LEE Gregory plundered a second-half winner for Sheffield Wednesday to leave Wanderers rueing a succession of missed opportunities.

Ian Evatt’s men had won their previous three games in league and cup and will wonder quite how they did not establish a lead after creating a host of chances but putting none of them on target.

Wanderers nearly got the dream start after Wednesday old boy Elias Kachunga nicked the ball from Lewis Gibson and ran in on Joe Wildsmith’s goal – but instead of shooting, he opted to roll the ball across for Doyle, who could not get a proper connection.

That was the story of the half for Evatt’s men, who carved out a few decent opportunities but failed to get a goal which would have made an irate Hillsborough atmosphere get worse.

Afolayan stripped Dominic Iorfa for pace but could only fire a shot into the side netting and Doyle had another close-range effort blocked after a fine counter, and a final ball from Kachunga.

Wednesday struggled to find rhythm but could easily have forged ahead when Barry Bannan swung in a cross for Lee Gregory to head goalward. Joel Dixon reacted well to push the ball over the top of the bar.

Saido Berahino also hassled a mistake out of Ricardo Santos before firing into the side netting.

A good number of Wanderers thought their side had taken the lead on the stroke of half time after Declan John curled a free kick a few inches wide of the post.

They would have a better view of the action in the second half, with Bolton once again knocking hard on the door.

Doyle got on the end of a good cross from Gethin Jones but could not beat Wildsmith from close range. Moments later, Declan John had a goal-bound effort blocked by his own team-mate after connecting with Afolayan’s centre.

The frustration continued as Lee danced into the Wednesday box but could not get his shot away, Sarcevic’s follow up was blocked on the line.

You feared for Bolton that the missed chances would end up costing them – and in two frantic minutes midway through the half, the game was turned on its head.

Dapo Afolayan appealed for a penalty after going to ground in a challenge from Dominic Iorfa but referee David Rock booked the Bolton winger for diving. Moments later, Wednesday grabbed the lead as Jack Hunt’s excellent cross was turned in by Gregory.

Evatt made a triple substitution, replacing Kachunga, Doyle and Sarcevic with Josh Sheehan, Amadou Bakayoko and Lloyd Isgrove. But the performance level rather dropped from there.

Declan John’s skimming shot narrowly cleared the far post and the out-stretched leg of Afolayan but as the game wound down, more and more passes started to go astray and the earlier momentum was lost.

Wanderers fans voiced their disapproval to referee Rock as the players walked off the pitch -but there can be little doubt that Evatt’s men failed to help themselves.