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Doncaster Rovers             0









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Sheffield Utd







29th December












FIXTURES subject to change for Sky TV.  The Blackpool match 28th December was been slipped one day and the kick off time moved to 19:45 instead on 3pm for Sky television.

Next Matches  and away to the Blues FAC3 3rd January 15:00

Monday 29th Blackpool  2 (Taylor-Fletcher(9) Edwards(83)) Wolves 2 (Ebanks-Blake(3) Jarvis(69)) away live on Sky

Everyone else played on Sunday and Saints’ domination of Reading and a poor performance by the Blues left us with the chance to enter 2009 still in top position and 9 points clear with a trip up the M6 to managerless Blackpool, with Grayson having jumped ship for Elland Road.   And ex-Wolf Rob Edward kindly put his arms all round Chris Iwelumo in the third minute for ref to give a pen which  SEB calmly thrashed into the bottom left corner.  3 minutes later Taylor-Fletcher had a good call for one at the other end against Matt Hill.  But, only three mins, the same player anticipated a flick-on better than temporary right back Stears and the scores were level.  Int the 25th Dave Edwards looked to have a pull, and was replaced by Dave Jones.  A couple of corners to us and play was back into our box, and a terrific save from Wayne was needed.  Meanwhile possession had changed from 60% in our favour for the first 15 to pretty even. and quite end to end, while the temperature on the pitch had dropped to -2.7C.

It seems the ref has joined the campaign for the persecution of Chris Iwelumo when he penalised him for being sandwiched.  But, in the 38th a terrific ball sets Matty Jarvis free whose speed takes him past Reid and his shot was just inches wide.  But Blackpool finished the half very strongly, with Wayne giving a poor roolout which led Stears to be booked for a foul on Carl Reid  who, a minute later also forced his way into the box and gave Wayne a bit of a fright.   Matty Jarvis got free again, but there was insufficient curl on the shot.

Blackpool got underway immediately with a flick on by Dickinson which Wayne easily saved.  5 minutes gone and “midfielder” Kevin Foley put Matty Jarvis in - the ref missed a handball before Blackpool  cleared it for a corner.   Neill Collins had a clear header but couldn’t get over the ball and it went over the bar.  Jarvis had another chance on 55, but instead of a cross to our three front runners crashed it over.  Two minutes later, Stephen Ward came on for Matt Hill as Stears won a free kick for Dave Jones to float into the box. but no one got near it.  62nd minute and another Jarvis chance brilliantly saved by Rachbka.  The chance was created by Chris Iwelumo forcing a defensive error.  66th brought Sammy Vokes on who immediately created a chance for Dave Jones who headed wide.  But it was Wardy who broke from defence, rode several tackles, released to SEB whose quick pass put Jarvis through.  No mistake this time as his cleverly disguised shot “bouncing bombed” over the goalie.  Matt’s first goal in over a year made it 2-1.

84th minute, Stephen Ward gave away a silly free kick (in Naylor territory!).  From the kick Wayne punched at the ball, missed it, and a a suspiciously offside Blackpool player at the free kick knocked it forward and Rob Edwards stabbed home the equaliser.  Had to happen!

Minute by Minute

Blackpool 2                           Wolverhampton Wanderers2
Taylor-Fletcher(9) Edwards(83) Ebanks-Blake(3) Jarvis(69)
Blackpool 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

