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19:56 14th September 2013

Ikeme Stars In Wolves Win

Wolves 3 (Golbourne 3, Doyle 43, Foley 90)

Swindon Town 2 (N’Guessan 82, Mason 90+1)

A combination of an excellent goalkeeping display by Carl Ikeme and some wayward finishing by the Swindon Town forwards helped Wolves towards a narrow victory over the Wiltshire club in an end to end contest at Molineux. 

Whilst the home team hit the back of the net three times, Swindon were a constant threat in an open game of football.

Skipper Samuel Ricketts recovered from the knee injury he picked up whilst training with the Welsh squad and he took a place in the centre of defence with Scott Golbourne slotting in at left-back.

And it was Golbourne that gave Wanderers a third minute lead albeit with something of a fluke. 

Set to attack the South Bank end, Kenny Jackett’s men got off to the best possible start as Town keeper Wes Foderingham misjudged Golbourne’s cross from the left and the ball flew into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Former Molineux defender Darren Ward did well to cut out a dangerous cross from Kevin Doyle before the first threat from the visitors saw a low shot from Nicky Ajose that was turned behind by Ikeme.

A well delivered ball by Doyle almost let in Leigh Griffiths only for a defender to get a foot in to clear, and then a timely block from Golbourne denied Nile Ranger an almost certain goal at the other end.

Massimo Luongo was high and wide with a long distance effort and then, in the 25th minute, Bakary Sako’s precision pass opened up a chance for Griffiths who tried to steer the ball past Foderingham only for the keeper to atone for his earlier error by pulling off an excellent save.

Nathan Thompson got across to clear before Griffiths could get a shot in after another through pass from Sako, before Ikeme blocked brilliantly after Alex Pritchard had played Ryan Mason clean through.

Just two minutes later Ikeme performed heroics with another great save – this time from Pritchard who let fly from the edge of the box.  

Sako hit a powerful effort from 30-yards out that was too high and then he tried an angled shot that was deflected past the far post. 

The French winger took the flag kick himself and when the ball was half cleared back to him he ran into the box and hit a powerful drive from an acute angle that was parried by Foderingham.

Two minutes before the break Wolves doubled their lead. Doyle’s cross was a tad too heavy for Griffiths but the Scottish striker took possession and turned to hit a centre that Doyle headed home at the back stick.

Half-Time: Wolves 2 Swindon 0

An early Pritchard corner was punched out by Ikeme with David Davis completing the clearance.

Mason was booked for a late challenge on Golbourne and almost immediately, Kevin McDonald followed him into the book for kicking the ball away after conceding a free-kick.

Twice in a two minute spell, Town were close to reducing the deficit. Ranger had an angled shot deflected over the bar and then Mason, with the goal at his mercy, stroked the ball wide after he had taken a return pass from Ajose.

On the hour mark both sides made a change with Dany N’Guessan replacing Ajose for the visitors and Zeli Ismail for Davis for Wanderers.

Four Swindon players appeared to get in each others way just ten-yards from Ikeme’s goal and then Danny Batth just beat Mason to Luongo’s cross robbing the Swindon man of a clear sight at goal.

Mason held off a challenge from Batth before shooting across the face of goal and clipping the foot of the far post. Then it was Wolves’ turn as Sako played Griffiths through but he dragged his shot wide.

Midway through the half, McDonald was penalised for a challenge on Thompson but Pritchard’s free-kick sailed high over the bar. Moments later Pritchard was booked for a tackle from behind on McDonald.

Ikeme had made several fine saves during the game but the one he made from Thompson’s header after a cross from Pritchard was of the highest quality. Thompson was only six-yards out and he got everything behind the ball but Ikeme parried it and then smothered it right on the line.

Another double change saw Bjorn Sigurdarson going on for Griffiths and, for Swindon, Miles Storey replaced Ranger.

Foderingham saved well from Sigurdarson’s first time shot after a low cross from Sako before Town finally hit the target in the 82nd minute as N’Guessan fired home after running onto Mason’s through ball.

Sako was replaced by Kevin Foley for the final few minutes as Swindon went in search of an equaliser. 

Thompson was booked for a late challenge on Doyle and then it was Ikeme drawing more applause from the crowd as he once again thwarted Pritchard.

As the game entered its 90th minute the tension for the home fans was lifted after Doyle had sent Sigurdarson away down the left. His perfect low cross fell in front of Foley who, from just inside the box, sidefooted the ball home.

Incredibly, seconds later, Mason struck a terrific 25-yarder past Ikeme after Pritchard had touched a free-kick to him.

Referee Gary Sutton pulled up with what looked like a muscle injury and he was replaced by assistant referee Amy Fearn who took the whistle for the last couple of minutes. 

Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Golbourne, McDonald, Batth, Ricketts (capt), Davis (Ismail 60), Griffiths (Sigurdarson 77), Doyle, Evans, Sako (Foley 84).

Unused subs: Stearman, Cassidy, Price, McCarey.

Bookings: McDonald (51 – kicking ball away at free-kick), Ismail (90+2 - kicking ball away at free-kick).

Town: Foderingham, N. Thompson, McEveley, Hall, Ward (capt), Kasim, Luongo, Mason, Pritchard, Ranger (Storey 60), Ajose (N’Guessan 60).

Unused subs: Harley, L. Thompson, Barthham, Belford, Branco.

Bookings:Mason (50 – foul), Pritchard (70 – foul), Thompson (85 – foul).

Referee: G. Sutton.

Attendance: 19,388. 

West Bromwich Albion under 18s 0 Wolves 4 (Keita 2, Weeks, Matinyadze)


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