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    1    Sun 10th August   16:00 Sky Wolves              1-0     Norwich City                        3      3    8         +1        Budgies

C1C1 Tue 12 August      19:45       Wolves              2-3     Northampton Cap One Cup 1                                     Cobblers

    2    Sat 16th August    15:00       Rotherham Utd  1-0     Wolves                                  0     3    15        0          Millers

    3    Wed 20th August  20:00       Fulham              0-1     Wolves                                  3     6     9        +1        Fulham  

    4    Sat 23rd August    15:00       Wolves              1-0     Cardiff City                           3     9     4         +2        Redbirds

    5    Sat 30th  August    15:00      Wolves              3-1      Blackburn Rovers                 3    12     3        +4        Rovers

Pre-season Friendlies

1st team

Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 Dicko 13' Sako 33', 68' Blackburn Rovers 1 Rhodes 59'

FT 90 +7

HT 2-0

29 August 2014

First victory over Rovers since 2000 2-1 Muscat & Nielsen (thanks @abbswolf) picture en route by @20markf


Venue: Molineux Date: Saturday, 30 August Kick-off: 15:00 BST

A great way to celebrate 125 years at Molineux as Nouha Dicko (12) and Bakary Sako (33 and 68) gave Kenny Jackett’s side a win that was tighter than the scoreline suggested as Rovers, who replied through Jordan Rhodes’s 59th-minute penalty, had much of the play.  Wolves had more chances than the visitors and forced Paul Robinson into fine saves from Lee Evans, Matt Doherty and half-time substitute James Henry.  But Carl Ikeme denied Ben Marshall twice and for the first time this season, Wolves didn’t control the game.  Yet they emerged victorious again and go into the international break in third place in the Championship, on the same points as Watford and just one behind leaders Nottingham Forest.  Jackett named an unchanged line-up for the fifth successive League game, which meant new signings Tommy Rowe and George Saville, who were available for the first time, started their Wolves careers on the bench at the expense of Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Liam McAlinden, who injured his calf in training.  Half an hour before kick-off, Wolves board of directors took the plunge when they undertook the ice bucket challenge.  Owner-chairman Steve Morgan, chief executive Jez Moxey and directors John Gough and John Bowater lined up in Wolves tracksuits near the home dugout to receive a soaking from supporters pitchside.  

When the action got underway, there was an early booking for Blackburn winger Craig Conway for diving under challenge from Rajiv Van La Parra.  The yellow card set the tone for an untidy first half which was littered with free kicks, mostly against Wolves to leave referee Keith Stroud with a flea in his ear from the home support as he walked off at half-time.  Wolves gained the breakthrough when Dicko rose highest in a crowded box to back-head home Kevin McDonald’s chip.   Dicko started the move for his first League goal of the season by winning the ball off a defender then feeding Bakary Sako.  The Mali winger opted not to shoot early and was driven wide to the left before he found McDonald with a square pass.  Three minutes later there was a scare for Wolves when Danny Batth’s clearance cannoned off Ben Marshall and looped dangerously towards goal only for Carl Ikeme to produce an acrobatic diving save to save their blushes after Wolves conceded a similar goal at Rotherham recently.  The home side created the next chance when Van La Parra, who was on the end of some uncompromising challenges at times, rolled it wide after being teed up by Sako’s square pass on the edge of the box.  Van La Parra, who had been warned after an earlier tackle, was booked for persistent fouling following an aerial challenge with Craig Conway.  Then came Blackburn’s first chance when Ben Marshall’s low drive was turned around the post by Ikeme in the 26th minute.  Lee Evans surprised keeper Paul Robinson with a fierce drive in the 31st minute, the ball cannoning off his chest.  But Wolves fans didn’t have long to wait for the second goal.  Dave Edwards won the ball with a sliding challenge and was immediately brought crashing down by Grant Hanley near the right-hand corner of the penalty area.  Sako’s brilliant free kick sailed into the far corner of the net without any contact from a crowded box for his second League goal of the season.  

There were further half chances for Wolves as Edwards headed wide at the far post from Scott Golbourne’s cross on 39 before Dicko could only slice wide when Sako put him through in space in the inside left position.

Wolves made a half-time switch with James Henry on for Van La Parra, who presumably was injured.  The home side were inches away from making it 3-0 in their first opening of the second period on 48 when Matt Doherty cut inside from the right and exchanged passes with Dicko, the ball rebounding to the full-back and rolling agonisingly wide.  Rovers continued to cause Wolves problems however and the visitors halved the deficit from the spot through Rhodes, whose sidefooted effort sent Ikeme the wrong way.  The penalty came after Batth allowed Rhodes to get the wrong side of him in the area and lunged in, but appeared to win the ball.  Wolves broke to force two chances in quick succession.  First the lively Henry hit Robinson’s legs from point-blank range after Doherty’s cross had been deflected.  Then Dicko could only roll it straight to Robinson from Golbourne’s centre.  Rovers replied with a fierce drive from Ben Marshall but it was straight at Ikeme.  And the hosts made things more comfortable for themselves by restoring their two-goal cushion when Sako drilled home first time with his unfavoured right foot after Dicko did well to hold up play, spin his man and cross from the right side of the area.  Wolves had to be alert defensively though and Ikeme superbly tipped over a rising drive from Conway on 73.  But there were fresh legs to preserve their lead and two debuts as Saville replaced Lee Evans on 79 and Rowe replaced Edwards 10 minutes later and there were no late dramas, despite five minutes of time added on.