90:00 (+3:15)  Cross by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton), clearance by Ian Evatt(Blackpool).
90:00 (+0:41)  Inswinging corner from left by-line taken rightfooted by David Fox(Blackpool) to far post, clearance by Richard Stearman(Wolverhampton).
88:24 Blackpool substitution: Gary Taylor-Fletcher replaced by David Vaughan (injury).
88:08 Ben Burgess(Blackpool) caught offside. Indirect free kick taken right-footed by Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton) from own half, resulting in open play.
87:16 Cross by David Fox(Blackpool), clearance by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton).
86:16 Cross by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake(Wolverhampton), shot by Sam Vokes(Wolverhampton) left-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), save (caught) by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool).
83:54 Foul by Stephen Ward(Wolverhampton) on Shaun Barker(Blackpool). Stephen Ward (Wolverhampton) booked for unsporting behaviour. Direct free kick taken left-footed by Alan Gow(Blackpool) from right wing, goal by Rob Edwards(Blackpool) right-footed (low centre of goal) from right side of six-yard box (6 yards).Blackpool 2-2 Wolverhampton.
81:22 Inswinging corner from left by-line taken rightfooted by David Fox(Blackpool) to centre, clearance by Neill Collins(Wolverhampton).
80:57 Cross by Kyel Reid(Blackpool), clearance by Neill Collins(Wolverhampton).
80:22 Blackpool substitution: Liam Dickinson replaced by Ben Burgess (tactical). Defending throw-in by Joe Martin(Blackpool).
79:39 Foul by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton) on Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool). Direct free kick taken left-footed by Kyel Reid(Blackpool) from left channel, passed. Shot by Alan Gow(Blackpool) left-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), blocked by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton). Shot by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake(Wolverhampton) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), blocked by Kyel Reid(Blackpool). Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) to centre, clearance by Liam Dickinson(Blackpool).
76:54 Foul by David Jones(Wolverhampton) on Kyel Reid(Blackpool). David Jones(Wolverhampton) booked for unsporting behaviour. Direct free kick taken right-footed by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool) from own half, resulting in open play.
75:42 Foul by Joe Martin(Blackpool) on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake(Wolverhampton). Joe Martin(Blackpool) booked for unsporting behaviour. Direct free kick taken left-footed by David Jones(Wolverhampton) from right wing, cross by Paul Rachubka (Blackpool), save (punched) by Paul Rachubka (Blackpool).
73:09 Blackpool substitution: Ian Harte replaced by Joe Martin (tactical).
72:45 Liam Dickinson(Blackpool) caught offside. Indirect free kick taken right-footed by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton) from own half,
resulting in open play.
70:50 Handball by Karl Henry(Wolverhampton). Direct free kick taken left-footed by Ian Harte(Blackpool) from left wing, resulting in open play.
69:23 Goal by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) rightfooted (bottom-left of goal) from right channel (20 yards).Blackpool 1-2 Wolverhampton. Assist (pass) by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake(Wolverhampton) from left channel.
68:45 Foul by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton) on Shaun Barker(Blackpool). Free kick crossed leftfooted by Ian Harte(Blackpool) from right channel, clearance by Stephen Ward(Wolverhampton).
67:47 Header by David Jones(Wolverhampton) from centre of penalty area (12 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool).
66:51 Liam Dickinson(Blackpool) caught offside.  Wolverhampton substitution: Chris Iwelumo replaced by Sam Vokes (tactical). Indirect free kick taken right-footed by Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton) from own half, resulting in open play.
66:11 Foul by Rob Edwards(Blackpool) on Karl Henry (Wolverhampton). Direct free kick taken rightfooted by Kevin Foley(Wolverhampton) from own half, resulting in open play.
65:14 Outswinging corner from right by-line taken rightfooted by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) to near post, clearance by Keith Southern(Blackpool). Shot by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) rightfooted from centre of penalty area (12 yards), save (with feet) by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool). Outswinging corner from left by-line taken leftfooted by David Jones(Wolverhampton) to centre, clearance by Rob Edwards(Blackpool).
61:25 Foul by Liam Dickinson(Blackpool) on Neill Collins(Wolverhampton). Direct free kick taken right-footed by Neill Collins(Wolverhampton)
from own half, passed.
60:53 Header by Stephen Ward(Wolverhampton) from right side of six-yard box (6 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paul Rachubka
60:26 Alan Gow(Blackpool) caught offside. Indirect free kick taken right-footed by Neill Collins (Wolverhampton) from own half, resulting in open play.
58:50 Cross by Kyel Reid(Blackpool), resulting in open play.
56:41 Foul by Keith Southern(Blackpool) on Richard Stearman(Wolverhampton). Wolverhampton substitution: Matthew Hill replaced by Stephen
Ward (tactical). Free kick crossed left-footed by David Jones(Wolverhampton) from left channel, resulting in ball out of play. Goal kick taken long by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool).
53:56 Cross by Kyel Reid(Blackpool), shot by Alan Gow (Blackpool) left-footed from left side of penalty area (18 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton).
51:32 Foul by David Jones(Wolverhampton) on Keith Southern(Blackpool). Direct free kick taken rightfooted by David Fox(Blackpool) from left channel, resulting in open play.
50:39 Outswinging corner from right by-line taken rightfooted by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) to centre, header by Neill Collins (Wolverhampton) from centre of penalty area (12 yards), over the bar. Goal kick taken long by Paul Rachubka (Blackpool).
49:22 Inswinging corner from left by-line taken rightfooted by David Fox(Blackpool) to near post, clearance by Matthew Hill(Wolverhampton).
45:00 (+1:03) Foul by Matthew Hill(Wolverhampton) on Alan Gow(Blackpool). Free kick crossed right-footed by David Fox(Blackpool) from right wing, clearance by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton).
45:00 (+0:21) Shot by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) rightfooted from right side of penalty area (18 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool).
43:55 Shot by Kyel Reid(Blackpool) right-footed from right side of penalty area (12 yards), missed right.
43:08 Foul by Richard Stearman(Wolverhampton) on Kyel Reid(Blackpool). Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton) booked for unsporting behaviour. Free kick crossed left-footed by Ian Harte(Blackpool) from left channel, clearance by Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool).
42:24 Foul by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton) on Liam Dickinson(Blackpool). Free kick crossed right-footed by David Fox(Blackpool) from right wing, save (caught) by Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton).
41:19 Cross by Ian Harte(Blackpool), clearance by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton).
39:58 Shot by Ian Harte(Blackpool) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton).
39:28 Shot by Alan Gow(Blackpool) left-footed from right channel (25 yards), blocked by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton).
39:14 Foul by Kevin Foley(Wolverhampton) on Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool). Direct free kick taken right-footed by Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool) from right channel, passed.
38:40 Shot by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) rightfooted from right side of penalty area (18 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul
37:00 Inswinging corner from right by-line taken leftfooted by Kyel Reid(Blackpool) to near post, header by Liam Dickinson(Blackpool) from right side of six-yard box (6 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton).
35:56 Cross by Alan Gow(Blackpool), blocked by Neill Collins(Wolverhampton). Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by David Fox (Blackpool) to near post, clearance by Matthew Hill(Wolverhampton).
35:28 Inswinging corner from left by-line taken rightfooted by David Fox(Blackpool) to near post, save (punched) by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton).
34:34 Foul by Chris Iwelumo(Wolverhampton) on Ian Evatt(Blackpool). Direct free kick taken rightfooted by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool) from own
half, resulting in open play.
32:01 Foul by Alan Gow(Blackpool) on Matthew Hill (Wolverhampton). Direct free kick taken rightfooted by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton)
from own half, resulting in open play.
28:22 Cross by Kyel Reid(Blackpool), clearance by Matthew Hill(Wolverhampton).
28:04 Shot by Alan Gow(Blackpool) curled left-footed from right side of penalty area (18 yards), save (tipped round post) by Wayne Hennessey
(Wolverhampton). Inswinging corner from left byline taken right-footed by David Fox(Blackpool) to centre, clearance by Neill Collins
26:45 Outswinging corner from right by-line taken rightfooted by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) to centre, resulting in open play.
26:15 Outswinging corner from right by-line taken rightfooted by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) to centre, clearance by Ian Evatt(Blackpool).
25:29 Wolverhampton substitution: David Edwards replaced by David Jones (injury).
25:01 Foul by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton) on Alan Gow(Blackpool). Direct free kick taken leftfooted by Ian Harte(Blackpool) from left channel, passed.
22:53 Header by Liam Dickinson(Blackpool) from centre of penalty area (12 yards), save (caught) by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton).
22:15 Foul by Ian Harte(Blackpool) on Matthew Jarvis (Wolverhampton). Free kick crossed right-footed by David Edwards(Wolverhampton) from right wing, clearance by Shaun Barker(Blackpool).
21:17 Cross by Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool), save (caught) by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton).
19:41 Shot by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake(Wolverhampton) right-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool).
19:00 Shot by David Fox(Blackpool) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Wayne Hennessey(Wolverhampton).
16:04 Foul by Ian Harte(Blackpool) on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake(Wolverhampton). Direct free kick taken right-footed by Michael Mancienne
(Wolverhampton) from own half, resulting in open play.
15:32 Chris Iwelumo(Wolverhampton) caught offside. Indirect free kick taken right-footed by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool) from own half, resulting in open play.
12:42 Cross by Kyel Reid(Blackpool), clearance by Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton).
11:32 Cross by Kevin Foley(Wolverhampton), clearance by Shaun Barker(Blackpool). Foul by Chris Iwelumo(Wolverhampton) on Rob Edwards(Blackpool). Direct free kick taken rightfooted by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool) from own half, resulting in open play.
9:56 Goal by Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool) rightfooted (bottom-right of goal) from left side of sixyard box (6 yards).Blackpool 1-1 Wolverhampton. Assist (header) by Ian Evatt(Blackpool) from centre of penalty area.
8:21 Shot by Kevin Foley(Wolverhampton) right-footed from right side of penalty area (18 yards), blocked by Keith Southern(Blackpool). Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Matthew Jarvis(Wolverhampton) to centre, clearance by Liam Dickinson(Blackpool).
8:05 Foul by Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool) on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake(Wolverhampton). Free kick crossed right-footed by David Edwards (Wolverhampton) from left wing, clearance by Ian Evatt(Blackpool).
6:40 Foul by Matthew Hill(Wolverhampton) on Shaun Barker(Blackpool). Direct free kick taken rightfooted by Paul Rachubka(Blackpool) from own half, resulting in open play.
3:54 Foul by Rob Edwards(Blackpool) on Chris Iwelumo(Wolverhampton). Power penalty taken right-footed by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
(Wolverhampton) (bottom-left of goal), scored.Blackpool 0-1 Wolverhampton. Assist by Chris Iwelumo(Wolverhampton) from centre of
penalty area.
2:23 Foul by Liam Dickinson(Blackpool) on Michael Mancienne(Wolverhampton). Direct free kick taken right-footed by Michael Mancienne
(Wolverhampton) from own half, passed.
0:42 Cross by David Fox(Blackpool), clearance by Matthew Hill(Wolverhampton).
0:11 Cross by Gary Taylor-Fletcher(Blackpool), clearance by Neill Collins(Wolverhampton).
Match Stats Team Line-ups
Blackpool Rachubka Barker Edwards Evatt Harte (73) Taylor-Fletcher (88) Southern Fox Reid Gow Dickinson (80) Substitutes Martin (73) Nardiello Burgess (80) Gilks Vaughan (88) v (56)
Wolverhampton Wanderers Hennessey Stearman Mancienne Collins  Hill Foley Edwards (25) Henry Jarvis Ebanks-Blake Iwelumo (66) Substitutes Ward (56) Ikeme Jones (25) Vokes (66) Keogh

and here’s how WoW reports it

Blackpool 2 (Taylor-Fletcher 10, Edwards 84)Wolves 2 (Ebanks-Blake-pen 4, Jarvis 69)

Wolves twice surrendered the lead to a plucky Blackpool side with former Wolf Rob Edwards grabbing a late equaliser on a bitterly cold night on the west coast.  Matt Hill came in at left-back and Michael Mancienne returned to central defence. In a surprise move Richard Stearman played in the right-back slot whilst Kevin Foley moved up into midfield.  In the opening seconds Nell Collins had to head clear a cross from Gary Taylor-Fletcher before Wolves were awarded a fourth minute penalty when Edwards was adjudged to have held Chris Iwelumo.  The decision didn't please the home players or supporters but Sylvan Ebanks-Blake made no mistake slamming the spot-kick past Paul Rachubka.  A long throw from Shaun Barker led to a Blackpool equaliser just six minutes later. The ball broke to Taylor-Fletcher who buried a low shot from eight-yards.  Stearman had to boot clear a dangerous Taylor-Fletcher centre from the heart of the Wolves box and loud home penalty appeals after David Fox went down following a Collins challenge were ignored.  Ebanks-Blake chased a Foley headed flick into the area but his shot from the tightest of angles went into the side netting.  In the 26th minute Dave Edwards limped from the pitch to be replaced by Dave Jones.  Wayne Hennessey then produced a fine diving save to fingertip away Taylor-Fletcher's curling shot after the striker had ridden two challenges as he ran into the box.  Alan Gow was only just wide with a near post header following Kyel Reid's corner, then Matt Jarvis went close for Wolves when his angled shot drifted wide of the far post after an electric burst of pace from the halfway line.  A poor throw from Hennessey played Stearman into trouble and the defender was shown the yellow card after he caught Reid in trying to win the ball. Reid then went on a mazy run taking advantage of a couple of lucky bounces but with the goal in his sights he fired wildly off target.  In stoppage time another Jarvis run ended with a shot that went over the far angle.

