Sheff Wed 0 Wolves 0 - Report and pictures

Wolves claimed a fully deserved point at play-off chasing Sheffield Wednesday - but will feel aggrieved not to have taken all three.

Paul Lambert's team were denied a clear penalty in the first half when Matt Doherty appeared to have been fouled by Wednesday keeper Keiren Westwood.

Joe Mason produced one of the misses of the season when he cleared the bar from three yards, while Mason later hit the post and Doherty had a shot cleared off the line.

Wednesday had their chances too but this was a good performance from Lambert side, which included Connor Ronan on his full debut.

Analysis

So Wolves' 2017 began with the scoreline that unhappily defined a chunk of their 2016.

But there was no tedium, no boredom and no lack of excitement here, writes Tim Spiers at Hillsborough.

In fact on another day Wolves would have comfortably won this. Indeed, they should have comfortably won it.

They were denied as clear a penalty as you're likely to see thanks to some astonishingly incompetent refereeing (not for the first time this season).

They also produced a miss, via Joe Mason, that will struggled to be topped all year, even if it is only January 2.

Mason later hit a post and Matt Doherty, the victim of goalkeeper Keiren Westwood's challenge for the penalty that never was, saw a shot cleared off the line.

Wednesday had their opportunities too, but Wolves edged this and surely no one from the home team would have complained had Paul Lambert's team taken all three points.

They even finished the game with three recognised strikers on the field in Mason, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Nouha Dicko.

There were many positives here, not least a thoroughly impressive full debut from teenager Connor Ronan.

Wolves defended, as they've tended to away from home of late, with discipline and organisation, while Jack Price was his usual tidy self in midfield.

And positives in performances will surely be the order of the day in the coming months.

Wolves look to have too much about them to get sucked into a relegation scrap, but it's an almost impossible ask to expect a push towards the top six.

It's about building for the future, and there were some good foundations laid here.

Lambert made three changes from the team that lost 2-1 to QPR 48 hours earlier.

Young Irish midfielder was handed his full debut on the left of a midfield three, with Wolves switching from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3.

Ivan Cavaleiro, Nouha Dicko and Bright Enobakhare dropped to the bench, with Joe Mason and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson also coming in.

It was an even first few minutes but then Wednesday twice went close to taking the lead, with Ikeme producing an outstanding save from Vincent Sasso and then a necessary one from Fernando Forestieri after he spilled the ball.

Wolves began playing their way into the game with debutant Ronan coming more and more into it.

A clever reverse pass almost played David Edwards in behind the Wednesday defence and he grew in confidence, taking his man on and looking to link with fellow Irishman Matt Doherty on the overlap.

It was Ronan's deep free kick from the left that led to one of the most perplexing refereeing decisions of the season five minutes before half time.

The ball reached Doherty - keeper Keiran Westwood dived at his feet with the ball gone and took him clean out...but referee Simon Hooper incredibly said it's not a penalty. Every Wolves player and the entire bench were up in arms and Lambert continued his protests at half time.

Then just two minutes later Wolves had the perfect opportunity to forget all about that and take the lead.

Conor Coady cross was flicked on by Edwards - it hit Bodvarsson and looped onto the bar. The ball dropped to Joe Mason, three yards out, and he somehow scooped a half volley over the bar.

If Hooper's decision was the worst of the season, then this was the miss of the season. Or of any season.

Wolves ended the first half on top - and they began the second half in the ascendancy too.

Mason must have been recalling whether he'd driven over a black cat when his 15 yard shot bounced back off the post. Jack Price then curled a shot over and Ronan's low cross was waiting for an Edwards tap in before a Wednesday defender cleared.

The hosts, sixth in the table, weren't happy. Carlos Carvalhal had sent on Ross Wallace at half time and just a few minutes into the second period on came big striker Lucas Joao.

But Wolves continued to look the more threatening.

And when Doherty had a shot cleared off the line - after good work by Ronan, Edwards and Costa in the build-up before a cross broke for the full back - you got the feeling it wasn't going to be Wolves' day.

Wednesday then enjoyed their best spell of the game, but some last-ditch heroics from Batth, Stearman and Jack Price kept them at bay, while a couple of shots dropped just wide.

Far from being deterred, Lambert went for broke. Ronan, whose impressive debut was full in intelligent movement and passing, was replaced by Nouha Dicko with 20 minutes to go as Wolves went 4-4-2 with Ivan Cavaleiro (on for Costa) on the left and Mason the right.

