Wolves 1 (Ebanks-Blake 16)
Blackpool 2 (Ince 45, 78)
Wolves’ dismal home form continued as they succumbed to a Blackpool side that hadn’t won in nine games – this after Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had fired the Molineux men into the lead.
Two goals from the in demand Thomas Ince, the son of former Wolves skipper Paul, paved the way to the Tangerines triumph.
Jamie O’Hara made his first start since March with David Davis dropping down to the bench in what would have been an otherwise unchanged Wolves side.
But Stephen Ward suffered a neck injury in the warm up and so Slawomir Peszko, originally named as a substitute, started on the right of midfield with Kevin Foley slotting in at left-back. Stephen Hunt was named as the replacement substitute.
Blackpool kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and the home defence had to clear two crosses before Kevin Doyle won a second minute corner with visiting keeper Matt Gilks claiming Bakary Sako’s flag-kick.
A Tiago Gomes shot was deflected dangerously across the face of the Wolves goal before the ball was cleared upfield to Doyle who sprinted into the Blackpool box and hit a low drive that bounced off a defender to O’Hara whose driven cross into the middle was cleared.
A Sako corner went out to the far side where Roger Johnson took possession and won another after hitting the ball against Kirk Broadfoot. This time Sako pulled the corner back to O’Hara who hit a fierce, first time shot that bounced clear off a defender.
Wolves took the lead in the 16th minute with a smartly executed goal from Ebanks-Blake. Peszko wasted no time in laying a pass in front of Ronald Zubar as he charged down the right and the defender’s first time cross was headed firmly past Gilks by Ebanks-Blake (pictured).
There could have been a second three minutes later after Sako had played a free-kick into the box. The ball broke to Doyle eight yards out and although he quickly controlled it, he couldn’t direct his shot through the forest of defenders legs between him and the line and the danger was cleared.
Peszko was booked for a late challenge on Gomes before a deflected Ince shot went wide with Carl Ikeme completely flat footed. It led to two Angel Martinez corners in quick succession before the home defence cleared its lines.
Some good interplay between Ebanks-Blake and Zubar ended with the defender needing treatment after he had collided with the keeper in going for his team-mate’s cross.
Doyle then appeared to get his head to a Sako free-kick and the ball clipped the top of the bar although the referee awarded a corner.
But Blackpool drew level in the 45th minute after a defensive mix up between Johnson and Ikeme gifted the visitors an equaliser. Johnson prodded the ball back towards the keeper but both hesitated allowing Ince to intervene and slot the loose ball home.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Blackpool 1
A fine save from Gilks presented Ebanks-Blake from netting a second goal after 53 minutes play. Doyle headed an O’Hara cross on to his fellow striker whose shot was diverted away by the keeper’s outstretched foot.
Doyle was wide with a glancing header following another O’Hara centre before Broadfoot was booked for a foul on the Irishman.
Zubar, who was on the receiving end of a couple of knocks, limped off after 69 minutes to be replaced by Hunt.
Ince’s foul on Hunt resulted in a Wolves free-kick, taken by Peszko, to the left of the Blackpool box. The Polish midfielder found O’Hara with the free-kick and took a return pass before crossing for Christophe Berra to get in a header that was cleared from in front of goal by Chris Basham.
The afternoon for the home support took a turn for the worse as Ince struck again, in the 78th minute, with what turned out to be the winning goal – a venomous 25-yard effort that Ikeme got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
Dean Saunders made a double change in the hope of salvaging a point with Bjorn Sigurdarson coming on for Doyle and Davis for Peszko.
But the Blackpool defence held firm and in the second minute of stoppage time the home misery was compounded as Johnson was red carded after he had wrestled Martinez to the ground after Spaniard had appeared to pull him back as he broke from defence in the hope of setting up a last ditch attack.
Wolves: Ikeme, Zubar (Hunt 69), Foley, O’Hara, Johnson, Berra, Peszko (Davis 86), Henry (capt), Ebanks-Blake, Doyle (Sigurdarson 86), Sako.
Unused subs: De Vries, Batth, Doumbia, Cassidy.
Booking: Peszko (19 – foul).
Sending-Off: Johnson (90+2 violent conduct)
Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Gomes, Ince, Baptiste (capt), Basham, Phillips (Derbyshire 62), Angel, Taylor-Fletcher, Cathcart, Broadfoot.
Unused subs: Eardley, Osbourne, Halstead, Noguera, Delfouneso, Eccleston.
Booking: Broadfoot (68 – foul).
Referee: S. Matthieson.