Half-Time: Blackpool 1 Wolves 1

After Blackpool had enjoyed the early attacking play following the restart, it was Jarvis again that went close for the visitors.  He took the ball out of defence and found Ebanks-Blake to the right of Rachubka's goal. The striker crossed low and found Jarvis who had two goal attempts blocked at close quarters. From the corner conceded, taken by Jarvis, Collins headed over the bar.  Hill was replaced by Stephen Ward in the 57th minute and slotted into the left of midfield whilst Foley moved to his familiar right-back role.  The home defence was having a torrid time in trying to contain Jarvis and the winger set up a chance for Ward who fired narrowly wide at the near post.  A mistake by Ian Evatt saw Iwelumo gain possession. He slipped the ball into the path of Jarvis who hit a terrific shot that drew an equally fine save from Rachubka.  Mick McCarthy made a final change when he sent Sam Vokes on in place of Iwelumo midway through the half.  Ward's long throw was nodded on by Ebanks-Blake to Jones who headed wide but seconds later Wolves took the lead and Jarvis was the man on the mark. He took a pass from Ebanks-Blake and sprinted to the edge of the area before slipping the ball past the advancing Rachubka.  Two bookings in as many minutes followed. Blackpool substitute Joe Martin tripped Ebanks-Blake and then Jones pulled back Reid. Six minutes from time Ward was also booked, for a foul on Barker to the right of the Wolves box. Reid pumped the free-kick into the middle and Evatt beat Hennessey to the ball heading it towards goal and Edwards ran in to force the ball over the line.  Vokes almost put Wolves back in front with a backheel after Ebanks-Blake had passed to him - but Rachubka fell on the ball.

Blackpool: Rachubka, Southern, Evatt, Taylor-Fletcher (Vaughan 89), Fox, Reid, R. Edwards (capt), Barker, Gow, Dickinson (Burgess 81), Harte
(Martin 74).  Unused subs: Gilks, Nardiello.  Booking: Martin (76 - foul),
Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Hill (Ward 57), Henry (capt), Collins, Stearman, D. Edwards (Jones 26), Mancienne, Ebanks-Blake, Iwelumo (Vokes
68), Jarvis.  Unused subs: Ikeme, Keogh.  Bookings: Stearman (43 - foul), Jones (77 - foul), Ward (84 - foul).

December 26th Wolves 1 (Collins 19) Sheffield United (Beattie 22)

It’s that man again.  Neill Collins with a powerful header from a Kights corner set Wolves up for a good victory but aberrations at the back in spite of Wayne Hennessey pulling off 4 high class saves let poacher James Beattie in for the equaliser barely three minutes later.  Strangely, when battling was to be done, Mick stuck with Dave Edwards who had two terrific chances, when perhaps the harder DJ would have been better.   For long periods of the game Sheffield’s midfield dominated, putting extra pressure on our back four.  Fortunately, too, James Beattie was a bit off form, and was caught offside having netted twice but he swept up the pieces after Wayne’s save from Naughton. Andy Keogh had a good cameo as sub, after below par SEB was taken off.  Chris Iwelumo also seemed out of sorts while Kights was preparing for his suspension for Monday’s match against Blackpool.  So we created enough to win, stayed top of the table, but the sell out crowd was still rumbling

Wolves world reports here
Wolves had to be satisfied with a single point after a below par display against a lively Sheffield United side with Neill Collins' opener quickly
being cancelled out by James Beattie.   Chris Iwelumo and Matt Jarvis returned to the starting line-up in place of Andy Keogh, who was named as a substitute, and Matt Hill. Michael Mancienne was also on the bench with Collins having retained his place following his match winning performance at Doncaster six days earlier.   United kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and whilst Wolves enjoyed most of the early pressure it was the visitors that enjoyed the first  real chance with Wayne Hennessey making a great block with his legs to keep out Danny Webber's fifth minute shot.  Sylvan Ebanks-Blake allowed a low centre from Kevin Foley to roll past him into the path of Dave Edwards who sidefooted the ball inches wide from the edge of the  box.   Hennessey dived to save a low shot from Brian Howard and then Foley was high and wide with a shot from distance after he had taken a return pass from Ebanks-Blake.  Hennessey blocked again, this time after Howard had run onto a Nick Montgomery through ball, before Wolves took the lead in the 18th minute with the Michael Kightly/Collins combination paying dividends for the second time in a week.  At Doncaster it was Kightly's free-kick that opened the way for the tall Scottish defender and this time it was from a corner that Collins ran in to comprehensively beat Ian Bennett with a header.  But it took the Blades just three minutes to level matters. Hennessey somehow kept out a Beattie's six-yard volley but the danger wasn't fully cleared and when Kyle Naughton drove a cross into the box the Wolves' keeper couldn't hold on to the ball and Beattie was there to convert from close quarters.  Edwards went into the book for a late challenge on Stephen Quinn before Hennessey managed to kick clear Nathan Dyer's low cross after the winger, who is on loan from Southampton, had beaten Stephen Ward who was playing in the left-back slot.  Sheffield were, by now, enjoying the bulk of the attacking play and Beattie found the net again but his effort was ruled offside. Hennessey made a tremendous save from Ugo Ehiogu's far post volley.  A Jarvis centre dropped to Kightly but his bouncing shot was comfortably saved by Bennett and, in the 39th minute, Edwards was a whisker away after he had dispossessed Montgomery and let fly from 20-yards.

Half-Time: Wolves 1 Blades 1

Ehiogu, who took a knock towards the end of the half, didn't come out after the break with Gary Naysmith coming on as his replacement.
Within a minute of the restart Richard Stearman was dispossessed by Webber but Hennessey came to the rescue once more as he blocked the striker's attempt at finding the unmarked Beattie.   Dyer was booked for illegally halting Edwards' progress on Bennett's goal. Edwards took the free-kick himself but his effort curled over the bar.  Jarvis used his speed to good effect as he beat Naughton on a sprint down the left wing and from the cross that followed Montgomery managed to get between Iwelumo and Ebanks-Blake getting a vital touch ands allowing Bennett to claim.   Beattie dispossessed Ward and quickly passed to Webber who converted but the effort was ruled out by the offside flag.  Mancienne replaced Ward, who was feeling under the weather with a virus, shortly afterwards.  From another accurate Jarvis centre Kightly headed down to Iwelumo. But the striker was tightly marked and when he attempted to return the ball to Kightly, Naysmith was on hand to intercept and clear.  On the hour mark Keogh replaced Ebanks-Blake before Karl Henry was booked after he had fouled Quinn.  Crowd appeals for a penalty for hands against Naysmith as he cleared a Kevin Foley cross were ignored by the referee and then United skipper Chris Morgan sent a header wide after he had connected with Quinn's free-kick.  Ten minutes from the end Naughton cleared Keogh's low cross for a corner. Before the kick was taken Sam Vokes was sent on in place of Jarvis and when Kightly did fire in the flag-kick, the Welsh international's first touch was a header onto the roof of the net.  Beattie beat the offside trap and held off Stearman's challenge before shooting under the advancing Hennessey. Thankfully for Wolves, his shot went into the side netting.  In the 89th minute Kightly ran onto Vokes' flick on but, after wriggling his way into a shooting position, he was denied by Naysmith who threw himself into the path of the ball.

Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Ward (Mancienne 53), Henry (capt), Stearman, Collins, Kightly, Edwards, Ebanks-Blake (Keogh 60), Iwelumo, Jarvis (Vokes 80).  Unused subs: Jones, Ikeme.  Bookings: Edwards (26 - foul), Henry (62 - foul).

