History maker Dozzell gives Town a point in exciting clash at Hillsborough
Andre Dozzell created history at Hillsborough by following in the footsteps of his dad Jason and scoring on his Town debut at the age of just 16.
The England U17 international headed in from Liam Feeney’s cross to level the scores for Blues after Fernando Forestieri had given Wednesday a half-time lead.
Dozzell entered the fray at the break to join his dad as the first father and son to play for Blues, with Jason, now an Academy coach at Portman Road, the youngest top flight scorer in history at just 16 years and 57 days when he marked his debut for Town with a goal in a 3-1 win over Coventry in 1984.
Town couldn’t find the winner that would have revived the Play-Off hopes though, with the gap still eight points with four games left.
Cole Skuse was a late withdrawal from the squad through injury, with the midfielder one of five changes to the side that went down to Brentford last week.
Town started really brightly and twice had the chance to open the scoring inside the first five minutes, Freddie Sears escaping down the left channel on both occasions - his cross cleared, then the former West Ham striker testing Keiren Westwood at his nearpost.
David McGoldrick, making his first start since December after recovering from a hamstring injury, threatened from a Kevin Bru pass, while at the other end Daniel Pudil headed over from a corner.
McGoldrick volleyed wide, Lucas Joao then having the clearest opening of the first 15 minutes, dragging his shot wide from 15 yards after Westwood’s long clearance downfield caused problems in the Town defence.
Bart Bialkowski did what he has been doing since he returned to the side at the start of February, getting his body in the way of Joao’s shot as the Wednesday frontman burst clear on goal.
Bialkowski did enough to prevent Joao getting on the end of Ross Wallace’s cross as the hosts began to edge the play, Joao then setting up Barry Bannan who pulled his shot wide of the far post.
Neat play by Wednesday with the influential Alex Lopez at the heart of it saw Jack Hunt cross from the right and Luke Chambers did well to divert the ball into Bialkowski’s hands.
Wednesday went ahead though just before the break, the ball falling into Forestieri’s path 12 yards out and he made no mistake with a crisp finish.
Town made a change at the break with Dozzell replacing Kevin Foley but Blues had to be alert from kick-off with Forestieri denied by Tommy Smith.
Liam Feeney’s burst down the left flank almost paved the way for McGoldrick to get in, Forestieri firing high and wide as the Owls responded.
Bannan should have made it two after Wednesday countered at pace, Joao releasing the former Aston Villa midfielder but his shot lacked any power.
Kevin Bru and Ross Wallace were both yellow carded after a flare up before history was made when Dozzell headed in from Feeney’s cross to level the scores on 72 minutes.
Bialkowski saved well from Joao low to his right as Sheffield pressed for the advantage, McGoldrick testing Westwood as Blues looked for a winner that would keep alive the Play-Off hopes.
Bialkowski denied Wallace with another excellent save, then breathed a sigh of relief when his clearance cannoned back off Chambers and went just wide.
Wallace threatened a winner, Bialkowski keeping out his drive, then Brett Pitman had a chance at the other end but Glenn Loovens blocked his effort as the points were shared.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Loovens, Lees, Pudil, Wallace, Bannan, Lopez (Hooper 76), Lee, Joao (Nuhiu 82), Forestieri. Subs not used: Wildsmith, Sasso, Bennett, McGugan, Mathias. Booked: Wallace.
Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Douglas, Bru (Pitman 74), Foley (Dozzell 46), Sears, Feeney, McGoldrick. Subs not used: Gerken, Kenlock, Digby, McDonnell, Pringle. Booked: Bru, Pitman.