Match Highlights: AFC Bournemouth 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2

Owls skipper Tom Lees with Chris Maguire
Owls skipper Tom Lees with Chris Maguire

Sheffield Wednesday secured a battling 2-2 draw against title-chasing Bournemouth after a last minute penalty by Chris Maguire.

The Owls opened the scoring in the 36th minute courtesy of midfielder Kieran Lee’s sixth goal of the campaign.

But the Cherries, who had Simon Francis sent off for two bookable offences, looked destined to secure a fourth successive victory after second-half goals by Yann Kermorgant and Matt Ritchie.

Ultimately, Maguire had the final say, coolly slotting home from 12 yards after substitute Atdhe Nuhiu had been tripped by Adam Smith.

Stuart Gray, the Owls head coach, has made three changes to his starting line-up, with Chris Kirkland a late replacement for Keiren Westwood in goal.

Lewis McGugan has failed to recover from a virus, meaning Sam Hutchinson replaces the Watford loanee in the middle of the park.

Gray has also handed Chris Maguire a first-team recall, leaving out Stevie May. For the second fixture in a row, Wednesday are likely to line-up up in a 4-3-3 formation.

Bournemouth, chasing a fourth successive victory, have named an unchanged eleven.

Wednesday were forced into making a late change, with Westwood picking an injury during the warm-up. His withdrawal handed Kirkland just his second league start of the season.


VIDEO: Stuart Gray’s praise for Owls after battling draw

Referee Paul Tierney issued a yellow card to Lloyd Isgrove after less than two minutes after the Southampton winger scythed down Matt Ritchie.

Bournemouth, looking to extend their unbeaten run to 11 matches, controlled possession in the early skirmishes but struggled to break down Gray’s well organised outfit.

Things got even worse for Wednesday on the injury front on the quarter of an hour mark when Hutchinson was forced to come off after hurting himself following a challenge on Charlie Daniels. Gray elected to replace Hutchinson with Jacques Maghoma.

Moments later, Ritchie lifted a shot over from long range and Westwood had to be alert to prevent the talented winger from reaching Harry Arter’s clever pass

Midway through the half, the Owls wasted a great double chance to take the lead. After good closing down by the visitors frontline, Maghoma’s left foot drive was brilliantly kept out by the agility of Artur Boruc before Kieran Lee saw his follow-up hacked away from near the goalline.

Steve Cook joined Isgrove in the referee’s notebook after unceremoniously bringing down Maghoma near the half-way line.

Wednesday went ahead in the 36st minute with a well constructed goal. Lee beautifully switched the play out wide to Buxton, who whipped a lovely cross into the danger zone and Lee ghosted in unmarked to plant a header past Boruc.

For all Bournemouth’s lovely, passing football, there was little end product to their stylish build-up play. When Kirkland was finally called upon, he produced a fine stop to tip over Arter’s fierce strike from distance.

Maghoma came close to doubling the visitors advantage on the stroke of half-time but Boruc superbly held on to his volley.

It took an inch perfect last ditch challenge by Jeremy Helan to stop Andrew Surman from breaking clear and levelling things up after great play by Pugh.

Gray had to re-jig his depleted backline again at half-time, with Zayatte taken off and replaced by Marnick Vermijl. To accommodate right-back Vermijl, Buxton was switched to centre-half.

Maghoma almost had another sight of goal just after the re-start following a deft back heel by Lavery only for Steve Cook to snuff out the danger and clear Bournemouth’s lines.

The Cherries, who have already secured a top-six spot, showed in flashes why they are near the top of the table and Yann Kermogant saw his effort from 18 yards deflected over after a good run by top-scorer Callum Wilson.

Chris Maguire was unlucky not to double Owls’ lead just before the hour mark when he curled a free-kick against the left hand upright, with Lavery firing over the follow up.

There was a controversial moment in the 65th minute as Wilson raced clear after a mis-directed header by Tom Lees. The speedy forward rounded Kirkland and went down under a challenge by Buxton but the referee waved away their penalty appeals and awarded a corner. The decision prompted loud boos from the away fans.

It proved to be a brief reprieve for Wednesday as Kermorgant grabbed the equaliser, rising high to power in Arter’s delivery.

With their tails up, Bournemouth went for the jugular and Kermorgant hooked an effort narrowly over after substitute Kenwyne Jones’ good knock down.

However, the Cherries momentum was derailed in the 79th minute as Francis was given his marching orders following a foul on Maguire.

It still didn’t stop Wilson from troubling the Owls’ makeshift backline and after robbing Buxton of possession out wide, his pull-back was desperately cleared by Vermijl.

With five minutes left, Ritchie completed the turnaround, smashing a stunning 25-yard strike past Kirkland after a short free kick by Surman.

Lavery, on the stretch, failed to turn in Vermijl’s delivery after Maghoma dissected Bournemouth’s defence in the closing stages before Maguire slotted home from 12 yards to ensure Owls returned to South Yorkshire with a share of the spoils.

Bournemouth: Boruc; Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, Ritchie, Surman, Arter, Pugh, Kermorgant, Wilson. Substitutes: Camp, Ward, Smith, Gosling, Fraser, Jones, Pitman.

Wednesday: Wednesday: Kirkland; Buxton, Lees, Zayatte, Helan; Melo, Lee, Hutchinson; Maguire, Isgrove, Lavery. Substitutes: May, Nuhiu, McCabe, Maghoma, Vermijl, Bus.