Blades: Bennett, Morgan (capt), Kilgallon, Beattie, Webber (Cotterill 86), Montgomery, Dyer, Howard, Quinn, Naughton, Ehiogu (Naysmith 45).  Unused subs: Halford, Stokes, Sharp.  Booking: Dyer (47 - foul).

Referee: T. Bates  Attendance: 27,106.

Stats: Wolverhampton Sheff Utd
Goals :                  1       1
Possession :       50%    50%
Shots On Target : 7     10
Shots Off Target : 5      8
Corners :               4      4
Fouls :                 16    8
Most Fouls : Edwards (4)    Dyer (2)
Yellow Cards :      2      1
Red Cards :            0      0
Scorers :   Collins 19  Beattie 22

Wolves have reduced the Wolves World service now but still offer a minute-by-minute action commentary - here’s how it looks (on-line here)

WOLVES: Hennessey, Foley, Stearman, Collins, Ward, Kightly, Henry, Edwards, Jarvis, Iwelumo, Ebanks-Blake. SUBS: Ikeme, Mancienne, Jones, Keogh, Vokes.
SHEFFIELD UNITED: Bennett, Ehiogu, Morgan, Kilgallon, Montgomery, Howard, Dyer, Quinn, Naughton, Beattie, Webber.  SUBS: Halford, Cotterill, Naysmith, Stokes, Sharp.

Off and running at a cold Molineux!

5: First major chance and it's for Sheffield United.  Webber gets sent clear down the inside right channel and is through on goal. Shot beaten away well by Hennessey.
8: Great move for Wolves and great chance for Edwards.  Foley plays a neat ball inside which is dummied by Ebanks-Blake and touched on by Iwelumo to set up Edwards, whose precise side-footed effort is just inches wide.
10: It's been a lively start and Beattie is next to have a go only to be denied by Hennessey.  Another chance for Sheffield United as Howard takes aim from the edge of the area.  Not too much power on the shot and Hennessey gathers.
13: Foley breaks down the right again.  Plays the ball inside to Ebanks-Blake who returns the favour only for Foley to fire over with his left foot.
18: Wolves put on a bit of pressure without producing a clear-cut opening and it's Hennessey who's called into action as play switches quickly.  Montgomery threads a neat pass through for Howard who is denied by the Wolves keeper from an acute angle. Stearman completes the clearance.
 19: GOAL 1-0 COLLINS.   Wolves break the deadlock, and it's two in two for Collins. Kightly flights in a corner from the right which is met by Collins with a towering header into the corner of the net, pictured.
22: Wolves mighty fortunate to stay in front as a powerful Beattie cross is cleared by Stearman. United keep up the attack and Quinn sends in a cross which finds Beattie unmarked but his close range drive is excellently saved by Hennessey.
 22: GOAL 1-1 BEATTIE.   The respite is brief however because as the Blades maintain the pressure Hennessey is unable to hang on to a driven cross from Naughton and Beattie is still in the danger zone to fire home the equaliser.
26: Edwards goes into the book for a late challenge on Quinn.
31: Dyer is causing all sorts of problems down the Blades right and outpaces Ward before sending in a driven cross which Hennessey blocks with his leg before a defender clears.
34: United have the ball in the net again as Kilgallon plays in Beattie to finish past Hennessey.  But the referee's assistant had already flagged for offside.
37: Another great save from Hennessey to keep Wolves on terms.  A Quinn corner isn't cleared at the far post and the ball sits up for Ehiogu lashes in a volley which the keeper beats away at point blank range.
39: Wolves enjoy an attack of their own as Jarvis gets to the byline and puts in a cross which finds Kightly at the far post. The winger's left foot half volley is taken comfortably by Bennett.
39: Edwards dispossesses Montgomery and is agonisingly close again as his low drive is just the wrong side of Bennett's left hand post.
43: It's now become a real end-to-end tussle and Wolves clear up one attack before having a chance of their own.  Edwards finds space inside the box and tries to square to Kightly but his attempted pass is cut out.
45: Wolves try and fashion another opening with the ball eventually worked to Ebanks-Blake whose left foot shot is blocked by Morgan.

 HALF TIME: Wolves 1-1 Sheff Utd 
45: Back up and running.  Change for the Blades at the back with Naysmith on for Ehiogu, who was injured at the end of the first half.
46: Chance for United within 50 seconds of the restart as Webber dispossesses Stearman and powers on in goal. Turns back inside the defender and fires in a cross-shot which would have been destined for Beattie at the far post but for Hennessey's block. Wolves break clear and Edwards is brought down by Dyer who receives a yellow card. The midfielder himself takes the free kick which is well over.
48: Wolves enjoy their first attack of the half as Jarvis goes past Naughton on the left and fires in a low cross which Iwelumo tries to meet at the near post.  A scramble follows and Montgomery gets in crucially to allow Bennett to gather.
49: Another goal ruled out for Sheffield United. Beattie dispossesses Ward and sends in a cross which Webber converts from close range only to see the referee's assistant flag again.
54:First change for Wolves as Ward, who had been suffering from illness in the build-up to the game, makes way for Mancienne, the Chelsea loanee slotting in at left back.
58: More good work from Jarvis and his deep cross is headed back by Kightly to Iwelumo. The striker tries to return it to the winger but his attempted pass is blocked by Naysmith.
60: Second change for Wolves as Ebanks-Blake makes way for Keogh.
62: Another booking for Wolves as Henry goes into the book for a late challenge on Quinn.
64: Wolves enjoy another decent attack with Keogh dummying Foley's cross.  The ball bounces off Naysmith and although the crowd appeal for handball there isn't too much complaint from the Wolves players.
70: Wolves get the ball forward again but neither Kightly or Edwards are able to get a shot in amid a scramble inside the area.
72: United on the attack with Beattie getting his head on a left wing cross.  The effort drifts wide of the target with neither Dyer or Webber able to get on the end of it.
73: Montgomery tries his luck from distance and Hennessey's touch takes it the wrong side of the post.
74: Morgan gets his head to a Quinn free kick but his effort is wide.
75: Hennessey in action again but this is a more comfortable piece of work to take Quinn's shot.
80: Wolves break again with Kightly feeding Keogh.  The striker fires in a dangerous low cross which is put behind by Naughton at the far post.
80:  Final change for Wolves with Jarvis, after lasting 80 minutes on his first start for three months, making way for Vokes. And the substitute's first touch is to head just off target at the far post from Kightly's corner.
81: United's turn to threaten as Naughton's long ball finds Beattie through on the inside right channel.  Hennessey comes out but Beattie slides the ball underneath him only to see it slide wide of the target.
86:  The Blades make a change with Cotterill on for Webber.
89:  Kightly finds space inside the box after being found by Vokes and manages to wriggle out of a couple of challenges to get a shot away.  Naysmith though is on hand to make a fine block.
90: Three minutes of injury time to follow.

 FULL TIME: Wolves 1-1 Sheffield United 

December 20th Doncaster 0 Wolves 1 (Collins 80) Top for Christmas

Donc NeillSo London Wolves’ sponsored player again headed the matchwinner.   Neill Collins was only called in at the last minute but towered in  defence and again got that all important winning goal (pic being congratulated by Capt Karl Henry)

London Wolves’ sponsored player again headed the matchwinner.   Neill Collins was only called in at the last minute but towered in  defence and again got that all important winning goal.  Tough match against Wolves' fan Sean O'Driscoll's bottom of the table Doncaster

Doncaster  Rovers 0  Wolves 1 (Collins 80)

Wolves were made to fight all the way by gallant Doncaster before a late goal from Neil Collins secured the three points and stretched the lead at the top of the table.  The goalscorer was named as a substitute on the teamsheet but a migraine attack ruled Michael Mancienne out shortly before the start and Collins deputised in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up. Rovers kicked-off attacking the end of the Keepmoat Stadium that housed 3,200 travelling supporters. Dave Edwards was an early casualty when he took a clearance flush in the face but he was able to resume once his nose bleed had been stemmed.  Two Brian Stock corners for the home team, and a Michael Kightly flag-kick for Wolves, were all cleared in a chanceless opening 15 minutes before Wayne Hennessey took a snapshot from Richie Wellens who ran on to a low cross from John Spicer.  Wolves were awarded a free-kick three-yards outside the home box after Adam Lockwood's challenge on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake but Kightly's kick was deflected behind. Kightly ran over to take the corner from which Collins' glancing header was cleared by Lockwood.  In the 26th minute Rovers went close to taking a shock lead. Wellens played Paul Hefferman through and it took an athletic save from Hennessey, who touched a rising drive onto the bar, to maintain parity. On the half-hour mark Jos Van Niewstadt's header following Stock's corner flashed across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.  Kightly's determined run to the edge of the home box saw his shot blocked at the expense of a corner by Lockwood. Kightly floated the ball over and in a few seconds of mayhem Wolves went close to breaking the deadlock on four occasions.  First Andy Keogh fired against the bar and then, when the striker picked up the rebound, his second effort came back off the post. Then it was the turn of Richard Stearman who looked on for his first goal for the club until Neil Sullivan pulled off a fine diving save. The ball went as far as Stephen Ward but his low drive was cleared of the line by Sam Hird.  Shortly before the break Wellens was shown the yellow card after his attempt to halt Stearman's surging run was deemed illegal.

