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Match Report: Sheffield Wednesday 1 v 2 Bolton Wanderers

Lenny's gallant lions travelled to Mordor and came back with a preccciousssss three points

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

They say the mark of Champions is to win whilst playing poorly.

With that old adage in mind it can only be a matter of time before Bolton Wanderers are named as the bookies favourite to win the 2016/17 Champions League.

Neil Lennon has overseen a quiet revolution at the club, revitalising previously-sidelined players, and inspiring those players whose Wanderers careers had appeared to be coming to an end. So with this new-found confidence in mind, Wanderers travelled across the Pennines towards Sheffield in the hope of returning to civilisation with three delicious league points.

Lennon's team selection raised one or two eyebrows with the assembled internet experts struggling to fathom whether the manager was going with five at the back or an attacking three with David Wheater coming in for Liam Trotter whose own poor performances led to his dropping from the starting XI. Craig Davies completed his return from injury coming in for Eidur Gudjohnsen.

The majority of Lennon's games had seen the mighty Whites start slowly, but this was different. Just two minutes had elapsed when out-of-form winger Liam Feeney struck a low shot beyond former Sunderland goalkeeper Kieren Westwood who stood no chance.

The lead was extended in the 25th minute when Darren Pratley continued his recent upturn in form with a well-taken goal which again left Westwood with little chance of making a save.

Wednesday struck back just three minutes later when they were awarded a penalty, which Chris Maguire confidently fired beyond Andy Lonergan who kept his place in between the sticks.

The second half saw the home side dominate proceedings, with Wednesday making sure that Lonergan earned his corn with several fine saves. Further controversy arrived in the shape of a red card to Wednesday sub and former Chelsea man Sam Hutchinson after just 14 minutes on the field.

Scottish hipster Stevie May then hilariously thought he had equalised late on when he bundled the ball over the line after Atdhe Nuhiu's effort hit the bar, but he was ruled offside by the assistant referee. Incorrectly, it turned out, for the LOLz.

Wednesday sub Claude Dielna hit the post in stoppage time for the Owls, who had substitute Sam Hutchinson sent off late on.

The win moves Neil Lennon's side up to 14th in the league, while the Owls remain in ninth which is surprising considering the somewhat agricultural nature of their football - but fair play to them making the most out what they have.

Incredibly bitter Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray whined:

"We've looked at Stevie May's goal and he was onside. We've been punished by a poor decision.

"We started so poorly and then we gifted them a second goal so we gave ourselves a bit of a mountain to climb. Credit to the boys because they stuck at it.

"We got back in the game with the penalty and it was hard enough playing Bolton with 11 men, but then with Sam getting sent off it was very, very difficult.

"They're a big, physical side and they bypassed the midfield. They know how to kill the game off, which was frustrating."

Bolton hero Neil Lennon then said:

"We're getting further and further away from the bottom three, which is great. We can maybe look forward to challenging the top 10.

"To come away from home and play as well as we did is very pleasing. We got off to a great start and played some super football.

With our performance in the first half and the chances we created in the second half, it could have been a more comfortable win.

"On the counter-attack we were very dangerous and I thought Emile Heskey was terrific, considering the length of times he's been outside of England. His experience today was invaluable to us.

"There were a few decisions for both teams that were debatable, to say the least, but I don't want to talk about the referee because it was a very good game of football."