Sheffield Wednesday 0 Wolves 0: Poor Owls held in Hillsborough stalemate

Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos CarvalhalSheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal
Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal
BELOW-PAR Sheffield Wednesday were forced to settle for their second successive point in front of their biggest Hillsborough attendance of the season thus far - with visiting Wolves unfortunate not to leave with maximum points following an underwhelming showing from the hosts.

Wednesday were far from at their best, with Wolves going to close to victory with Joe Mason hitting the woodwork twice with the Midlanders also spurning several other opportunities.

The Owls struggled to manufacture clear cut chances and were jeered off by some fans at the final whistle.

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Aside from a couple of threatening moments, it proved a frustrating half in front of a big 30,549 holiday crowd for the Owls, although they would have been grateful for small mercies in not trailing at the interval.

Referee Simon Hooper turned down what looked a stonewall penalty for Wolves when Kieren Westwood, out of his goal, clearly impeded Matt Doherty after failing to deal with a high centre on 40 minutes - but the Wiltshire official was unmoved despite strong protests from the visitors.

Soon after, Mason somehow fired over a vacant net from just a yard or two out after Jon Dadi Bodvarsson saw his close-range effort hit the bar - although the Wolves striker's embarrassment was spared by a late offside flag.

The Owls handed a debut to recent recruit Callum McManaman, one of five changes to the side who drew 1-1 at Preston, with Vincent Sasso handed his first start of the campaign - and just his second appearance of 2016-17.

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And it was Sasso who went closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts with his thumping eighth-minute header following Barry Bannan's free-kick being tipped away splendidly by Carl Ikeme.

Ikeme was also called into action in the 20th minute, redeeming himself to gather Fernando Forestieri's follow-up - with the Owls talisman fit again after missing the draw at Deepdale - after spilling Steven Fletcher's initial low shot.

But there was little else to get the big home crowd warmed up on a chilly afternoon, with it evolving into a game of patience for the Owls.

A half-chance for Wolves saw Helder Costa fire over, while there were half-appeals for a spot-kick after Mason went down under pressure from Tom Lees, but referee Simon Hooper was unmoved - and he was, rather more controversially, five minutes before the break.

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Things did not improve markedly on the restart and the Owls suffered another big let-off when the luckless Mason saw his shot strike the post with Westwood beaten, with Jack Price blazing just over soon after.

After bringing on Ross Wallace to replace Kieran Lee at the interval, Carlos Carvalhal played another card early on in the second half, with McManaman, short of match fitness, exiting the fray and Lucas Joao coming on.

But it failed to pep up the Owls, with Wanderers going close yet again with Adam Reach making a goalline block to deny Doherty after Bodvarsson's centre - as the hard luck story for the Midlanders continued.

A Forestieri curler which drifted wide at the other end represented a rare moment of threat from Wednesday.

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Mason's tough afternoon continued when he was sent clear by Conor Coady, but Westwood got his angles right to block his low shot, while at the other end, Ikeme held Forestieri's shot.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Sasso, Reach; McManaman (Joao 53), Lee (R Wallace 45), Hutchinson, Bannan; Fletcher (Jones 76), Forestieri. Substitutes unused: Wildsmith, Palmer, Pudil, Nuhiu.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme; Coady, Baath, Stearman, Doherty; Edwards, Price; Costa (Cavaleiro 61), Mason, Ronan (Dicko 68); Bodvarsson. Substitutes unused: Burgoyne, Iorfa, Hause, Saville, Enobakhare.

Referee: S Hooper (Wiltshire).

Attendance: 30,549.