It looked set for a grandstand finish - but the game petered out until a frantic three minutes of stoppage time in which both teams made crucial clearances inside their own box.

Key moments

8 - Barry Bannan's free kick from the left is met by Vincent Sasso - his header looks in but Carl Ikeme, at full stretch, produces an outstanding diving save to push wide.

19 - Steven Fletcher's weak shot is spilled by Ikeme who gets up well to block Fernando Forestieri's rebound

40 - A deep Connor Ronan free kick reaches Matt Doherty - keeper Keiran Westwood dives at his feet with the ball gone and takes him clean out...but referee Simon Hooper incredibly says it's not a penalty. Every Wolves player and the entire bench are livid.

42 - A Conor Coady cross is flicked on by David Edwards - it hits Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and loops onto the bar. The ball drops to Joe Mason, three yards out, and he somehow scoops a half volley over the bar. It's the miss of the season.

48 - The ball breaks for Mason in the box - he shoots from 15 yards and it cannons off the post and to safety. Jack Price then curls a decent effort off target from long range.

60 - Ronan is taken clean out by Hutchinson (who is later booked) but plays continues and Edwards and Costa combine before the latter's cross falls for Doherty - he shoots goalwards and it's cleared off the line.

Teams

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Westwood; Hunt, Sasso, Lees (c), Reach; McManaman (Joao, 52), Lee (Wallace, 45), Lees (c), Bannan; Forestieri, Fletcher (Jones, 76). Subs: Wildsmith, Palmer, Pudil, Nuhiu.

Wolves (4-3-3): Ikeme; Coady, Batth, Stearman, Doherty; Price, Edwards; Costa (Cavaleiro, 61), Mason, Ronan (Dicko, 68); Bodvarsson. Subs: Burgoyne, Iorfa, Hause, Saville.

Attendance: 30,549

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Position in the table

16th (29 points from 25 matches)

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Comments for: "Sheff Wed 0 Wolves 0 - Report and pictures"

Not Convinced

soundsl like good effort from wolves - good debut from connor ronan until he got clattered - hope hes ok ; bod hit the bar with a header and mason missed from 2 yards and later hit the post - at least we did not lose but would have been a very good win .

Not Convinced

sounds like good effort from wolves - good debut from connor ronan until he got clattered - hope hes ok ; bod hit the bar with a header and mason missed from 2 yards and later hit the post - at least we did not lose but would have been a very good win .

chris h

1 Well done Danny and the rest of the defence, two consecutive clean sheets away from home. Not bad for 'the worst defence ever in the Championship' which was what someone (twerp) tweeted today. The strikers kept the goal less run going though, will soon be time for the Guinness Book of Records.

2 A good away point and no doubt earned by a hard working joint team effort.

Northern Wolf

Agreed Chris - Danny has his faults but his biggest weakness has been our failure to sign (a fit!) ball winning centre half. Danny is a sweeper and his stats for tackles and blocks back that up. What he isn't is a "9 times out of 10" winner of headers. None of our back 4 are currently which does leave us vulnerable to "2nd balls". Also central midfielders like Saville, Coady, Prince and Saiss just don't show for the ball and mount pressure on the defence - it's not rocket science that we make fewer errors at the back when we have Price constantly offering easy choices to them. None of that could be blamed on Danny

yorkypud

Think you'd have been surprised today with the defensive headers. We won most of them ( even Jack won a few!) and the blocks that were put in were excellent. ( not as good as their defender in the wall who blocked a free kick and then needed a lie down)

Wolvereeeen

I recall that someone refers to Danny as a 'moron' on these posts.

West Park

From the report sounds we played better than against QPR...

Poor finishing again from forwards has led us to be goalless again ! !

Useless ref denied us stone wall penalty.

More importantly is we need quality players asap and we're in January now so let's get the ball rolling and bring in the players who will score and players who will stop us leaking them in !!

Would have took the point before the game though. .

Northern Wolf

So relieved to see us playing football with attacking intent again. Wins & losses come and go but since Kenny threw a mental spanner and suddenly decided to play route-one we have played utter dross with midfielders picked for their ability to run about in circles & avoid the ball at all costs. If we play this way we will win more than we lose and we won't drive away the crowds any more - is that what you call a win:win in these modern times?

Chorley Steve

Good point & clean sheet (with our dodgy defence). However as other results today show we are still in a relagation fight & hope Lambert focuses (behind scene at least) on this .

Sir Lupi

Good result. Clean sheet very important today against a very good Wednesday strike force.

