinson made two changes to team which picked up a point against Reading in midweek. Sammy Ameobi and Derki returned to the starting XI at the expense of Josh Vela and Filipe Morais, the latter of whom was named among the subsitutes.
With two victories against Sheffield Wednesday already this season, Wanderers were hoping to make it a hat-trick against the out of form Owls, who made six changes to their team.
Daniel Pudil had the game’s first effort after five minutes when he flashed a volley well wide when his long range throw into the Wanderers box was cleared to him from a defensive header off Derik.
The match started off at an even tempo with both sides taking their time to settle into a rhythm.
Sammy Ameobi almost carved open Wanderers opening chance when he charged towards the box, looking for a one-two with Adam Le Fondre. The frontman, though, was unable to return the ball to his team-mate who would have been in a fantastic position to score.
The duo combined once again moments later with Ameobi threading through a lovely ball to Le Fondre who was flagged offside as he took a shot, which incidentally went wide.
The hosts should have been in front after 20 minutes when Jack Hunt found himself unmarked at the far post. His shot though skewed wide of Ben Alnwick’s right hand post to give Wanderers a reprieve.
Joe Wildsmith had to have his wits about him after Ameobi’s powerfully-hit free-kick took a deflection off the Wednesday wall on its way towards goal.
Buckley then had a glorious chance to put his side in front when he robbed Hunt of possession and ran towards goal despite taking a kick to the ankles. The midfielder was unable to get a shot on goal though.
Wildsmith was pressed into action as Wanderers upped the ante when he kept out a spectacular acrobatic volley from Le Fondre.
The Wednesday keeper was in inspired form as made a great low save to keep out Buckley’s far post header after he latched onto Ameobi’s superb right footed cross.
Ameobi combined well with Buckley deep on the left with the latter putting in a splendid cross into the box. The ball though fell between Le Fondre and Pratley and as eventually cleared.
Buckley was attacking well and might have done better after latching on to Taylor’s cut back. His shot was tame and easily gathered by Wildsmith.
A bright spell from Wanderers ensued and they were firmly on top but couldn’t convert their possession and incisiveness into chances.
Morais was brought on just after the hour mark when he replaced Buckley. The Portuguese immediately took a corner which was cleared for another one.
He was also involved in a build-up which culminated in Ameobi firing on target with a volleyed effort.
Wanderers had their opponents on the ropes once again but weren’t testing Wildsmith.
They did, however, when Ameobi cut in from the right an unleashed a trademark left footed striker which bounced awkwardly in front of the Wednesday keeper who did well to beat the ball away.
The hosts made their first change when Rhodes came on for Nuhiu with fifteen minutes of the game remaining.
Against the run of play, and with a degree of controversy, Wednesday found themselves in front thanks to Boyd angled shot at the far post. However, Wanderers were aggrieved as the linesman’s flag had been up for an offside infringement in the build up to the goal. For some reason, it was withdrawn seconds later much to the frustration of the Wanderers bench.
Burke also grabbed an equaliser when he got a header to Morais’ free-kick but Wildsmith managed to fingertip the ball over his bar for a corner.
Parkinson responded with a double attacking substation when he brought on Clough and Wilbraham for Derik and Flanagan.
And the tall frontman bagged his opening goal deep into injury time to give Wanderers a precious point.