Wolverhampton Wanderers

01 Ikeme

05 Stearman

02 Doherty

06 Batth

03 Golbourne

17 van La Parra Booked (Henry - 45' )

10 Sako

04 Edwards (Rowe - 89' )

11 McDonald

14 Evans (Saville - 79' Booked )

40 Dicko


07 Henry

08 Saville

09 Clarke

13 McCarey

15 Rowe

18 Ricketts

27 Jacobs

Blackburn Rovers

01 Robinson

05 Hanley Booked

06 Lowe

02 Henley

15 Baptiste

32 Conway (Varney - 89' Booked )

29 Evans Booked

12 Marshall Booked (Taylor - 73' )

10 Cairney Booked

17 Williamson (Dunn - 73' )

11 Rhodes


04 Kilgallon

08 Dunn

09 Brown

13 Eastwood

16 Varney

19 Taylor

21 O'Connell

Ref: Keith Stroud

Att: 21,260




Wolverhampton Wanderers Blackburn Rovers

Possession       50%  50%

Shots  15  18

On target 7  6

Corners  2  6

Fouls  16  9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +6:02 Full time

Full Time

Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Blackburn Rovers 1. 90:00 +5:14

George Saville (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card. 90:00 +5:11 Luke Varney (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card. 89:33 Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 89:33 Foul by George Saville (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 88:31 Sub, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tommy Rowe replaces Dave Edwards. 88:03 Sub, Blackburn Rovers. Luke Varney replaces Craig Conway. 87:50 Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 87:50 Foul by Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 86:52 Alex Baptiste (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 86:52 Foul by George Saville (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 86:14 Foul by Adam Henley (Blackburn Rovers). 86:14 Dave Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing. 86:01 Attempt blocked. David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. 85:00 Chris Taylor (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 84:57 Foul by Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 81:56 Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner. 81:42 Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by George Saville. 81:28 Attempt blocked. Chris Taylor (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. 80:26 Foul by Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers).  80:26 Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 78:10 Sub, Wolverhampton Wanderers. George Saville replaces Lee Evans. 77:53 Attempt missed. Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. 77:07 Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Adam Henley. 73:24 Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Carl Ikeme. 73:13 Attempt saved. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. 72:29 Sub, Blackburn Rovers. Chris Taylor replaces Ben Marshall. 72:23 Sub, Blackburn Rovers. David Dunn replaces Lee Williamson. 69:27 Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing. 69:27 Foul by Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 67:56 Goal scored Goal!

Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Blackburn Rovers 1. Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nouha Dicko. 66:14 Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. 66:02 Attempt blocked. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. 63:46 Attempt saved. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. 63:27 Attempt blocked. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. 62:30 Attempt saved. Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. 61:27 Attempt saved. James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. 60:52 Foul by Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers). 60:52 Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 59:45 Hand ball by Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers). 58:47 Goal scored


Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Blackburn Rovers 1. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner. 58:08 Penalty Blackburn Rovers. Jordan Rhodes draws a foul in the penalty area. 58:08 Penalty conceded by Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers) after a foul in the penalty area. 57:06 Attempt saved. Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. 56:38 Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Richard Stearman. 54:56 Attempt blocked. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked. 54:24 Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card. 54:19 Foul by Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers). 54:19 Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 52:40 Attempt missed. Dave Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. 50:24 Delay over. They are ready to continue. 50:23 Delay over. They are ready to continue. 49:55 Delay in match Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) because of an injury. 49:34 Foul by Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers). 49:34 Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 47:34 Foul by Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 47:34 Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 47:05 Attempt missed. Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. 46:47 Attempt saved. Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. 45:42 Attempt missed. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. 45:00

Second Half begins Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Blackburn Rovers 0. 45:00 Sub, Wolverhampton Wanderers. James Henry replaces Rajiv van La Parra.

45:00 +3:13 Half time

Half Time

First Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Blackburn Rovers 0. 45:00 +2:08 Attempt missed. Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. 45:00 +0:33 Alex Baptiste (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 45:00 +0:33 Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 44:46 Attempt missed. Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. 44:37 Attempt blocked. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. 43:53 Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Danny Batth. 43:27 Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card. 43:00 Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing. 42:54 Foul by Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 42:12 Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 42:12 Foul by Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers). 40:01 Delay over. They are ready to continue. 39:16 Delay in match Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) because of an injury. 38:50 Attempt missed. Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. 37:12 Foul by Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 37:12 Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing. 33:51 Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card. 32:59 Goal scored


Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Blackburn Rovers 0. Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner. 31:42 Foul by Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers). 31:42 Dave Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 30:49 Attempt saved. Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. 28:29 Attempt missed. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. 26:41 Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. 25:47 Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Carl Ikeme. 25:31 Attempt saved. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. 25:03 Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card. 25:00 Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 24:57 Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 24:14 Adam Henley (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 24:14 Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 23:52 Attempt blocked. Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. 23:07 Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half. 23:07 Foul by Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 20:23 Attempt missed. Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. 17:21 Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Richard Stearman. 16:08 Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Lee Williamson. 15:34 Adam Henley (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 15:34 Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 14:36 Attempt saved. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. 12:15 Goal scored


Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Blackburn Rovers 0. Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin McDonald. 10:27 Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing. 10:27 Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 7:56 Attempt blocked. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. 7:10 Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half. 7:10 Foul by Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 3:23 Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card. 3:05 Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) has gone down, but that's a dive. 0:00

First Half begins.


Wolves could give George Saville his debut after the midfielder signed a three-year deal in a move worth around £1m from Chelsea.

Midfielder Tommy Rowe is back in contention after recovering from the broken toe he suffered in pre-season.

Blackburn defender Matt Kilgallon is set to return from a back injury as Rovers bid to record a first clean sheet of the campaign.

Full-back Tommy Spurr (groin) and Chris Brown (knee) are still sidelined.



• The last meeting ended as a 1-1 draw at Molineux in the Championship in January last year.

• Blackburn have won only one of the last four meetings. Their only win since 2011 was 2-0 at Molineux in the Premier League in March 2012.

• Blackburn are unbeaten in the last six meetings at Molineux, winning two. Wolves' last home win was 2-1 in the old Division One in April 2000.


• Wolves' three league wins this season have all come against the teams relegated from the Premier League last season and all by a 1-0 scoreline.


• Blackburn have won two of their last three games, against Blackpool and Bournemouth.

