Bolton 0 Sheffield Weds 0: Owls continue to offer style but no substance

Sheffield Wednesday's Kieran Lee attempts to get a shot on goal against Bolton Wanderers last night (Picture: Steve Ellis).
Sheffield Wednesday's Kieran Lee attempts to get a shot on goal against Bolton Wanderers last night (Picture: Steve Ellis).
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IF anyone is wondering, the Portuguese word for frustration is very similar to its English equivalent.

It is ‘frustracao’, which is what Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal will be feeling this morning, despite watching his side display a fair amount of footballing verve for considerable parts of the second instalment of their Roses double-header.

Unfortunately, just like Saturday’s game at Burnley, the visitors did not head away from Lancashire with an uplifting victory, and while they at least took something home after losing at Turf Moor, it could have been so much more.

Wednesdayites in attendance were entitled to be enthused by another stylish display for large parts of proceedings, especially given the dearth of entertainment they were afforded for most of 2014-15.

But in the hard grind that is Championship life, three points are unfortunately not given for artistic merit alone.

For the second game running, the Owls floated around like a butterfly with some expressive football, but also stung like one after wasting several gilt-edged chances.

It was particularly prevalent in the first period when the game’s outcome could – and probably should – have been wrapped up.

The upshot is that Carvalhal’s side are now six games without a win in the Championship, with their only league victory this term coming on August 8 against Bristol City.

A solid enough defensive performance, given some cheap concessions at Burnley, was the major plus point.

But a lack of predatory finishing only heightened many supporters’ protestations for the club to bring in a bona fide ‘fox in the box’ with Championship savvy, which the Owls clearly lack at the moment.

To add to a frustrating night, midfield enforcer Sam Hutchinson copped a fifth booking of the season to incur a two-match ban.

If anyone was in any doubt where the Owls’ current deficiencies lie, it was underpinned with the equivalent of reinforced concrete in the first period.

It was a re-run of Saturday’s events in a different corner of Lancashire, when a proliferation of chances were carved out by the easy-on-the-eye Owls, who at least could reflect on troubling the scorers once in a dominant first half at Turf Moor.

Some 30 miles or so down the road in another old mill town, the chances continued to stack up and came and went, but this time without troubling the scoreboard at least once.

A mixture of meek finishing, sloppy play and assured goalkeeping from Ben Amos, but mainly the former, ensured the Owls drew another oh-so-frustrating blank.

Fielding a fluid 4-1-3-2 system, with Marco Matias and Jack Hunt restored to the side, the visitors could easily have been 2-0 up at the interval in a half which was highly open and entertaining.

First, Fernando Forestieri was sent clear, only to inexplicably slip before Hunt’s lovely cross across the face of goal was latched onto by Matias for a near-certain looking opener, only for Prince-Desire Gouano to somehow block.

Matias had a chance to redeem himself not long after, with Amos reading the situation superbly when he tried to round him before Barry Bannan fired over.

As the chances stacked up, the lingering impression was that Bolton might just punish the Owls and Derik Osede nearly did, with his header brushing the woodwork.

Kieran Lee added to the litany of missed chances, with Amos blocking his effort when he weaved into the box before Wellington Silva went within inches of firing Wanderers ahead, with Tom Lees getting a vital touch to divert the ball just wide.

The Owls carried on from where they left off on the restart with Forestieri afforded another presentable sight of goal, only to fire wastefully into the 1,925 away contingent.

With so many chances having come and gone, it was perhaps not surprising that Bolton drew some succour and as the half progressed, it was the Lancashire club who started to up the ante.

An offside flag spared ex-Owl Gary Madine’s blushes following a poor miss, before substitute Stephen Dobbie went close twice after showing his intent straightaway after entering the fray.

Owls replacement Lucas Joao was also afforded a sight of goal not long after coming on, but his low shot was easily held by Amos as the game ended goalless.

Bolton Wanderers: Amos; Wilson, Gouano, Osede, Moxey; Feeney, Davies, Danns, Silva; Clough (Dobbie 72); Madine (Heskey 79). Unused substitutes: Rachubka, Vela, Spearing, Finney, Walker.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith; Hunt, Lees, Turner, Pudil; Hutchinson (Lopez 77), Matias (Soudou 67), Lee, Bannan; Forestieri, Nuhiu (Joao 73). Unused substitutes: Price, Loovens, Semedo, Helan.

Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside).