Sheffield Wednesday 0
Wolves took a point from a scrappy contest with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough with clear cut opportunities limited for both sides as the game petered out into a goalless draw.
Dean Saunders made just one change to the team that drew with Blackburn Rovers in his first game in charge with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake returning to lead the attack in place of Jake Cassidy who was named as a substitute.
Wolves kicked-off defending the Leppings Lane end of the ground that housed around 1,500 travelling supporters in its upper tier.
After just 26 seconds Ebanks-Blake volleyed high over the bar from the edge of the box and Wednesday responded with a long-range effort from Jermaine Johnson which was also way too high.
Karl Henry’s challenge on Jeremy Helan resulted in a Wednesday free-kick to the left of the Wolves area. Giles Coke’s kick drifted dangerously into the six-yard box but Carl Ikeme was there to punch clear.
Kevin Doyle slipped over in the box as he chased a through ball before the game was held up when Michail Antonio closed Ikeme down as the keeper was clearing and took the ball full in the face. He received lengthy treatment before resuming.
Doyle, with a diving header, failed to make contact with Kevin Foley’s cross and then Ikeme blocked as Antonio tried a shot from close range.
Jermaine Johnson, with a shot on the turn from 20-yards, forced a diving save from Ikeme, then the keeper dived to keep out a header from Rega Johnson which landed right on the line after Miguel Llera had nodded a cross back into the danger area.
Ebanks-Blake was unlucky to find himself being shown the yellow card and accidently clipping Anthony Gardner before Wednesday twice went close to breaking through with Antonio and then Kieran Lee both just inches wide of the target with drives from the edge of the box.
In the 45th minute a cross from Bakary Sako found its way to Roger Johnson on the far side. The defender hooked the ball over his shoulder but his effort went over the bar.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0 Wolves 0
Neither goalkeeper was unduly worried in the opening minutes after the break but there was a booking for David Davis after he prevented a throw in from being taken quickly.
Jamie O’Hara replaced Davis on the hour mark seconds before Ebanks-Blake’s persistence was almost rewarded with a goal. He hassled Llera as the Wednesday man tried to guide the ball back to Chris Kirkland but a defender ran in to clear before Ebanks-Blake could get a shot in.
Jermaine Johnson was booked for body checking Stephen Ward before the visiting defenders, in particular Christophe Berra, reacted angrily when the referee refused to give a foul when Antonio clearly shoved the Scot in the back as they chased a long through ball towards Ikeme’s goal. Thankfully, Antonio’s shot was both high and wide.
In the 67th minute a Sako corner was punched high into the air by Kirkland. From the melee in the goalmouth Antonio broke clear and he raced half the length of the field before slipping the ball to the unmarked Helan who blasted it into the side netting.
Wolves made further changes with Cassidy and Slawomir Peszko coming on for Ebanks-Blake and Sako respectively.
There was a chance for Jermaine Johnson as he took the ball into the box but a poor touch allowed Ikeme to gather. But the keeper was relieved to see the ball travel through his six-yard box after a low cross from Reda Johnson with Antonio failing to get a touch as he slid in.
Shortly before the end, Doyle wasn’t far off with a shot from distance that was less than a foot too high.
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Reda Johnson, Gardner (capt), Antonio, Jermaine Johnson (Madine 84), Lee, Helan, Prutton, Coke, Llera.
Unused subs: Bywater, Taylor, Semedo, Maguire, Mattock, Sidibe.
Booking: Jermaine Johnson (63 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Zubar, Ward, Davis (O’Hara 60), Berra, Johnson, Foley, K. Henry (capt), Ebanks-Blake Cassidy 77), Doyle, Sako (Peszko 81).
Unused subs: De Vries, Stearman, Sigurdarson, Batth.
Bookings: Ebanks-Blake (36 – foul), Davis (52 – unsporting behaviour).
Referee: A. Madley.