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Owls denied

19 January 2013


Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves played out a goalless draw in sub-zero temperatures at Hillsborough on Saturday.


Chances came at a premium in a game the Owls largely controlled and it was only that final piece of the puzzle missing for Dave Jones’ side.


Wednesday went close on a number of occasions but narrowly fell short of securing victory, although they can take heart from a dominant all-round display.

Sitting on top of the Championship form table going into the game, the Owls were out to secure a win to take them within one point of their visitors from the Midlands.


And former Wolves boss Jones kept faith with the same team that dismantled high-flying Hull last time out, save the introduction of David Prutton in midfield for Rhys McCabe.


Central to that win was Jermaine Johnson playing in a central striker’s role and the pace ace looked lively in the opening exchanges in this contest, although the first opportunity of note fell to Wolves on 15 minutes when Kevin Doyle burst in on goal before being thwarted by a well-timed Anthony Gardner challenge.


There was little spark, though, to warm the freezing fans in attendance at Hillsborough as both strides struggled to make significant inroads moving forward.


But on 26 minutes, Wednesday upped the ante and almost made the breakthrough when Michail Antonio bustled his way into a shooting position eight yards out only for Carl Ikeme to race off his line and avert the danger.


That served as something of a springboard for the remainder of the opening 45 and the Owls certainly finished with a flourish, forcing a string of corners that put the visitors under pressure.


Reda Johnson went close after getting on the end of Miguel Llera’s header back across goal, before both Antonio and Kieran Lee slotted agonisingly wide of the target just before the interval.


The Owls continued to turn the screw in the second period, enjoying by far the better of possession, while Wolves relied on the counter.

But there was no real threat to Chris Kirkland’s goal and if anyone was going to break the deadlock, the smart money was on Wednesday.


Antonio took advantage of a defensive slip on the hour but blasted over the crossbar and Jeremy Helan smashed into the side netting ten minutes later after a driving Antonio run.


Still the Owls pressed and Antonio came within a whisker of settling matters when he just failed to get something on a Helan cross from the left.


With the final whistle looming, the hosts asked all the questions but the answer was a resolute and disciplined Wolves defence that held firm to ensure a stalemate.


Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, R Johnson, Lee, Prutton, Coke, Helan, Antonio, J Johnson (Madine 84)


Unused substitutes: Bywater, Mattock, Taylor, Semedo, Maguire, Sidibe

Wolves: Ikeme, Henry, Ebanks-Blake (Cassidy 77), Sako (Peszko 81), Ward, Johnson, Berra, Zubar, Davis (O’Hara 59), Doyle, Foley


Unused substitutes: De Vries, Stearman, Sigurdarson, Batth

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