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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
20:43 26th December 2014

Noel Nouha

Watford 0

Wolves 1 (Dicko 57)

After dominating much of the early play with only an exceptional display from Heurelho Gomes in the home goal keeping them at bay, Wolves finally grabbed a winning goal through Nouha Dicko 12 minutes after the break.

Watford hit back and twice struck the woodwork but Wolves held firm to claim a second successive away triumph.  

There were two changes to the visitors starting line up with Jack Price and Dicko coming in for James Henry and Danny Graham who were both named as substitutes. Two familiar faces in the Watford side to the travelling supporters were defender Sebastien Bassong, who had a spell on loan at Molineux, and midfielder Adlene Guedioura who was on the bench.

Watford kicked-off defending the Vicarage Road end of the ground that housed around 2,000 Wolves supporters as heavy, icy rain fell.

An early shot from Matej Vidra was blocked at close quarters by Richard Stearman before an ambitious over the shoulder hook from Dicko was both high and wide.

In the eighth minute, Rajiv van La Parra won the first corner of the game. It was taken short by Bakary Sako who took a return pass from Kevin McDonald and hit a cross that was punched clear by Gomes.

Within a minute, Wolves were inches away from taking the lead. Sako played the ball inside to van La Parra and his shot looked to brush the outside of the post as it flew wide.

Sako then shot wide himself after McDonald had pulled back a short cross before, in the 12th minute, there was another close call for the home goal as Gomes just managed to get his fingertips to Dave Edwards’s scooped effort after van La Parra had crossed. From the resultant Sako corner, the ball was hacked clear after a brief scramble.

Wolves were looking dangerous every time that they went forward and Kourtney Hause looked to have broken through when he hit a stunning shot from all of 30-yards that was arrowing towards the top corner until Gomes produced a brilliant as he tipped the ball over.

Sako’s corner was only half cleared as far as van La Parra on the edge of the box and his low drive looked destined for the net until, once again, Gomes with another full length dive, came to his team’s rescue.

By the time that they finally started to pose an attacking threat, Watford could easily have been three or four down. And any threats that were created by the Hornets, were comfortably dealt with by the Molineux defence with Danny Batth and Stearman both blocking shots. 

On 35 minutes there was another golden opportunity for Wolves as Dicko ran onto Sako’s slide rule through pass. The striker slid the ball past the advancing Gomes but just the wrong side of ytje post.

Just before the break Troy Deeney went into the book for an untidy challenge on Hause.

Half-Time: Watford 0 Wolves 0

The 49th minute came Watford’s first on target effort – a bouncing shot from Vydra that as comfortably dealt with by Carl Ikeme.

The keeper had to have his wits about him in the 56th minute, however, as Danny Tozser’s 25-yard drive skidded across the greasy surface.

But, in the next minute, Wolves were ahead. Van La Parra, with a great run, cut in from the left and crossed low for Dicko to convert from just four yards out (pictured).

Edwards was wide at the near post with an overhead kick following a cross from Sako before the home side made a double switch with Odion Ighalo and Fernando Forestieri replacing Vydra and Gianni Munari.

There was a close call for Wolves in the 70th minute when Lloyd Doyley flicked on Tozser’s corner into the heart of a packed goalmouth when Bassong just failed to get a touch before Ikeme claimed the ball.

Tozser dragged a shot wide from the 18-yard line before Hause slipped allowing Ighalo to work an angle on the left  before hitting a shot that Ikeme touched onto the bar.

Tommy Rowe made a brief appearance as a substitute picking up a knock in his three minutes on the field before being replaced by Henry.

With the game in the first of its four additional minutes Ighalo was once again unlucky as his rising drive smacked against the crossbar and bounced clear. 

There was a tremendous scramble in Ikeme’s box before the ball was finally booted upfield and time finally ran out for Watford to leave the travelling fans celebrating in earnest.

Watford: Gomes, Munari (Forestieri 63), Tozser (Guedioura 72), Deeney (capt), Doyley, Paredes, Cathcart, Vydra (Ighalo 63), Anya, Abdi, Bassong.

Unused subs: Bond, Pudil, Dyer, Hoban.

Bookings: Deeney (43 – foul), Tozser (72 – foul).

Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Hause, Edwards (Ebanks-Landell 90+2), Batth (capt), Stearman, Price, van La Parra, Dicko (Rowe 86) (Henry 89), McDonald, Sako.

Unused subs: Kuszczak, Clarke, Graham, Evans. 

Bookings: Stearman (64 – hand ball), Price (90+3 – kicking the ball away).  

Referee: G. Scott. 

Attendance: 17,443.

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.