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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:32 21st June 2012

Sidibe strikes


A maiden Owls goal from loanee Mamady Sidibe gave Wednesday a third successive Championship win at Bolton on Boxing Day.

The Stoke striker, who extended his S6 stay on Christmas Eve, handed Wednesdayites the perfect present by swooping midway through the first half to decide a relatively even contest at The Reebok Stadium.

The game could have gone either way in truth but the Owls were good overall value for three more points in their bid to climb the Championship table.

Wednesday headed over the Pennines boosted by successive victories over Barnsley and Charlton, although the Trotters arguably posed a greater threat.

The recently relegated Premiership side were missing skipper and talisman Kevin Davies but could still call upon an armoury of top-flight talent, including the likes former Liverpool ace David Ngog and ex-Wednesday loanee Chris Eagles.

And Bolton began the contest well, although defender Tyrone Mears had to be on his toes to deny Michail Antonio a direct route on goal five minutes in following a long punt upfield by Miguel Llera.

It was dangerman Ngog who had the first real sight of goal on the 15-minute mark, bursting down the left side of the penalty area before unleashing a fierce drive across Chris Kirkland that the keeper did well to parry to safety.

And that save served Wednesday well as ten minutes later, they took the lead.

Lewis Buxton floated an accurate feed right into the danger zone to pick out the advancing Sidibe, who nodded a powerful header high into the roof of the net beyond the despairing Adam Bogdan.

Seven minutes before the break, it could have been two, as an inswinging corner from Rhys McCabe found the head of Llera, whose glancing effort fell the wrong side of the post.

And the impressive Owls ended the first half in the driving seat, with Kieran Lee hitting a daisycutter goalwards that Bogdan smothered at the second attempt.

The Trotters, beaten only twice at home this season, had to take the game to Wednesday after the break.

And after finding their feet following a nervy start, Bolton almost levelled on 52 minutes.

Benik Afobe darted down the right and cut inside the box to feed Ngog but the striker’s finish was narrowly off target.

At the other end, Reda Johnson just failed by a whisker to get something on another piercing McCabe corner before the same player headed wide from a clipped Jeremy Helan cross.

The second half unfolded in much the same way as the first as the game ebbed and flowed without either side taking a real grip.

Bolton had the next chance – and a clear one at that – when Eagles curled a superb ball into the mix that landed right on the head of Ngog but Kirkland was down smartly to thwart the frontman.

The Owls largely kept Dougie Freedman’s outfit at bay, pressing forward on occasion in the closing stages and defending stoutly in numbers when required.

And the Trotters saw out the game with more of the possession but the Owls’ rearguard held firm, with Sidibe’s earlier strike proving the difference.

Bolton: Bogdan, Ream, Mears, Ricketts (Alonso 74), Knight, Andrews, Spearing, Ngog, Afobe, Eagles (Sordell 74), Petrov (Lee 65)

Unused substitutes: Lonergan, Butterfield, Pratley, Riley

Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, R Johnson (Mattock 76), Lee, Antonio (J Johnson 90), Prutton, McCabe, Helan, Sidibe (O’Grady 76)

Unused substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, Lines, Madine

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.