Our strikers need to start hitting the back of the net....this is our biggest worry for me rather than our defending.

Dittonwolf

Wolves Allover missed out on closing the gap over the last 48hrs which we would have been in the mix, But now we need to keep treading water and see the season out.

I wouldn't even spend in January, I'de just scout the lower leagues for up and coming talent and grab a couple of old heads from teams like Everton who's due a clear out come the summer.

Sir Lupi

I don't disagree with you there.

Who we going to be able to sign of any real quality in Jan considering the position we are in?

We have enough to see the season out, then once the squad has thinned out and Lambert has implemented his game plan, its best we do our business with a bigger window at the end of the season.

Loan signings such as Fondre, Danny Graham etc just haven't worked in the past, best just to see the season out imo.

Cookley Wolf

Good post Ditton. It's really frustrating how things have worked out since August, and it would be easy for Fosun to now make a number of panic buys in January, thereby repeating the mistakes of the summer.

Spending big again in January would also cause FFP problems for us later down the line, quite possibly at a time when the money could be better spent.

Lambert needs to be given every opportunity to build his own team and get them playing the way he wants. We need a big clear out this month, whilst aiming to make 3 or 4 signings that can strengthen the team in the areas where we all know we are weakest. As you say, a couple of highly rated young prospects together with a couple of seasoned senior pros would probably be

the sensible thing for us to do.

PL has done a far better job with the players he inherited than some people have given him credit for. If he can maintain that progress and we can finish the season in the ascendancy, then hopefully we can add another 3 or 4 quality signings in the summer and be genuine contenders next season.

boltonwolf

Well deserved point, but should have had all 3. Terrible decision regarding the penalty that should have been awarded to us. Good solid team performance and enjoyable to watch today IMO. MOM was ronan for me, excellent prospect, comfortable on the ball and isn't afraid to have the ball. Well played boys and we'll done lambert, the improvement since we last played them is there for all to see.

Bruce, Arouca, Trinidad

We are a much better team away from home than at Molineux. Look at the Sheffield Wednesday and QPR results; we lost both home games, but away a different story. If we could perform better at home, then we really might be a play off challenging team rather than one lower mid table at best. However, our two major problems are clear. Terrible defending at home (but OK away) and the tendency sometimes to dominate and not score despite having many strikers on the field. By the way we are looking for yet another striker in the transfer window. I have lost count of the number of strikers we have picked up in the last couple of seasons and yet we still need a striker.

gold and black wolves

hope most wolves fans stop moaning now after this

performance the wolves will get their

The Flying Winger

Solid performance today and Lambert has the team playing better, makes you wonder how much the Mol is a problem to the players with a section of fans on their back.

Good to see Daddi & Mason given an opportunity which was the right decision and surely given Lamberts promise to attack must produce something, it was good not to see the (holding midfielder)that tends not to work.

Another poor decision by a ref costs us again.

Good performance by Ronan and disappointing that the tackle was made and poorly punished.

If Dicko & Mason could just get that goal think it would make such a difference to us

Another good display by Stearman at the back, but also well done to all the players.

Subs one was forced on Lambert but good the other was made at 60 plus mins.

Perhaps he does take note of the posts on here Ritchie.

A point that we would have been happy with before the start and sets up nicely for a cracker next week, could we get a full Mol?

New Year , New Opportunities.

Mid table finish if we can consolidate and bring in a few players.

The Flying Winger

Sorry forgot Cup next week.

the big dog

Let's how long it takes those fickle fans to start posting about how useless Batth and Stearman are when today they both played really well, counting?

Finchy

It's not being fickle it's noticing the weakest links In the team and wanting them fixed or replaced and we've waited long enough for them to be fixed. They're not the only weak link though the strikers are also the weak links now. And the criticism of batth and stearman are not just from the fans even the fans phone in presenters were putting them down after the qpr game because of the downright amature mistakes they make. Fickle no... annoyed yes.

Dittonwolf

I'll take a swipe at em they are not good enough, only problem is we haven't got any replacements, they were big Mick's players so you have to blame the managers since he departed.

I was thinking we should try playing 6,4,0. because we can't score from the front and that might help out the muppets at the back who might have the odd lucky game where the other team have a day off. Ikeme pulled off some good saves.

Farmer Ted

Ditto, you will find that Danny Batth hardly played for McCarthy, which if you'd been amongst the Molineux faithful you will have known really irked the fans. Centre backs like Berra, Johnson and Craddock ...remember them? There again you are a fan who didn't know the iconic Waterloo stand was nicknamed the dog-kennel stand. Never mind you keep giving us opinions on matches you don't watch.

