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Hillsborough (ATT 25,044) 26th December 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Oliver

Sheff Wed Sheffield Wednesday vs Blackpool Blackpool

Owls held by Blackpool

Seasiders frustrate Wednesday in lacklustre affair

By Ben Collins.   Last Updated: 26/12/08 6:45pm

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Gow: Converted spot-kick

Gow: Converted spot-kick

Bartosz Slusarski's first goal of the season saw Sheffield Wednesday come from behind in a lacklustre draw with managerless Blackpool.

Slusarski, who is on loan from West Brom, struck just seven minutes after Alan Gow had given the Seasiders the lead with a 48th-minute penalty.

Blackpool are considering legal action against both Leeds and Simon Grayson following his appointment as Gary McAllister's replacement and the team laboured under the guidance of caretaker bosses Steve Thompson and Tony Parkes.

But Wednesday were no better in an uninspiring first half and although both sides improved after the break, it was a game of few clear-cut chances.

Owls manager Brian Laws made three changes to the side that lost at Cardiff last time out, with Wade Small, Francis Jeffers and Steve Watson all returning to the starting line-up.

Captain returned

Thompson and Parkes also made three changes with captain Rob Edwards, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Gow back for the Seasiders.

Watson was first to threaten for the home side with a shot from the edge of the penalty area that Paul Rachubka held, while at the other end Owls goalkeeper Lee Grant dealt well with three successive corners as the visitors stepped up the pressure.

Blackpool midfielder Taylor-Fletcher's shot was blocked by Tommy Spurr, who later saw his venomous free-kick from the edge of the area brilliantly saved by Rachubka.

Owls veteran Watson was next to bring the best out of Rachubka with another angled drive, but Blackpool responded with long-range efforts from Kyel Reid and Edwards, who blasted over the crossbar.

But Blackpool broke the deadlock as Owls defender Lewis Buxton impeded Shaun Barker in the penalty area and Gow confidently drilled into the top corner.

Quick equaliser

Wednesday refused to buckle, though, and were soon back on level terms through Slusarski, who was on loan at both Blackpool and Wednesday last season.

Watson crossed from the left and the Polish striker swept the ball home left-footed into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Blackpool midfielder Keith Southern forced a fine save from Grant soon after with a 20-yard shot and Owls striker Marcus Tudgay's volley was blocked by Edwards as both sides went in search of a second goal in a see-saw second period.

Jeffers then brought the home faithful to their feet with an overhead kick 10 yards from goal which was superbly turned away by Rachubka as the Owls began to take control in pursuit of a 10th win of the season.

Blackpool forward Liam Dickinson, on loan from Derby, fired over the crossbar from 20 yards late on, but both sides were happy to share the spoils.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Norwich City 7 16
2 Watford 7 15
3 Nottingham Forest 6 14
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 14
5 Charlton Athletic 7 13
6 Reading 7 13
7 Sheffield Wednesday 7 12
8 Middlesbrough 7 12
9 Ipswich Town 7 11
10 Brentford 7 11
11 Blackburn Rovers 6 10
12 Millwall 7 10
13 Leeds United 7 10
14 Derby County 6 9
15 Bournemouth 7 8
16 Wigan Athletic 7 8
17 Cardiff City 7 8
18 Brighton and Hove Albion 7 7
19 Rotherham United 7 7
20 Birmingham City 7 6
21 Bolton Wanderers 7 5
22 Huddersfield Town 7 5
23 Blackpool 7 1
24 Fulham 6 1

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