Sheffield Wednesday 1 Bristol City 1 - Owls left snookered in relegation battle

Sheffield Wednesday look like needing snookers if they are going to escape relegation from the Championship.

Henri Lansbury handles on the line to earn a red card, and concede a penalty at Hillaborough. Barry Bannan missed the spot-kick.

On the opening day of the Betfred World Championship, at the nearby Crucible Theatre, the Owls were pegged back to draw 1-1 at Hillsborough against a Bristol City side who played with 10 men for 70 minutes.

With four games remaining – against Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, Middlesbrough and Derby County away – Darren Moore’s side sit seven points from safety.

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Julian Borner headed the Owls in front on four minutes, Barry Bannan missed a penalty – which saw Henri Lansbury red carded – and the hosts spurned numerous chances to seal victory, before Tyreeq Bakinson grabbed an unlikely 87th-minute equaliser.

Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan goes close for the hosts.

The major team news was starting roles for Kadeem Harris and Callum Paterson, while Joost van Aken and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru were named as substitutes following injury lay-offs. Moore was missing as he recovers from pneumonia.

The return of Nigel Pearson to Hillsborough, the current Bristol City manager, evoked memories of better days for the Owls.

Next week marks the 30th anniversary of Pearson, the former Wednesday captain, lifting the League Cup at Wembley after John Sheridan netted the winner in a 1-0 final win over Manchester United.

But the Owls had the perfect start, when Barry Bannan’s deep corner, was hooked back in by Dean Windass and Borner headed in from close range.

City swiftly came back, and Famara Diedhiou forced Keiren Westwood into a good save.

The visitors were down to 10 men after 20 minutes, but the Owls missed the chance to make it 2-0.

Lansbury used his hand to block Patterson’s goal-bound shot, to earn a red card.

But Bannan failed to capitalise from the spot-kick, seeing Daniel Bentley dive low to his right to keep the deficit at one goal.

Bannan then tricked his way through the City defence, but dragged his shot wide of Bentley’s goal.

Wednesday were dominating the game, Windass the next with a chance, but he was hurried into shooting wide, as they hunted a second goal.

Liam Palmer smashed an effort against the post, after popping up at the back post from Bannan’s cross, while Paterson was inches away from getting on the end of Windass’s fierce cross.

Wednesday had beaten Cardiff City 5-0 12 days earlier, and this was a similar display, all that was lacking was putting away their chances. Windass heading over Adam Reach’s cross, just before half-time, the latest opportunity to go begging.

Windass had the first chance in the second half, after an Owls breakaway, but with options to his left and right, opted to shoot and the ball was blocked.

Harris broke free, following a Windass cross, but was thwarted one-on-one by an alert Bentley.

It was heading towards one of the most one-sided 1-0 wins for Wednesday this season, but then came that late twist.

Tyreek Bakinson drilled in a long-range equaliser on 87 minutes, the ball sneaking inside Westwood’s right-hand post.

Substitute Jordan Rhodes had a stoppage-time chance to grab a winner, but scuffed his kick.

At the final whistle, Wednesday's players slumped to the turf and it felt like a decisive afternoon in their battle avoid dropping down to League One.