Farmer Ted

Oops Molineux street...you got me at it now!

Dittonwolf

It was known has the cow shed, know it all and I have been attending games home and away since the 60's and in the old forth Division, And I bet you rated Berra, Johnson was the best out of that bunch but we should have bought Danns with him, however off the field he was a disgrace where as Craddock give us good service though he wasn't prem standard.

Dog Kennel stand never heard of it.

Dittonwolf

OOPs we are talking the North Bank.

wolfsedgley

The only time I've heard of the "dog kennel" is what Coventry speedway fans call Monmore.Never heard any part of Molineux called by that name,but Ditton is right about the North Bank being called the Cow Shed.

Finchy

Sounds like ano there dominant performance and failure to convert costing us again. Good to have a clean sheet and against a playoff team too. Hopefully give the defence a bit more confidence. How did Mason miss that...? Interesting to watch the comings and goings now.

Cradley Wolf

Conor Ronan man of the match all day long....

Very Old Gold

Once more Wolves are able to rely on their cast iron defence. What a great comfort it is to know that there are such strong unflappable defenders. We know no one will make silly mistakes or give away last minute goals as happens to other less gifted defences. Only the top two teams in the League have had fewer goals against. What a comfort for the forwards to know that if they miss a few open goals they can still rely on the defenders to bring home success.

Of course I have only checked the away figures so far.

VictoriousSecret

On our way back from Sheffield and I think I have finally thawed out.

Today was a really god performance and the only thing missing was a goal which I really thought was coming. I am not Paul Lambert's biggest fan but I have to admit that today I think he got it spot on; the starting line-up, the substitutions, the timing of the substitutions, the overal performance and the work rate from all players was a joy to see. H. Costa looked tired today, by his own very high standards,but he still didn't look out of place on the pitch. The whole Sheffield team looked tired, perhaps all of these games in quick succession are taking thier toll on them, but they still managed to hold on for a point and they also had their chances to win it. I felt so sory for Mason after he missed what I thought was already in the goal but he tried so hard to make up for it with his work rate and link up play, I believe he can be a great striker but he just needs the minutes under his belt to get back to full sharpness. I would like to see him get a run in the team personally as I think he would be another one of those we look back on in a year and wonder why he is scoring every week for another team (if we let him go) unless we can bring in someone like Scott Hogan who is already firing on all cylinders. The defence was much beter today, well organised and much tighter. It seemed as if Lambert had told the midfield to be a little more conservative with their attacking (ie do not leave the defence exposed) but we still managed to carve out alot of chances and that penalty that never was, well less said about it the better. We we're talking to some Owls in the car park and they said they couldn't believe the penalty wasn't awarded, says it all really. Overall a god game, froze our azzes off but well worth the trip. Off to Orlando on Thursday for 10 days so we will miss the Stoke and Villa games sadly, but at least it will be warmer for us :) Hope you all had a lovely festive season, Vicky

chris h

Nice informative post, Vicky . Folks have told me Jan or Feb is one of the best times to visit Orlando. Enjoy.

VictoriousSecret

Thankyou Chris

The Flying Winger

V S, very good post totally agree about Mason and could never fathom how how he was messed around after we bought him, looks the most likely to score but games needed.

yorkypud

Really solid performance today. Back four soaked up and cleared everything after the two early scares. Great to see that we are creating plenty of chances and surely our time will come. Listened to Sheffield radio on way home and their fans saying the first pen shout was nailed on and that they were battered. Ronan played some nice stuff and looks like he can spot a player making a run. We've still got Zyro and Jordan Graham to come back yet.

Tellitasitis

At last, first game 2017 has set the standard the lads must attain for the rest of the year.

Some steel at the back shown today, and with a little more composure in front of goal, (Mason's miss is indicative of the continued struggle up front), it won't be long before the results follow.

Three key players in the transfer window - one at the back, one in midfield and one more up-front or wing-back, and we could be a force in this division.

Solentwolves

If only we had that lethal striker - but I for one am pleased we have acquitted ourselves well at a difficult ground and come away with a point. Delighted for Connor Ronan - playing at Hillsborough against a team that has been going well must have made this a memorable occasion for him.

JackoMac

Absolutely agree about the striker Solent if we could find one with the natural goal scoring gift it would transform this team.

CAROLINA WOLF

Happy with a point on this one !