Half-Time: Rovers 0 Wolves 0

Mick McCarthy made two changes at the start of the new half with Chris Iwlumo replacing Keogh and Matt Jarvis coming on for Matt Hill. Ward dropped back into defence.  There was an early chance for the home team when a Stock corner dropped to Wellens on the edge of the Wolves area but his first time shot went into the side netting.  Home crowd appeals for a penalty after Hennessey and Lewis Guy met whilst contending for a long through ball were ignored, before two Wolves men went into the book in a five minute spell.  Kightly was cautioned for a foul on James Chambers and, as it was his fifth booking of the campaign, the midfielder will be suspended for the away game at Blackpool. Then Collins appeared to clear the ball as he thwarted Guy, but he too saw yellow.  Midway through the half Sam Vokes was sent on in place of Ebanks-Blake.  Kevin Foley weaved a path into the home area in the 72nd minute but his shot lacked power and Sullivan saved at the near post.   But, in the 80th minute, Collins made the breakthrough when he powerfully headed home after Kightly had floated a free-kick into the box following Tomi Adeobi's foul on Ward.  In the final minutes Wolves went close to increasing their lead. Iwelumo was high and wide with an angled shot after he took a return pass from Jarvis before Kightly steered a 25-yard shot into Sullivan's arms.  Vokes fired inches over the bar and Karl Henry chested the ball down before firing towards goal from fully 35-yards out. But his effort was collected by the Rovers keeper. Deep into the five minutes of added time, Foley's shot was blocked and Vokes missed with his follow up drive.

Doncaster Rovers: Sullivan, O'Connor, Chambers, Lockwood (Taylor 83), Hird, Stock (capt), Van Niewstadt, Wellens, Guy (Elliott 77), Spicer, Hefferman (Ameobi 77). Unused subs: Roberts, Nelthorpe. Booking: Wellens (43 - foul).

Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Hill (Jarvis 45), Henry (capt), Stearman, Collins, Kightly, Edwards, Ebanks-Blake (Vokes 68), Keogh (Iwelumo 45), Ward.Unused subs: Shackell, Ikeme.Bookings: Kightly (56 - foul), Collins (61 - foul).

Referee: K.K. Wright.  Attendance: 13,669 (3,216 away supporters).


         Doncaster Rovers   Wolverhampton

Goals :              0                           1

Possession :   50%                   50%

Shots On Target : 2                       2

Shots Off Target :  6                      7

Corners :               5                      4

Fouls :                 12                    14

Most Fouls : Wellens (3)   Iwelumo (3)

Yellow Cards :      0                       2

Red Cards :          0                       0

Scorers :                           Collins 81

DONCASTER: Sullivan, O'Connor, Chambers, Lockwood, Hird, Stock, Van Niewstadt, Wellens, Guy, Spicer, Heffernan. SUBS: Taylor, Elliott, Roberts, Ameobi, Nelthorpe.

WOLVES: Hennessey; Foley, Collins, Stearman, Hill, Kightly, Henry, Edwards, Ward, Keogh, Ebanks-Blake. SUBS: Ikeme, Shackell, Jarvis, Vokes, Iwelumo.

Minute by minute:


 0: The teams are out. A late change for Wolves with Mancienne out prior to kick off and Collins in his place.

 3: Early stoppage as Edwards takes a whack in the face from close range with the ball. Back on after treatment.

 4: Wolvs first purposeful attack as Keogh gets in down the inside left channel. Ball eventually drops for Kightly just inside the box on the right and his whipped-in cross is only just too strong for Edwards breaking from midfield.

 9: A lively spell at both ends as Wolves clear one corner and force one of their own at the other end.  That is quickly cleared for Doncaster to launch an attack with Guy winning another flag kick off Henry. Stock's delivery is headed out by Hill and the return cleared by Ward.

 13: Kightly breaks down the right for Wolves but the ball takes a bobble and his cross is behind the goal.

 15: Chance for Rovers. Spicer makes ground down the right before finding Wellens whose first time effort is gathered by Hennessey.

 18: Free kick is directed into the penalty area and headed clear by Stearman.  Wellens' half volley is well over the bar.

 21: Wolves win a free kick on the right hand side and Kightly sends in a teasing delivery which flicks off a Doncaster head and out for a corner.  Kightly's flag kick is also dangerous but Doncaster manage to clear. Wolves keep up the pressure with Stearman crossing but Collins's difficult downward header is easy for Sullivan.

 26: Doncaster a lick of paint away from taking the lead.  Wellens sends Heffernan away on goal and the striker holds off Stearman before letting fly with a powerful shot which Hennessey touches on to the crossbar and out for a corner.  Referee Wright blows for an infringement from the corner and the threat has passed for now.

 30: Doncaster close again.  Stock sends in a corner which is met by Van Niewstadt at the near post. The defender's header flashes across goal and only inches wide of Hennessey's far post.

 36: Ward drives into the penalty area and goes down under a challenge. No penalty says the referee.

 38: Kightly takes the bull by the horns amid what has been a scrappy first half for Wolves so far. Exchanges one-two with Foley and then drives across the area with his left foot shot deflected out for a corner.

 39: Incredible scenes from the corner as Wolves are denied FOUR times.  Keogh flights one against the bar, smacks the rebound against the post, Stearman's shot is then saved by Sullivan and Ward's follow-up is blocked.


HALF TIME: Doncaster 0-0 Wolves


 45: Double switch for Wolves at half time with Jarvis and Iwelumo on for Hill and Keogh. Ward drops back to left back.

 46: First chance of the half for Doncaster as a corner is hit straight at unmarked Wellens on the edge of the box. The midfielder's volley is just wide although the Doncaster players claim Hennessey got a touch.

 52: Wolves now produce a spot of pressure and Kightly puts a decent cross in but there's no attacker on the end of it.

 53: Penalty appeal for Doncaster. Hennessey comes for a long through ball but it appears to hold up and he appears to make contact with Guy. Nothing given again by Wright.

 56: Kightly booked for a challenge. That's his fifth of the season and means he sits out the Blackpool game on December 29.

 58: One or two decisions from the referee are raising the cockles of both sides and it's Jarvis who is furious after being impeded as he tries to cut inside. No free kick given. Kightly meanwhile is then back in the action but the ball is whipped off his toe by Wellens as he shapes to shoot.

 61: Controversy as Collins and Guy clash for a high ball. Collins appears to win the ball but the assistant flags. Referee Wright has to take action and books Collins. He was arguably the last man although Ward was covering.

 67: Iwelumo wins a flick to a long throw from Ward but there's no one coming in behind to capitalise.

 68: Wolves make their final change with Vokes coming on for Ebanks-Blake.

 72: Foley makes tracks from the right back berth and cuts inside but his left foot shot is comfortable for Sullivan.

 77: Double switch for Doncaster as Elliott and Ameobi come on for Guy and Heffernan.


80: GOAL: 0-1 COLLINS.  Wolves win a free kick on the left. Kightly whips in a superb delivery which is met by Collins for his first goal of the season.  Concern immediately for Doncaster defender Lockwood who stays down after the melee but thankfully the defender is soon back on his feet.

 83: Doncaster make their final substitution as Taylor comes on for Lockwood.

 87: Iwelumo has a chance of a second after a neat one-two inside the area with Jarvis.  But his left foot half volley is a difficult chance and flies wide of the target.