Wolves 1 Hudson 90′ (og) Cardiff City 0

FT 90 +4

HT 0-0


Wolves made it three wins out of three against recent Premier League opponents after a last-gasp own goal settled matters.

McDonald’s shot was sliced home by Mark Hudson’s attempted clearance, which spun behind him and into the net to leave goalkeeper David Marshall helpless in the first minute of time added on at Molineux.  Just minutes earlier, goalkeeper Carl Ikeme made a superb save to keep out Kenwyne Jones’s thunderous point-blank shot and the game appeared to be heading for a stalemate.  But Wolves could and should have been well ahead by half-time only for Bakary Sako – who hit the inside of the post from a corner – Rajiv van La Parra (twice), Lee Evans, Danny Batth and Matt Doherty to go close for the hosts.  Head coach Kenny Jackett named an unchanged line-up for the fourth successive Championship game, with the same bench as Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Fulham.   That meant captain Sam Ricketts, Michael Jacobs and James Henry are still waiting for their first league starts of the season.  Cardiff surprisingly left three-goal top scorer Jones on the bench until half-time.  The Bluebirds kicked off but it wasn’t long before Wolves were on the attack and they really should have been well ahead by the break instead of going in goalless. Midweek match-winner Sako had the best and first chance when his superbly-struck inswinging corner hit the inside of the far post in the 13th minute before bouncing to safety.  Cardiff, and in particular left-back Fabio, struggled to cope with Van La Parra and the Dutch winger had him in a spin before seeing a shot blocked for a corner seven minutes later.  Cardiff’s first opportunity came on 21 when Adam Le Fondre ran some 70 yards breaking from a Wolves corner before nutmegging a defender and rolling the ball wide as Wolves players struggled desperately to get back.  But Wolves who again dominated possession, hit back and Welshman Evans saw a first-time volley bounce wide when Dave Edwards failed to apply the final touch after keeper David Marshall was out of position when Cardiff failed to clear Sako’s free kick.  Sako was next to try his luck and his goalbound shot was deflected over for another corner after a driving run from the right that took past three players on 28.  A minute later there was another chance for the hosts when Batth flashed a far-post header inches wide from Golbourne’s corner.  Golbourne was the architect of the next big Wolves chance in the 38th minute.  But van La Parra, presented with a clear opening after rising highest from his inviting centre, could only head fractionally wide with Marshall rooted to the spot.

Wolves were almost made to pay for their missed chances in on the stroke of half-time when Sean Morrison slid in at the far post when Anthony Pilkington’s corner had been flicked on but could only slice the ball wide.  

Cardiff made a half-time substitution with the arrival of Kenwyne Jones for Nicky Maynard up front.  But the second half took a while to get going and it wasn’t until the 55th minute that we saw another chance.  And it took a vital fingertip save from Carl Ikeme from Peter Whittingham’s low first-time shot after the ball had been knocked down on the edge of the area.  Wolves remained in control of the game but found clear-cut chances elusive as the game reached the hour mark.  Good work by Nouha Dicko saw successive crosses by full-backs Golbourne then Doherty.  But it was becoming clear that Wolves needed an injection of fresh legs if they were to make further inroads in the game.  And they came in the shape of Michael Jacobs, who replaced the impressive Edwards in the 66th minute. But it was McDonald who almost created a breakthrough in the 71st minute.  His superb pass found van La Parra in the clear but as he shaped to shoot, Fabio came in with a superb challenge to put him off.  The game petered out as it wore on, with neither side able to maintain their earlier tempo.  And there was a booking for Lee Evans, after catching Le Fondre, who then exacted his retribution with a similar challenge which went unpunished.  Jones almost snatched a winner for Cardiff in the 85th minute after Whittingham’s cross dropped perfectly for him.  But Ikeme made a superb block from his thunderous effort from point-blank range.  Wolves punished the visitors in somewhat fortuitous style when McDonald’s low cross was deflected home by Hudson’s sliced clearance.  


Cardiff's unbeaten start came to an end as Mark Hudson's stoppage time own goal gave Wolves all three points.  The hosts were almost ahead early on in unusual fashion as Bakary Sako hit the inside of the post from his powerful curling corner kick.

Kenwyne Jones almost won it for the visitors late on but his point blank shot was saved by Carl Ikeme.

But Wolves held on in a quiet second half and were rewarded when Hudson sliced the ball into his own net.

Matthew Connolly had almost put the visitors ahead before the break but his effort was well cleared by Richard Stearman.

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Post match: Wolves manager Kenny Jackett on Cardiff victory

Wolves dominated much of the first half and were unlucky not to break the deadlock when Rajiv Van La Parra linked up with Scott Golbourne, but his header went narrowly wide.

The Bluebirds kept pressing and were almost ahead when Sean Morrison just missed the target after latching onto Adam Le Fondre's flick on.

Both sides found it difficult to seize the initiative in a quiet second half but Peter Whittingham's shot went close for the visitors with Ikeme pulling off a terrific save, before Hudson put the ball past David Marshall in the first minute of stoppage time.

Wolves move up to fourth after winning three of their opening four matches, all of which have come against the three relegated Premier League sides from last season.

It is their first win against Cardiff since 2008 , with the Welsh side slipping to eighth place in the Championship.


Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "We had the best of the chances but they had most of the play - especially in the first half when they pegged us back.   When you have lads like we do in defence, you deal with crosses, but unfortunately the worst one of the lot was deflected in [by Hudson].  Things like that happen. There is nothing you can do about it.  It is in the 91st or 92nd minute and you don't move your feet as quick as you should have and then it is in the back of the net, but that is football."

Fulham 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Sako 15′

FT 90 +5

HT 0-1

Pam Tetlow’s grandson Alfie was mascot for the match - Marke Feehan’s and Robert Goodard’s pictures ..

E&S report of Fulham 0 Wolves 1

And to think what Wolves would do with the 20-goal a season finisher boss Kenny Jackett so desperately wants!

