Sidibe scores in Wednesday win
Mamady Sidibe scored his first Sheffield Wednesday goal as the
Owls won 1-0 at Bolton to record a third consecutive victory.
David Ngog and Martin Petrov had opportunities to put Wanderers
in front before Sidibe opened the scoring in the 25th minute of the
Boxing Day clash at the Reebok Stadium in the Championship.
An excellent stop from Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland denied
Benik Afobe 20 minutes from time and the visitors held out.
Peterborough’s victory at Wolves means Wednesday remain two
points above the relegation zone, five points shy of Wanderers.
Dougie Freedman’s pre-season promotion favourites remain slumped in
16th position following back-to-back losses.
Bolton defender Sam Ricketts made a hash of clearing a long ball
forward to present Michail Antonio with an early opportunity but
the Wednesday winger could not get his shot away.
The hosts proceeded to have the better of the early exchanges
and Ngog – leading the line in the absence of suspended captain
Kevin Davies – displayed superb close control in a fine solo run
that ended with save of equal quality from Kirkland in the 15th
Petrov and Ngog produced some slick interplay before the former
Manchester City winger lost his footing at the vital moment 10
yards from goal.
It was a slip his team would come to regret as Wednesday took
the lead against the run of play moments later.
Lewis Buxton delivered a searching cross from the right and
Sidibe got the better of Tim Ream in the air to emphatically power
Sidibe almost had a second in the 36th minute, just failing to
get the decisive touch on Rhys McCabe’s corner.
Bolton were evidently rattled and might have been two behind at
the break after Lee weaved his way around Ricketts and fired a shot
at goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
Ngog knew little about it when he nearly brought Bolton level in
the 53rd minute – Afobe’s well-struck cross from the byline
following a brilliant run striking him on the chest and trickling
Kirkland bettered his first-half stop from Ngog in the 70th
minute when Afobe met a superb Chris Eagles cross but was denied
from point-blank range.
A concerted late rally never truly materialised from Bolton and
Wednesday were safe when Ngog’s late header from Zat Knight’s cross
landed well wide.