 88: The points aren't there yet as Doncaster win a free kick on the right. Stock sends in a quality delivery met by Taylor but his header is over.

 88: Kightly picks up a pass from Edwards but his effort from distance is comfortable for Sullivan.

 90: Referee's assistant signals five minutes of injury time to follow. Vokes breaks for Wolves and fires a powerful shot just over from distance.

 90+3: Free kick for Doncaster sent into the area.  Headed clear and Wellens' shot from the edge of the box is deflected through to Hennessey. Play immediately switches and Henry's long-range shot is clutched by Sullivan.

 90+4: Great run from Foley who bursts in from the right and beats two defenders before his shot is blocked. Jarvis picks up the rebound but his shot is high and wide.


Wolves 2 (Hassell-OG 18, Foley 86)  Barnsley 0

081213 tablesA "not great" match as Mick said on Sky's Goals on Sunday But still top, the first to 50 goals and we’ll be top for Christmas.  Barnsley had three or four good chances which kept Wayne on his toes - especially with an early wobble, but were really nowhere in it for the first 35 minutes during which time Man-of-the-Match Kevin Foley had forced an own goal from his cross with Andy Keogh lurking behind Chappel.   It looked with ten minutes to go in the first half that Wolves had been switched off and Barnsley started to gain confidence - which carried on way into the second half.  Mancienne and Stears were again great in defence, as was Foley, while Matt Hill looked really solid, backed up by centre-forward/left back/left-winger number 11 Stephen Ward.  After about an hour,  though, Kights' ignition button was pressed and he had a great period creating chances for himself, Sam Vokes and finally the pass for Kevin's run trough into the box to score.   So a nervous second half, and the fans were left wondering why Matty Jarvis was only given 5 minutes, and one touch of the ball - an immaculate cross from the Steve Bull wing which created panic in the Barnsley defence guarding the North Bank goal.    Some delightful touches from Andy Keogh as well as quite a few missed challenges.  SEB was strong as usual, as was Karl Henry, although occasionally wayward.  Dave Edwards again had a good match, making some excellent runs, but not as strong at controlling midfield as Dave Jones is. The latter replaced Dave E with 12 to go, but couldn't get into the game.  Meanwhile Sky's evening match saw Preston help us widen the gap with a Parkin goal beating the blues, although Ref T Kettle gifted Reading a win against the Budgies.  Our ref - Salisbury - had a good match overall, but missed a few challenges and was a rather lenient on cards.

Wolves world has pictures of Kevin Foley as well as Mick's view on "King Kev" and reported,,10307,00.html 

Wolves were made to work hard for their victory over Barnsley and it took a late goal from Man of the Match Kevin Foley to confirm that another three points were destined for the Molineux bank account after Bobby Hassell had conceded an own-goal. The home starting 11 was unchanged but Carl Ikeme was named as a substitute following his three game absence through injury.  Wolves kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and in the opening minutes they forced Barnsley back with the Yorkshire side happy to lump the ball out for a throw-in whenever danger loomed.  Stephen Foster was lucky to escape a yellow card for a blatant trip on Dave Edwards and then keeper Heinz Muller had to paw away a driven centre from Foley.   It was from another Foley cross that Wolves took an 18th minute lead. Michael Kightly put the full back through on the overlap and from the centre that followed Hassell, under pressure from Andy Keogh, turned the ball into his own net.  Before the game restarted Jemal Campbell-Ryce was yellow carded for a foul on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake in the build up to the goal.  Foley, who was enjoying a fine game, almost got onto the scoresheet himself when he ran onto an Ebanks-Blake lay off and unleashed a shot from 20-yards that flew inches wide.  A Stephen Ward cross was deflected away from the heads of both Andy Keogh and Ebanks-Blake for an unproductive Kightly corner, and Wayne Hennessey made a comfortable save from Campbell-Ryce's angled drive. Then Jamie Cureton was far too high with a long distance effort.  Jon Macken was a lot closer when he let fly from just outside the box before Barnsley made a switch when Rob Kozluk came on from the limping Dennis Souza Guedes.  In the final minute of the half Marciano Van Homoet cleared the ball from in front of his own line after Edwards had knocked Ebanks-Blake's cross into the path of Keogh whose shot was heading for the bottom corner.

Half-Time: Wolves 1 Barnsley 0

Five minutes after the break, Ebanks-Blake held the ball up well and released Ward on the left for a cross that flashed through the box and out for a goal kick.  Then Kightly dispossessed Campbell-Ryce and sprinted to the by-line before delivering a cross that eluded players from both sides.  Cureton's diving header drew a fine save from Hennessey although the striker's 57th minute effort wouldn't have counted anyway as the offside flag had been raised. A crisp Wolves move almost led to a second goal seconds later. Kightly and Ebanks-Blake combined to put Edwards in but the alert Muller snatched the ball of the midfielder's toes.  Shortly afterwards Kightly's free-kick from the left hit the head of a defender taking the ball just out of the reach of the inrushing Richard Stearman. From the corner, taken by Kightly, the ball was half cleared to Ward who fired narrowly wide.  Hugo Colace went into the book for a foul on Karl Henry before Sam Vokes replaced Keogh as the game reached the three-quarter stage.  Four minutes later Kightly took the ball down the right before playing it to Vokes who took a touch before shooting. But Muller was there to pull off a fine save.  Barnsley substitute Maceo Rigters was only just wide with a header from Campbell-Ryce's cross although Hennessey looked to have the ball covered as he dived across his goal.  Ward did well to create a chance for Kightly whose shot hit a defender and went behind. To the obvious annoyance of the supporters behind the goal in the Stan Cullis Stand, the referee gave a goal kick.  But four minutes from time Foley erased any fears of a late Barnsley equaliser when he took a pass from Kightly and ran through the middle before touching the ball to Vokes and running on to the return ball. The defender got in a shot that Muller got a hand to, but was unable to keep out.  The goal was a just reward for Foley who didn't put a foot wrong in a commanding performance in defence.


Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Hill, Henry (capt), Stearman, Mancienne, Kightly (Jarvis 85), Edwards (Jones 78), Ebanks-Blake, Keogh (Vokes 66), Ward.  Unused subs: Collins, Ikeme.


Barnsley: Muller, Leon (Rigters 73), De Silva, Van Homoet, Colace, Campbell-Ryce, Souza (Kozluk 42), Macken, Cureton, Hassell, Foster (capt). Unused subs: El Haimour, Mostto, Odejayi. Bookings: Campbell-Ryce (18 - foul), Colace (63 - foul).


Referee: G. Salisbury.  Attendance: 22,399.

Tuesday December Wolves 3 (Ebanks-Blake 2-pen, 59, Edwards 40) Derby County 0
081209 tables
A comfortable win in the end against Paul Jewell’s strugglers. A great debut at left back for Matt Hill, who at 5’ 8” looked like the mascot. But he can jump with the six footers and took his first start very very well.  Mancienne clearly put his performance at Loftus Road well behind him for a man-of-the match performance, although two goal SEB awarded that to Andy Keogh, starting in place of the injured Player of the Month, Chris Iwelumo.  Andy still doesn’t tackle well (until the last 20 mins as his confidence seemed to come back - and he missed two sitters.  But he flicked on the ball from Hennessey’s early kick for the first minute penalty and after shooting directly at Bywater saw that SEB was free and passed for him to score the third.  The South Bank immediately sung his name and Mick applauded that.  In a crowd of 21,326, maybe it’s the booboys who are staying away,