For the third Championship game in a row, Wolves controlled their opponents.  And for the second of those, they won without too much trouble at all, gaining a well-earned second clean sheet into the bargain against recent Premier League opposition.  Wolves showed a masterclass of possession football as they planted a flag in Fulham territory from the kick off and never allowed their grip on it to slip.  They could even afford scorer Bakary Sako to see a last-gasp penalty to be superbly tipped onto the post by keeper Jesse Joronen.  The way they dominated proceedings will take some of the sting out of the clamour for another striker. But only a little, as this game could have been put away long before and somewhere in between Sako’s miss and his 13th-minute opener. Marshalled by the imperious Kevin McDonald and

underpinned by Rajiv Van La Parra who ran Fulham ragged, Wolves gave their large travelling support plenty of comfort for the long, tough months ahead with a performance full of composure and maturity.  Jackett opted for an unchanged team for the third successive game in the Championship. That meant club captain Sam

Ricketts was again left on the bench and there was no place in the 18 for Jack Price for the second game in a row.  Wolves started and finished the first half in composed fashion and it was Fulham who were rattled as full debutant Sean Kavanagh and one-time Molineux trialist Mark Fotheringham were booked in the first 10 minutes following late challenges on Rajiv Van La Parra and Sako.  And it was Sako – the man cultivated by Fulham last summer – who delivered the first crucial blow after 13 minutes when he tucked home Scott Golbourne’s corner excellently dummied by Dave Edwards. The goal opened Sako’s account for the season and he was a constant threat whenever he had the ball. His deadly strike was no more than Wolves deserved following a confident start. They might have even had a penalty after Van La Parra was sent tumbling in the area by keeper Jesse Joronen chasing Kevin McDonald’s deep pass but Isle of Wight referee James Linington waved play on.  Fulham’s only threatening spell before half-time came at its midpoint when in a brief flurry of attacking, £11m signing Ross McCormack, Konstantinos Staflylidis and Scott Parker all had shots blocked by a resolute and well staffed Wolves defence.  But Jackett’s side emerged with confidence to force the only other two openings of the first 45 minutes.   First Dave Edwards saw a shot deflected over the bar just after the half hour, then Danny Batth should have done better than to glance wide after rising highest from a free header from Sako’s free kick on 39.

Carl Ikeme, who lined up in a striking all pink outfit, had had nothing to do until the 53rd minute but he was alert to turn substitute Moussa Dembele’s low drive around the post.  But Wolves were quick to return fire and should have made it 2-0 within four minutes.  Sako made plenty of ground with a driving run and when it came to delivering the cross, he cleverly opted for the better placed Kevin McDonald, whose superb clip to the back post was drilled wide by the in-rushing Matt Doherty from point-blank range.  With McDonald playing an increasingly influential role, Wolves continued to control the game.  It was from one of the Scot’s inch-perfect passes that he released the pacy Van La Parra and the Dutch winger threatened again, only for his drive to hit the sidenetting after cutting inside.  Wolves then hit Fulham on the break to win a penalty at the death as Nouha Dicko, who had endured a frustrating evening, was brought crashing down by Cameron Burgess, only for Sako to be denied

his second.  But it was a hugely deserved victory for Jackett’s men. Now for that striker!

BBC report

Fulham suffered a third straight defeat since being relegated from the Premier League after Bakary Sako's goal earned Wolves victory at Craven Cottage.  Sako struck after the Cottagers failed to deal with a first-half corner - the former France Under-21 international firing into the bottom corner.  Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme's first save only came when he tipped Moussa Dembele's shot behind after the break.

Fulham keeper Jesse Joronen denied Sako a second goal from the penalty spot. Former Wolves striker Steve Claridge at Craven Cottage on BBC Radio 5 live: "There are lots of things that Fulham manager Felix Magath says and does that simply don't  add up. He paid £11m for a new striker in Ross McCormack and then ends up playing him on the left wing in just his third game. Absolutely crackers."

The penalty was awarded after Cameron Burgess had fouled Nouha Dicko in stoppage time.  But Joronen's save was small comfort for Cottagers boss Felix Magath after his young side suffered another defeat that leaves them next-to-bottom in the table.  Magath's team included six players aged 21 or under, with 20-year-old left-back Sean Kavanagh making his senior debut.  But Fulham rarely threatened Wolves, who move eight places up the table to ninth after a second win in three games - and their first at Craven Cottage in seven visits stretching back to 1999.  The visitors should have won by a more handsome margin - Matt Doherty wasting a fine chance after the interval. Fulham did go close through Ross McCormack, who was signed as a striker but ended up playing most of the second half on the left wing in only his third game since joining from Leeds, for a fee believed to be £11m.  Worryingly for Magath, his side have now managed just one goal from their first three games.  Fulham manager Felix Magath:

"The message to the fans is sorry for the defeat but I can only ask for patience.  We have a young team and I know it might be a tough beginning to the season, but I am sure we are going the right way.  We need a win, sure. If we get three points it will build up our confidence. It's a long season so I don't worry about the situation now."

Wolves manager Kenny Jackett:

"I was proud of my players. We could probably have done more on the break and found more goals. In terms of the results so far, I feel we have deserved both our wins and we didn't deserve to lose at Rotherham.  There's hunger and desire in the team, and they played with their hearts against Fulham."


Venue: Craven Cottage Date: Wednesday, 20 August Kick-off: 20.00 BST

Rotherham 1 Hall 76′ Wolverhampton Wanderers Wolves 0

Substitute Ryan Hall struck to stun Wolves and condemn Kenny Jackett’s men to defeat at Rotherham United.

Hall fired in after goalkeeper Carl Ikeme denied Craig Morgan with just 14 minutes left.  Similar to Tuesday’s night’s League Cup defeat to Northampton, Wolves

dominated possession but could not find the killer touch.  Bakary Sako was twice thwarted by goalkeeper Adam Collin and Rajiv van La Parra had a shot cleared off the line in the first half.  They could not break the hosts’ impressive defensive rear-guard in the second half, with Sako firing wide and Matt Doherty shooting over.  Jackett reverted back to the side who beat Norwich 1-0 on the opening day of the season with Nouha Dicko recalled against his former loan club.  Rotherham handed debuts to Chelsea loanee John Swift and Paul Taylor, who joined on loan from Ipswich this week.  The hosts, in their first Championship game at the New York Stadium, started brightly and wanted a penalty inside the opening two minutes when the ball struck Danny Batth’s shoulder.  Wolves began to take control through and should have gone ahead on 14 minutes after Adam Collin's rush of blood.  He failed to gather Craig Morgan’s chest back but recovered brilliantly to produce a superb double save to deny Sako.  It was a warning for Rotherham but they responded with a golden chance of their own seven minutes later when Taylor turned Richard Stearman only to hit the bar from 10-yards.  It was the only worry for Wolves in the first half though as they maintained an degree of control and should have gone into the break 1-0 up.  Collin continued to be his own worst enemy and got lucky on 33 minutes when his clearance was charged down by Sako.  The keeper managed to deny the striker only for the ball to run to van La Parra, whose effort was cleared off the line by Kari Arnason.  The Millers frustrated Wolves but Dicko almost gave them a first-half lead on 42 minutes when he turned past Broadfoot, only for his clever chip to drop just wide.  The second half continued the theme of Rotherham holding back Jackett’s men, with success.  Sako fired two free kicks wide and Matt Doherty’s strike was deflected over by Arnason after another gaffe from Collin.  But, against the run of play, Rotherham won it with 14 minutes left when Ikeme parried Morgan’s header and substitute Hall fired in the rebound.


FT 90 +5

HT 0-0

Substitute Ryan Hall scored an unorthodox second-half winner as Rotherham beat Wolves to earn their first win back in the Championship.  As Wolves looked to scramble away a corner, Hall blocked an attempted clearance past goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.  Earlier, Paul Taylor hit the crossbar for the hosts from 15 yards.  Wolves had numerous chances but were unable to find a way past Adam Collin, who made a remarkable double save to deny Bakary Sako with the score at 0-0.  The visitors, who began the campaign with a home win over Norwich, also saw Rajiv van La Parra's effort cleared off the line by Kari Arnason, while Nouha Dicko's lob from 25 yards flew narrowly wide.

Wolves' unbeaten run ends - Wolves had not lost any of their previous 11 league games - their last defeat came at Crawley on 18 March. Rotherham were playing a second-tier game at the New York Stadium for the first time following two consecutive promotions and, after impressing in their defeat at Derby on the opening day, Steve Evans' side picked up their first Championship win against last season's League One champions.  The league games between the two teams last season had produced 16 goals and this was another open contest, although neither side was able to break the deadlock until Hall's winner with 14 minutes left to play.  The Millers, for whom Kieran Agard made a late appearance from the bench after a possible move to Leeds broke down, survived a flurry of late set-pieces to hold on for victory.   Substitute James Henry came closest to a late Wolves equaliser, flashing a free-kick just over from 20 yards.


Rotherham United

21 Collin

05 Broadfoot Booked

03 Skarz

08 Frecklington

20 Morgan Booked

04 Arnason

25 Swift (Hall - 45' )

11 Green

09 Revell

26 Taylor (Derbyshire - 62' )

18 Pringle Booked


01 Loach

06 Wood

07 Hall (Agard - 79' )

10 Bowery

22 Agard

23 Tidser

27 Derbyshire

Wolverhampton Wanderers

01 Ikeme

02 Doherty

03 Golbourne Booked

11 McDonald

06 Batth Booked

05 Stearman

17 van La Parra (Jacobs - 78' )

14 Evans

40 Dicko

04 Edwards

10 Sako (Henry - 77' )


07 Henry

09 Clarke

18 Ricketts

20 McAlinden

23 Ebanks-Landell

27 Jacobs

31 McCarey

Ref: Graham Salisbury

Att: 10,752






Rotherham United Wolverhampton Wanderers

Possession   33%  67%

Shots 9  12

On target 3  3

Corners    4  9

Fouls 15  6

Capital 1 Cup Wolves 2 Dicko 66' Ricketts 67' Northampton Town 3 D'Ath 58', 74' Toney 63'

FT 90 +6

HT 0-0

13 August 2014

Northampton midfielder Lawson D'Ath scored twice as the League Two side stunned Championship Wolves in the first round of the League Cup.  D'Ath's poked rebound and teenager Ivan Toney's header had given the Cobblers a shock 2-0 lead.  However, a quickfire double from Wolves' pair Nouha Dicko and recalled club captain Sam Ricketts levelled the score in a frantic second-half.  D'Ath then won it with a looping header to cap a dream debut.

Northampton manager Chris Wilder:

"This is what cup ties are all about. If you don't give in and keep going to the end you might get something from the game and we managed to do that. One thing I have spoken about is that if we are to have a decent season we have to be resilient and when things go against us I want to see what my players are all about - and they have answered in the best possible way.  They dug in and they had to defend for their lives at times. But saying that we did better on the counter and I thought we were always a threat."

Wolves manager Kenny Jackett:

"Fair play to Northampton, they played very well, defended well and on the break they had a lot of chances and a lot of shots.  Two of the three goals were from set-pieces and it is something we are normally very reliable and good at."  On their pursuit of Leicester striker Chris Wood: "It looks like that one has passed and we are moving on. We didn't get a deal agreed with either the club or the player."

