Sheffield Wed 0 Wolves 0 - match report

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Wolves somehow escaped with a point at dominant Sheffield Wednesday to make it two draws since Dean Saunders took charge.

Wolves somehow escaped with a point at dominant Sheffield Wednesday to make it two draws since Dean Saunders took charge.

But Dave Jones's Owls will be wondering how they failed to win a game they pretty much controlled for all but the opening 20 minutes.

Keeper Carl Ikeme was a clear man of the match for the visitors after he foiled Michail Antonio with a superb block, a shot from Jermaine Johnson and he held a header from Reda Johnson on the line all before half-time, as well as a string of crosses and setpieces.

Jeremy Helan crashed a shot into the sidenetting as Wednesday continued to hold forte after the break.

Wolves, who have now gone six games without a win in all competitions, drew for the first time on their travels this season and achieved their first clean sheet in eight matches.

But there was little else to cheer for Wolves on a day when they had just one worthwhile shot – from Kevin Doyle, after 86 minutes, which flew just over.

Saunders seemed determined to be hard to beat and hang on for a draw as he reverted to a 4-5-1 formation for the second half as he switched Doyle to wide right, leaving Sylvan Ebanks-Blake isolated on his own.

Saunders made one change to the side that drew 1-1 against Blackburn in his first game in charge eight days ago.


Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaced Jake Cassidy up front after the 19-year-old made his full Wolves debut against Rovers.

That meant that, as Saunders predicted on Thursday, Jamie O'Hara had to wait for his first start under the new manager.

And his influence was sorely missed during a first half when the visitors created not a single effort on goal and they came under the cosh for long periods.

Wolves had the first chance of the game in the 12th minute when a lofted header forwards by David Davis fell invitingly for Doyle in the penalty area.


But the Ireland international delayed his shot and was crowded out before he fell under challenge.

Pretty much the rest of the half belonged to the Owls, who looked better than their position of fourth bottom suggested.

Jermaine Johnson lobbed wide of an open goal after Ikeme had been forced to come out of his area to chest the ball clear on 22 minutes.

Two minutes later, Michail Antonio easily outmuscled Christophe Berra to leave himself with a clear opening on goal, but from the corner of the six-yard box, Ikeme made a superb block.

Wolves continued to struggle to get out of their own half or create anything themselves.

And so Wednesday remained the dominant team, Jermaine Johnson testing Ikeme with a low shot that forced a falling save after the striker turned Davis.

Helan created the chance from which Wednesday went desperately close to scoring in the 34th minute.

The on-loan Manchester City winger's cross was headed back into the danger area by Miguel Llera for Reda Johnson to see his header held by Ikeme on the line.

Wednesday had three more shooting chances before the break without Ikeme being called into action.

Antonio rolled an effort inches wide after a wayward clearance by Stephen Ward rebounded kindly off Jermaine Johnson for the former Reading man.

Then Giles Coke blazed well over before Kieran Lee sidefooted fractionally off target as the Owls ended the half well on top.

If Wolves fans thought the first half was hard going, the second half got worse as their team was pinned inside their own half for long periods.

Indeed, it looked as if Saunders was playing for a point as he pushed Doyle out to wide right in a 4-5-1 formation.

Llera saw a 30-yard free kick bobble wide before Wolves brought on O'Hara on the hour to introduce some belated creativity, then Slawomir Peszko later on.

But the Owls remained in charge and Antonio missed another chance when he screwed his shot well over with Wolves players protesting in vain for a free kick as Berra lay sprawling on the turf.

Antonio then turned provider as Wednesday burst forward from a Wolves corner.

The former Reading man ran 60 yards before finding Helan to his left for a shot that crashed into the sidenetting.

Then, with seven minutes to go, Antonio missed a sitter from a yard out after Roger Johnson failed to cut out Helan's cross.

Wolves finally produced a shot of their own when Doyle cut inside and fired inches over from 25 yards for the first real attempt on goal in the 86th minute.

Wolves managed to hang on for a point as Saunders remained unbeaten.

But the fans will be looking for more form the team than this when Blackpool come to Molineux next Saturday.

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