With the season still one game shy of the halfway mark, Wolves took their points tally to 50 after a comprehensive 3-0 Molineux victory over
Derby County.  With Chris Iwelumo ruled our after damaging an ankle in training, Andy Keogh joined Sylvan Ebanks-Blake up front. Dave Jones was dropped to the bench and in for his debut came Matt Hill who slotted in at left-back with Stephen Ward playing on the left of midfield.  Derby County kicked-off attacking the North Band end but it was Wolves that got off to the flying start by taking the lead inside two minutes.  Keogh flicked on Wayne Hennessey's long free-kick and Darren Powell was adjudged to have handled in the box. Ebanks-Blake easily beat Stephen Bywater from the spot.  The goal didn't appear to rattle the Rams who were soon causing problems for the home defence with Hill blocking a shot from Rob Hulse who, moments later, was wide with a 20-yard drive.  There were more problems when a cross from the left wasn't dealt with and the ball dropped to Emanuel Villa right in front of Hennessey's goal. But the Argentinean striker got his feet in a tangle and Richard Stearman was able to nip in and clear.   Although the game was being played at a lively place, chances were of a premium although Bywater did well to cut out Ebanks-Blake's low driven cross.  As the contest reached the half-hour mark Michael Kightly's speculative shot landed on the roof of the Derby net before a mistake by Powell was pounced on by Ebanks-Blake who unselfishly passed to Keogh. But the ball was slightly behind the Irish striker and his shot on the turn was fractionally wide.  It was the signal for an intense spell of pressure from Wolves and Paul Connolly had to clear from inside the six-yard box after Ebanks-Blake had out-muscled Martin Albrechtsen and crossed as the pair ran into the area from the right.  The woodwork came to County's rescue in the 38th minute after Ebanks-Blake had sent Kightly away on the right. The winger beat Jordan Stewart before laying the ball back to Ebanks-Blake who hit a fierce shot that bounced back off the post.  But the respite for the Rams was to be brief as Dave Edwards grabbed a second goal just two minutes later. Ward, who was having a terrific game, found Kightly who crossed to the far post where Connolly's attempted clearance fell to Edwards who found the net with a half volley that beat Bywater all ends up.

Half-Time: Wolves 2 Derby 0

The Kightly/Ebanks-Blake combination almost worked again shortly after the game resumed with Ebanks-Blake taking a return pass from his
team-mate before bringing the best out of Bywater with an angled drive that the keeper needed two attempts at before gathering.  A free-kick from Przemyslaw Kazmierczak was helped on by Miles Addison to Ruben Zadkovich whose shot was way too high.  But just before the hour mark Ebanks-Blake struck again to strengthen Wolves' position. Kightly's defence splitting pass fell perfectly for Keogh who sprinted into the area and hit a low shot that was blocked by Bywater.  The ball bounced back to Keogh and he rolled it to Ebanks-Blake who  made no mistake from eight-yards.  An Edwards free-kick from wide on the right was deflected towards his own goal by Stewart forcing Bywater to dive low to keep the ball out.  Then followed a string of substitutions with Kightly and Ebanks-Blake being replaced by Neill Collins and Sam Vokes respectively.  With four minutes remaining there was a chance for Stewart to reduce the deficit but Michael Mancienne was back in a flash to block for a corner.

Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Hill, Henry (capt), Stearman, Mancienne, Kightly (Collins 71), Edwards, Ebanks-Blake (Vokes 75), Keogh, Ward (Jarvis 86).Unused subs: Higgs, Jones.

Derby: Bywater, Connolly (capt), Stewart, Kazmierczak (Commons 77), Villa, Hulse (Ellington 74), Varney, Addison, Zadkovich, Albrechtsen,
Powell (Tomkins 53).  Unused subs: Price, Teale.

Referee: G. Hegley.  Attendance: 21,326.

Queens Park Rangers 1 (Rowlands 62) Wolves 0

QPR_0014sQPR controlled the match throughout;  New manager Sousa has had a terrific effect on them and warned Wolves beforehand that he had some surprises ready.  The goal had been moved about 2 metres further away from the Wolves fans, and the shorter pitch was and inhibitor as Chris Iwelumo and SEB didn't get a look in and there was always a sweeper nearer goal.  Dave Jones had a great free kick saved, and SEB a soft header from a terrific Matt J center - only Matt Jarvis took the game to them on the floor.  Cerny only had the one save to make in the first half, but made two excellent saves in the second.  Wayne also made excellent saves otherwise it could have been embarrassing.  Michael Mancienne spent most of last season in blue & white, and couldn't get going to his usual very high standard. Kights and Foley mucked up the last chance with another stupid short corner right at the end.

Of course, it was all down to Hoops STH who came in our end - thanks DHodgey!   Or was it the curse of Sky?  Or was it the curse of Mick's manager of the month award?

You Can't Win Them All  (WoW)

Mick McCarthy admits it's impossible to win every game after Wolves lost only their fourth of the season at QPR tonight  Whilst disappointed to see his team fall thanks to a spectacular second half goal from Martin Rowlands, the boss took a pragmatic approach and insists there'll be no dwelling on the defeat ahead of successive home games with Derby and Barnsley  "It's impossible in this league to win every game," said Mick.  "There's only a hair's breadth between all of us.  "We've been doing well because our strikers have been scoring goals and this was a rare profligate game for them.   "A team draws a game and loses a game and I get asked all the clichés about bouncing back for the next game.   "I heard it all last week and I think it was coming from  Birmingham and Sheffield United that maybe they weren't worried about us or were the better team."Well Birmingham have gone out and won their home game but Sheffield United have lost.  "I hate all the clichéd nonsense but to be honest I can't remember when it was easy to come to QPR. "They're never going to let you come here and just go out and play your football and they've now got a classy manager and some very good players.  "They matched us for 60 minutes of the game and had the better of parts of it before we came back well for the last half hour.   "I could blame our defending but (Patrick) Agyemang has had a good game and Heidar Helguson is a

good player as is Lee Cook on loan from Fulham.  "They are no mugs by any stretch of the imagination and it was a wonder strike that's won them the game, moments after we had produced our best chance."  Mick brushed aside suggestions Wolves were suffering as a result of their lofty position in the table and insists all focus will now turn to Derby on Tuesday.  "We're top of the league at the moment - I'm not saying we're the best team but we're top and that inspires people to play against you even more," he added.   "There's an added incentive to beat us and we've got to live with that and make sure we cope with it.  "But that's our first defeat in nine.  "For the last 35 minutes we've played well and Matt Jarvis has come on and made a difference but when we went one down we couldn't get one back."

Queens Park Rangers 1 (Rowlands 62) Wolves 0

Wolves saw their lead at the top of the Championship table cut to three points following a narrow defeat at Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham's victory over Watford earlier in the day.   Mick McCarthy made just one change to his starting line-up at Loftus Road with Dave Edwards coming in for Michael Gray.

With just over a minute gone there was a good chance for the home team after Hogan Ephraim crossed from the right. Richard Stearman's clearance went only as far as Heidar Helguson who blazed a shot over the bar from just inside the area. Home keeper Radek Cerny just beat Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to Chis Iwelumo's flick on before Wayne Hennessey blocked superbly to thwart Patrick Agyemang who was clean through after Michael Mancienne had failed to cut out Ephraim's through ball.   Hennessey's save led to the first of three consecutive QPR corners.

Wolves' first flag-kick came in the tenth minute but the referee spotted an infringement as Michael Kightly planted the ball into the heart of the home area.  Edwards almost made the breakthrough after Ebanks-Blake had laid the ball back to him but the Welsh midfielder's shot drifted narrowly wide with Cerny a spectator.  Dexter Blackstock then wasted a good chance for Rangers when he fired over the bar from the edge of the 18-yard line after Helguson had picked him out with a pinpoint pass.   But on 22 minutes Dave Jones was inches away from giving Wolves the lead after Kightly had been fouled by Peter Ramage right on the edge of the home area. Jones tapped the free-kick to Edwards who rolled the ball back for his team-mate to curl a shot that just beat the far post.   Hennessey got down low to save Helguson's shot on the turn,  then Agyemang was way off target with a 20-yard drive.   Four minutes before the break Helguson beat the offside flag and ran in from the left before pushing the ball to Lee Cook who had come on in place of Blackstock. Cook looked a certain scorer but Hennessey was in the right place to beat away his shot.   Wolves responded with a long-range effort from Jones that whistled past the post after appearing to take a deflection.  The referee ignored appeals for a corner from the visiting players.