LINEUP, Bookings (1) & Subs (6)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

13 McCarey

23 Ebanks-Landell

18 Ricketts

05 Stearman

02 Doherty

07 Henry (Dicko - 65' )

27 Jacobs

19 Price

14 Evans

20 McAlinden (Edwards - 83' )

09 Clarke (Sako - 64' )


01 Ikeme

04 Edwards

06 Batth

10 Sako

11 McDonald

17 van La Parra

40 Dicko

Northampton Town

01 Duke

06 Collins

02 Alfei (Tozer - 69' )

17 Robertson

16 Diamond

08 Morris

03 Horwood (D'Ath - 56' )

23 Mohamed

18 Ravenhill

24 Toney (Richards - 83' )

10 O'Toole Booked


09 Richards

12 Tozer

14 Nicholls

19 D'Ath

20 Moyo

28 Warburton

29 Jackson

Ref: Stuart Attwell

Att: 6,171



Wolverhampton Wanderers 53% Northampton Town 47%

Shots 17   15

On target 5   7

Corners 5   5

Fouls 7   5

Live Text Commentary

WW 1 (Edwards) Norwich 0


Wolves returned to the Championship on a winning note after Dave Edwards' second-half header gave them victory over Norwich City.   Edwards' goal, converting a cross from the excellent Rajiv van La Parra, settled matters at Molineux in front of the Sky Sports cameras.  It was the second effort on target as both teams jostled for position, goalkeeper Carl Ikeme saving Wolves' bacon 10 minutes earlier with a fine save from Lewis Grabban.  John Ruddy's goal kick flew down field, with Grabban latching on to it near the byline. His shot was trickling in, but Ikeme stuck his hand out to push the ball wide.   The game turned on Martin Olsson's red card bang on the hour, the Norwich left-back rightly dismissed for a second bookable offence.  He had already been booked for clattering van La Parra in the first-half when he shoved him to the floor again, leaving referee Simon Hooper with no other option.  Bakary Sako looked to punish them immediately with the free-kick, but Ruddy was down to his right to save at his post. The Canaries shot-stopper was beaten just five minutes later, though.  Van La Parra again broke free on the right wing and his ball floated into the box, where Edwards rose highest to head across Ruddy and into the far corner.  Norwich tried their luck from distance in search of an equaliser, ex-Wolves midfielder Elliott Bennett attempting to lob Ikeme with a dipping effort that the home custodian had to watch over the bar.  Ikeme was called into action again in the 78th minute, substitute Kyle Lafferty sliding the ball into Grabban, who had no time to react as the shot-stopper claimed at his feet.  Wolves nearly got a second goal that would have killed off the game a minute later, when the pacy van La Parra left Javier Garrido for dead on the right and hared down on goal.  He drew the attention of centre-backs Russell Martin and Michael Turner as he decided to square to Nouha Dicko, whose heavy first touch nearly saw the ball run away from him.  He did manage to get a shot on goal, but Ruddy parried away to safety. It didn't matter, in the end, as Wolves hung on for an excellent result from their curtain raiser.


Dave Edwards scored the decisive goal as Wolves started life back in the Championship with a victory against 10-man Norwich at Molineux.

The Canaries, relegated from the Premier League last season, had Martin Olsson sent off for a second yellow card for a tug on Rajiv van La Parra.

Olsson appeared to push referee Simon Hooper after being shown the red card and may face further punishment.

Edwards headed in Van La Parra's cross just after the hour to earn the win.

Wolves manager Kenny Jackett believes his team can secure successive promotions after returning to the second tier after back-to-back relegations. And beating a team relegated from the top flight was an impressive way to start the season.

Neil Adams, who took over at Norwich with five games remaining, is still looking for a first win in charge of the Canaries and will be concerned about his team's lack of attacking bite, even when they had 11 men.

They were on the back foot from the start, with Edwards thumping over from a cross from Bakary Sako after just 23 seconds.

Norwich's Nathan Redmond slipped away from two defenders and dragged an effort wide in the visitors' only effort on goal.

Sako always looked like Wolves' greatest threat and the Frenchman had a powerful shot deflected past the near post by Russell Martin just before the break.

Nouha Dicko broke forward and drove well over the bar for the hosts just after the restart before Wes Hoolahan missed from 25 yards at the other end.

Norwich debutant Lewis Grabban got on the end of a long clearance and his shot from a narrow angle was pushed wide by goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.

The decisive spell came just before the hour when Van La Parra tore past Olsson and was dragged over by the left-back on the edge of the area, with the Norwich left-back being sent off for a second yellow card.

Sako thumped the resulting free-kick straight at Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy but the visitors were behind four minutes later after going down to 10 men.

The impressive Dutch winger Van La Parra, who joined from Heerenveen in June, found space on the right and sent over a curling cross that was headed past Ruddy by Edwards.

Wolves should have killed the game with 11 minutes remaining when Dicko broke quickly only to delay his pass for Sako, whose shot was blocked by Ruddy.

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett said: "First off it is a good win and a good day for the club.

"Pressure builds up through pre-season and everyone wants to get to that first day and to get a win on the first day is a big thing. With us coming into a new division that is great.

"But looking past that there are different types of challenges. You could see the way that Norwich defended their goal was very good and it was an excellent goal that won the game.

Norwich manager Neil Adams added: "I haven't seen the incident between Martin Olsson and referee Simon Hooper and hopefully there is nothing in it. But we will have a look at it and see what it is and if there are any consequences from that.

"I will speak to Martin about that. Of course I will. I didn't see it because as soon as the card comes out you're looking away to what you are going to do.

"The officials have said nothing to us about any alleged hands on and like I say I have not seen it for now. We will get the footage going back on the coach."


