Hillsborough chess match ends in stalemate

Honours even at S6

Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City extended their unbeaten runs on Saturday but the 0-0 draw produced little to keep the crowd of close to 26,000 warm at Hillsborough.

In-form Bristol have only lost 2 games so far this season and the Owls came into the game buoyed by back-to-back victories but it was clear from the outset that this was going to be a close-fought encounter.

Both sides played a highly tactical game, intent on getting men behind the ball when out of possession and both were comfortable in letting their opponents have the ball in their own half, concentrating on restricted the space in the final third.

What resulted was a game of 2 teams cancelling each other out. City went close through Flint and Reid in the first half, the latter heading tamely at Westwood when well positioned. Wallace fired a long-range strike just wide for Wednesday and Rhodes headed over after good work from Bannan and Hooper.

Sadly the 2nd half followed a similar pattern though Westwood was called into action to make a low save from substitute Djuric and Flint struck the outside of the post from what looked like an offside position.

Carlos Carvalhal threw on Lucas Joao to try and ignite something out of the ordinary but too often the Portuguese striker undid his good initial play with a poor pass or hesitancy in possession. Barry Bannan had a late penalty appeal turned down after playing a neat one-two but the stalemate was a fair reflection of the game.

What is only the Owls 3rd clean sheet of the season comes as a welcome one but as well as Bristol City have done so far, it is difficult to take any attacking positives from failing to test the visiting goalkeeper in 90 minutes.

Wednesday must improve if they are to keep tabs on the top six and with Ipswich away up next on Wednesday evening, Mick McCarthy’s side are likely to pose a similar resolute challenge.