Half-Time: QPR 0 Wolves 0

Within two minutes of the resumption Hennessey saved with his feet after Helguson had burst into the box and struck a fierce shot.  Edwards was wide after Ebanks-Blake had laid the ball off for him and, at the other end, Stearman did well to head away a cross from Cook as Helguson lurked dangerously at the far post.  In the 55th minute Damion Stewart's blatant block on Kightly led to a free-kick just outside Cerny's area. Jones' effort looked destined for the bottom corner but the Czech keeper made a fine save as he turned the ball behind.  Jones was replaced by Matt Jarvis shortly afterwards and twice in quick succession the winger outstripped Ramage. From Jarvis's second cross Ebanks-Blake got a head to the ball but Cerny just managed to get across to save on the line.   Seconds later Martin Rowlands struck what proved to be the match winner when his shot from 25-yards went over Hennessey's outstretched hand.  Sam Vokes was sent on for Iwelumo and Mancienne became the first man to see the yellow card after he handled the ball - the referee indicating persistent fouling as the reason for his caution.   Jarvis met a low cross from Kightly but his low shot was blocked, then the substitute sent over a cross that Vokes headed goalwards only for Cerny to pluck the ball out of the air.  Shortly after Andy Keogh became Wolves' final substitute, when he replaced Ebanks-Blake, Cerny dived to hold on  to Vokes' 25-yard drive, and Rowlands was yellow carded after he had tripped Jarvis.  It was all Wolves in the closing minutes and Vokes' header was clearly deflected over after a Kevin Foley centre but a goal kick was the referee's verdict.  In the final minute, Jarvis had a shot deflected away. But there was to be no late reprieve for Wanderers who failed to score in the League on their travels for the first time in the campaign.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Blackstock (Cook 27) (Di Carmine 89), Agyemang, Gorkss, Rowlands (capt), Ramage, Ephraim, Helguson (Tommasi 78).  Unused subs: Cole, Borrowdale.  Booking: Rowlands (83 - foul).

Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Ward, Henry (capt), Stearman, Mancienne, Kightly, Jones (Jarvis 58), Ebanks-Blake (Keogh 78), Iwelumo (Vokes 72), Edwards. Unused subs: Higgs, Collins.  Booking: Mancienne (73 - persistent fouling).

Referee: I. Williamson. Attendance: 13,416.

  QPR   Wolverhampton

Goals :        1 0

Possession : 46% 54%

Shots On Target :      5        4

Shots Off Target :      8        5

Corners :                  7        7

Fouls :    14      16

Most Fouls :Tommasi (3)  Iwelumo (5)

Yellow Cards :     1        1

Red Cards :               0       0

Scorers :   Rowlands 63


QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart,Mahon, Blackstock, Agyemang, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage, Ephraim, Helguson. SUBS: Cole, Cook, Tommasi, Di Carmine, Borrowdale.

WOLVES: Hennessey, Foley, Stearman, Mancienne, Ward, Kightly, Henry, Jones, Edwards, Ebanks-Blake, Iwelumo. SUBS: Higgs, Collins, Keogh, Vokes. Jarvis.

0: Off and running at Loftus Road.

 2: First chance for the hosts. Stearman is only able to get a half clearance on Ephraim's cross and the ball drops to Helguson who takes a touch to control before firing a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

 7: First sniff of an opening for Wolves as Iwelumo wins a flick-on.  Ebanks-Blake tries to get on the end of it but is just beaten to it by QPR keeper Cerny who comes out to collect.

  8: Big let-off for Wolves as a Hennessey save keeps the scores level. Mancienne slips as he tries to cut out Ephraim's through pass which leaves Agyemang clean through on goal.  The QPR striker steadies himself for the chance but Hennessey is out to narrow the angle and makes an instinctive block.

  9: Pressure for QPR now with a couple of corners, but Mancienne makes amends by heading the first clear and then Helguson heads wide.

 12: Wolves' turn to go close.  Iwelumo and Ebanks-Blake do some useful foraging inside the area and the latter lays the ball off for Edwards who picks his spot with a left foot curler but sees the effort flash inches wide.

  14: Wolves win a free kick on the left which is swung in by Kightly. Cerny gets a punch on it and from a difficult chance Stearman loops the ball high and onto the roof of the net.

  15: More problems for Wolves caused by Agyemang as he outwits both Ward and Mancienne down the right to go clear.  His attempted pullback into the area is snaffled by Henry and the danger passes.

  20: Helguson is being allowed to pull the strings from his position in behind the front two and another precise through ball sends Blackstock away.  The ball takes a bobble just as Blackstock tries to shoot and as a result his effort is sliced wide of the target.

  22: Wolves win a free kick right on the edge of the area as Ramage brings down Kightly. The resulting free kick is agonisingly wide. Jones taps it to Edwards who controls for Jones to whip in a left footed curler which just drifts slightly too far wide of the far post.

  27:  Slight moment of panic for Wolves as Hennessey comes for a free kick and appears to bump into Stearman enroute.  Referee Williamson however has seen an infringement perhaps by Blackstock and awards Wolves a free kick.  It's Blackstock's last action of the game as - presumably injured - he makes way for Cook.

  34: More QPR pressure as Wolves are hemmed in around their own box.  From the last of those Aygemang picks the ball up on the left and goes past Ward before centring for Helguson.  The Rangers' striker sends in a left foot shot through a sea of bodies but Hennessey manages to gather at the second attempt.

  38: Agyemang now goes past Foley on the left to cut inside before planting a shot wide of the target.

  41: Another good chance for the home side. Helguson beats the offside trap down the left and squares for Cook who takes a touch before letting fly with a stinging left foot shot which Hennessey beats away.

  42: But Wolves are also producing chances of their own and Jones flashes a long range shot just wide.  Several Wolves players suggest the ball took a deflection but after looking for guidance from his assistant referee Williamson awards a goal kick.

  HALF TIME: QPR 0-0 Wolves

  46: Back underway.

  48: Another Hennessey save, this time from Helguson who got in behind the Wolves defence but saw his effort blocked by the Wolves keeper.

  50: First chance of the half for Wolves but Edwards fires over from Ebanks-Blake's layoff. At the other end it needs a fine Stearman clearance to prevent Cook's cross reaching Helguson.

 52: Helguson heavily involved again but heads wide from a deep free kick.

  56: Wolves go mighty close at the other end after Kightly wins a free kick following being body-checked by Stewart. Jones tries his luck with a free kick which is destined for the bottom corner but for a fine save from Cerny who claws it behind.

  58: First change for Wolves as Jones makes way for Jarvis, the winger enjoying his first taste of action for almost ten weeks following a hamstring injury.

  62: Jarvis's first chance to stretch his legs almost creates an opening as he outpaces the full back and sends in a cross.  Ebanks-Blake almost gets the ball under control.

  62: It's Jarvis again causing havoc as he skips inside two defenders and puts a cross onto Ebanks-Blake's head.  The striker is unable to get a clean connection on the ball and Cerny saves.

  63: GOAL: ROWLANDS 1-0.  And as action switches straight to the other end it's the hosts who take the lead with a spectacular goal. Rowlands picks the ball up 30 yards out and lets fly with a swirling drive which beats Hennessey.

 68: Jarvis embarks on another dangerous run but the referee's assistant adjudges the ball had crossed the line before he got his cross in.

 72: Another Wolves change with Vokes on for Iwelumo.

 73: Mancienne goes into the book, the first of the day, for persistent fouling. From Rowlands' free kick Helguson wins the header at the back post but it's straight at Hennessey.

 74: Wolves trying to rouse themselves for an equaliser and Kightly's inviting cross is headed clear by a QPR defender. Jarvis picks up the loose all but his shot is blocked.

 75: Vokes goes close as Jarvis finds him with a cross but the substitute's header is turned behind by Cerny.

 78: Switch for QPR with Tommasi coming on for Helguson. Wolves also make a change with Keogh on for Ebanks-Blake.

 80: Keogh does well in an aerial challenge and the ball drops for Vokes who catches a half volley powerfully but sees it gobbled up by Cerny.

 83: Rowlands goes into the book for a trip on Jarvis.

 84: Another Wolves attack as Foley's cross is met by Vokes. The ball flies wide from his header but the Wolves players are screaming for a corner as it appears to take a deflection. Their appeals fall on deaf ears and a goal kick is given.

 88: It's frantic attacking now from Wolves but they just don't seem to be able to create a clear-cut opening.

 89: Final change for QPR as Di Carmine comes on for Cook, himself a substitute earlier in the game.

 90+1: Jarvis goes down inside the area but it appears to be a slip and the referee waves play-on.

 90+3: Wolves decide to take a short corner which comes to nothing and as QPR break substitute Samuel Di Carmine is only inches away from  second goal.

  FULL TIME: QPR 1-0 Wolves

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