Wolverhampton Wanderers

01 Ikeme

02 Doherty

03 Golbourne

14 Evans

06 Batth

05 Stearman

17 van La Parra (Henry - 85' )

11 McDonald

40 Dicko (Clarke - 87' )

04 Edwards

10 Sako (Jacobs - 81' )


07 Henry

09 Clarke

13 McCarey

18 Ricketts

19 Price

23 Ebanks-Landell

27 Jacobs

Norwich City

01 Ruddy

02 Whittaker (Lafferty - 76' )

23 Olsson Dismissed after an earlier

04 Johnson

05 Martin Booked

06 Turner

17 E Bennett

14 Hoolahan Booked (Garrido - 63' Booked )

22 Redmond

07 Grabban

29 Surman (Tettey - 65' )


09 Lafferty

16 Loza

18 Garrido

21 Murphy

24 R Bennett

26 Rudd

27 Tettey

Ref: Simon Hooper

Att: 22,053



Wolverhampton Wanderers  Norwich City

 58%  42%

Shots 14  12

On target  3  1

Corners   3  5

Fouls   8  10


WW 1 Celta Vigo 1

James Henry and Larrivey hit the woodwork in either half in a game of few clear-cut chances as Wolves kept their unbeaten record in seven pre-season games in front of a crowd of 5,253.  But after a quiet opening, it was a lively affair for all the wrong reasons after left-back Samu appeared to headbutt Dicko a minute after the opening goal.  Both players were booked and it was a prelude to some cynical actions by the Spaniards, whose bench at one stage confronted Jackett en masse.  Wolves took the field without three of their first-team squad for their final friendly.  With Bakary Sako already out with a groin injury, he was joined on the sidelines by Leon Clarke and Jack Price, both with minor knocks.  When the action got underway, Wolves showed their teeth first. The home side created the first chance when Danny Batth’s powerful header bounced wide from Michael Jacobs’s corner.  Then Jacobs curled a few inches over the angle after being allowed to run and run at a retreating defence through the middle.  But Vigo perhaps had the best opportunity when the unmarked Madinda was presented with shooting chance in the 13th minute.  But he could only curl a low effort straight at Carl Ikeme after Alex Lopez split a couple of Wolves players with a square pass.  Vigo enjoyed plenty of possession as Wolves were forced to be patient, and the visitors had the next sight of goal when Lopez’s drive was deflected wide with Ikeme at full stretch.  But Wolves showed a ruthless edge which will come in handy in the coming months to take a 32nd minute lead.  Rajiv Van La Parra, who enjoyed a lively first period, was alert to dispossess Samu before drawing keeper Sergio and squaring for Dicko to roll the ball into an empty net. Within a minute things became even livelier as Dicko and Samu squared up to each other, going head to head.  Samu was seen to thrust his head forward into a Dicko and it surely would have resulted in a red card in a league game, but the referee chose to book both players instead, much to the annoyance of a furious Wolves bench.

Five half-time substitutions for the Spaniards ensured a lively second 45 minutes. There were chances at both ends as the game opened up. First James Henry sidefooted against the woodwork after Dicko had done brilliantly to outmuscle a defender and cross.  Then Larrivey did the same after running through onto a pass on 54 minutes.  The long-haired Larrivey was clearly Vigo’s dangerman and he had Ikeme producing a fine save to claw away his goalbound shot.  And after Nolito’s shove on Van La Parra saw the Vigo bench confront Jackett, who reminded them of the confines of their technical area, it was Larrivey who equalised on 65.  Nolito put the striker through and he did the rest, rolling a low effort which beat the outstretched arm of Ikeme before creeping into the bottom corner.  It was difficult for the action to flow for the rest of the game amid a stream of fouls and substitutions.  But eight days before the action starts for real against Norwich, it was probably the competitive workout Wolves needed, although they will hope the Canaries don’t carry the same cynical edge as Celta Vigo.

Oxford 0 WW 1 (Clarke)

Of the ‘old guard’, Stephen Ward made a surprise return to action for Wolves along with Kevin Foley and David Davis.  Ward’s call up came because head coach Kenny Jackett wanted to improve the balance of the experience of the side against a competitive Oxford outfit.  Davis returned to the fray after his move to Barnsley broke down, while Foley is still waiting for interest in him.   For the rest, it was a case of trying to impress Wolves boss Kenny Jackett.

In a starting XI featuring eight players with claims for ‘homegrown’ status, there were full debuts for Dominic Iorfa and Eusebio Bancessi.  And alongside Ethan Ebanks-Landell, who captained the side for the first team for the first time, the powerfully-built Iorfa suggested he could be challenging for a senior place in the future.  Iorfa, who spent the latter part of last season on loan at Shrewsbury, was a muscular presence in both penalty areas.  As expected in a team that hadn’t played together, it was difficult to establish any sort of pattern about this unfamiliar Wolves team.   But Iorfa showed positional awareness to make several blocks in his own box, and challenges in both.  It was Iorfa who had the first half chance but could only head over when under pressure at the far post from James Henry’s corner.  Oxford threatened with a snapshot from Danny Rose but luckily for Wolves, it was straight down the throat of keeper Aaron McCarey.  Clarke gave notice of what was to follow in the 27th minute when his attempted block on Joe Riley’s clearance had keeper George Long making a falling save.   And within a minute, he had notched his sixth goal in as many friendlies.  Seizing on Bancessi’s through ball, he made an angle for himself with his left foot and buried a shot past Long.  It was an opportunity taken with all the confidence that comes with the smoothness of his chance-taking in pre-season, which has made a mockery of his struggles in front of goal from January to May.   The goal seemed to settle Wolves down and they gained in confidence with their passing as the game went on.  But it was Oxford who went closest before the break when Danny Hylton skied over from close range after Aaron McCarey couldn’t hold a fierce shot from Callum O’Dowda.  Wolves had more control of the game after the break and it was little surprise when they threatened to increase their lead in the 52nd minute.  The chance came from the lively James Henry, who steamed in from the left to flash a first-time effort goalwards only for Long to tip over from Ward’s centre.  Soon after Liam McAlinden should have looked up earlier when Clarke steamed in unmarked to his right.  But by the time his run was spotted, the cross came in behind him and the chance was lost.  Making his first start of the summer, Foley did his cause for a bit-part role in this season’s Championship campaign no harm with an accomplished performance in his favoured right-back role.  Davis showed how much he needed this return to action, even if he lacks the fluency and quickness of thought of the two younger midfielders ahead of him now, in Jack Price and Lee Evans.  Fresh legs meant Oxford had more of the ball in the latter stages after introducing four substitutes.  But they struggled to penetrate a well organised Wolves defence, who had little trouble dealing with them.   And Wolves emerged with a second successive clean sheet and their fifth win in sixth pre-season friendlies as they prepare to wheel out the big guns on their return to Molineux with Saturday’s final warm-up outing against Celta Vigo.

Att: 2,727 away: 736


Sixth pre-season goal for striker.

Oxford United 0  Wolves 1 (Clarke 27)

Leon Clarke’s six goal of the pre-season friendly campaign was enough to settle a competitive game with League Two Oxford United as Wolves paid a first ever visit to the Kassam Stadium.  There was little goalmouth action in the opening exchanges and when Wolves did win an eighth minute corner, taken by James Henry, Dominic Iorfa headed over the bar.  At the other end Kevin Foley did well to clear the ball after Danny Rose had planted a free-kick into the heart of the Wolves goalmouth.  Sam Humphreys set up Rose for a volley which was knocked down and then collected by keeper Aaron McCarey before, in United’s next attack, Iorfa headed clear a dangerous cross from Tom Newey.  

Leon Clarke almost made the breakthrough as he knocked down an attempted clearance and steered the ball towards goal only for keeper George Long to dive and save.  But the striker wasn’t to be denied and he stroked a low, left foot shot past Long to give Wolves a 27th minute lead after Eusebio Bancessi’s short through pass had opened up the home defence.  Oxford struggled to clear a Henry corner before Bancessi hooked the ball high and wide and Rose must have been grateful to be flagged offside after he ballooned the ball over an empty net from just six-yards out after McCarey had parried a long range shot from Callum O’Dowda.  Henry took the free-kick after he had been fouled to the left of the Oxford box but Long claimed Iorfa’s looping header under the bar without too much trouble.  

Half-Time: Oxford 0 Wolves 1

Wolves should have opened the new half with a corner with Henry’s shot was clearly deflected behind by a defender but the referee surprisingly awarded a goal kick.  A tremendous save by Long then denied Henry a spectacular goal as he connected with Stephen Ward’s cross and hit a first time volley that was turned away by the keeper.   Clarke wasn’t far away from a second goal as he scooped the ball wide at the near post after meeting a Foley cross. At the opposite end, McCarey could only look on as Humphries hit a cross shot just wide.  Foley was in action at both ends – his driven cross being headed clear after Henry had played him in on the overlap, and then he had to head behind a David Hunt cross with McCarey punching clear the resultant corner.  Just before the end there was a chance for Henry as a lofted pass dropped at his feet but, as he turned to shoot, Long had closed him down and the keeper blocked the ball at point blank range.

Oxford: G. Long, Newey (Grant 89), Raynes, Mullins (capt) (Wright 27), Rose, Hylton (Roberts 74), Ruffels, O’Dowda (Shama 80), Collins, Riley (Hunt 74), Humphreys (Meades 74).  Unused subs: Crocombe, Bevans, S. Long, Ashby, Hawtin.

Wolves: McCarey, Foley, Ward, Iorfa, Ebanks-Landell (capt), Davis, Price, Henry, Clarke, Bancessi (Forde 60), McAlinden. Unused subs: Weeks, O’Hanlon, Torres, Keita, Dutton.

Referee: J. Busby.

Attendance: 2,727 (736 away supporters).

Oxford Mail : Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 23h49 :   Oxford United suffered their first setback of pre-season as Leon Clarke's strike gave Wolverhampton Wanderers a narrow 1-0 victory at the Kassam Stadium ;  the experienced striker fired home the only goal of a closely contested game on 28 minutes ;  despite the League One champions fielding a youthful line-up, they were by far the strongest side United had faced in pre-season ;  the hosts stood up well to the challenge, and there were plenty of encouraging signs, but they clearly lacked firepower in the final third ;  Michael Appleton, taking charge at the Kassam Stadium for the first time, started all 4 of United's summer signings ;  George Long got the nod in goal, while Joe Riley began at right back 24 hours after signing ;  Michael Collins played in midfield, with Danny Hylton leading the line up front ;  United shaded a low-key start, and created the first decent sight of goal on 17 minutes ;  Danny Hylton intelligently laid off a Tom Newey throw into the path of Danny Rose, who forced Wolves goalkeeper Aaron McCarey into a smart save with a right-footed volley ;  but the hosts suffered a double blow midway through the half ;  firstly they lost Johnny Mullins to an injury, which the centre back appeared to pick up earlier in the half, and he was replaced by Jake Wright ;  the skipper had barely been on the field a minute when Wolves opened the scoring ;  Eusebio Bancessi stormed forward and slipped a pass into Leon Clarke, who beat George Long with a low shot ;  it was a rare foray forward for the visitors, as United kept the ball well ;  but, perhaps unsurprisingly given Appleton's desire to bring in 2 or 3 forwards, they lacked a cutting edge in the final third ;  United did finish the 1st half well, sparking into life as the floodlights belatedly came on ;  Aaron McCarey spilled an effort from Callum O'Dowda, while on the stroke of half-time, Danny Hylton had an equaliser chalked off after Danny Rose, who provided the cross, strayed offside ;  Wolves were first to threaten after the break ;  George Long made a superb save to tip over a fierce first-time shot from James Henry ;  clear chances were at a premium for most of the 2nd half, as Wolves increasingly looked comfortable on the ball ;  United got an injection of energy with a triple substitution on 74 minutes ;  Jon Meades, David Hunt and James Roberts were all quickly involved in a high-quality spell of passing football which opened up Wolves, who scrambled to concede a corner ;   Wolves were pinned back in the closing stages, without Aaron McCarey being stretched, as United were unable to find a way through before the final whistle ;  The U's host Bournemouth in the final warm-up game this Saturday afternoon, by which time they will hope to have some more options going forward.


Pictures from Cheltenham from Peter and Carol



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