Shrewsbury Town 0
Wolves 1 (Sako-pen 84)
A late Bakary Sako penalty saw Wolves return to winning ways after a tight encounter with Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow.
Kenny Jackett’s men were pushed all the way by The Shrews in front of a partisan Shropshire crowd but Sako kept his nerve to dispatch the spot kick after Jon Taylor had been sent-off for handling on the line.
There was a record League attendance at the ground as the head coach made two changes to the side that had lost to Walsall in midweek with Zeli Ismail replacing Lee Evans and Björn Sigurdarson for the injured Kevin Doyle.
There was almost a sensational start as The Shrews kicked off defending the end that housed the away support. Less than ten seconds had gone when the ball was played back to Town keeper Chris Weale whose clearance was charged down by Sigurdarson with the rebound going a couple of yards wide of the open goal.
Shrewsbury went straight on the attack and when Danny Batth headed out Adam Reach’s centre, Curtis Main swooped on the ball and shot well wide from 22-yards.
When the home fans started to sing ‘There’s only one Graham Turner’ they were joined by their Molineux counterparts who obviously remembered the work Turned did in his stint in charge of Wanderers.
Weale pulled off a fine save as he turned away an angled drive from Ismail before, at the other end, Carl Ikeme came to the rescue snatching the ball off Aaron Wildig’s foot after some hesitancy in the Wolves defence.
Main wasn’t far away with a low, long range drive before a corner and then a free-kick from Sako were both cleared by the home rearguard.
Playing the ball about at the back nearly proved costly for Wolves after they lost possession and Ikeme was forced into a full length save after Taylor had prodded Reach’s cross goalwards.
Reach and then Wildig had long range shots that were within a foot or two of Ikeme’s right-hand post as Town enjoyed a spell of heavy pressure on the visitors goal.
There was a half chance for Leigh Griffiths after he had charged down Joe Jacobson’s clearance but Weale just beat the striker to the loose ball.
After being on the backfoot the visitors began to threaten and Sigurdarson fired over from the edge of the box after taking a short pass from Griffiths.
Wanderers were inches away from a 34th minute lead after Kevin McDonald’s determination saw him winning the ball in midfield. He fed a pass to Scott Golbourne and his cross was headed against the foot of the post by Sigurdarson. Reach, in attempting to clear, was only just wide of his own goal.
Sako went on a marauding run down the right and he hit a low centre that went straight through the Town goalmouth with no-one there to apply the finishing touch.
Griffiths needed attention after taking a knock and the half ended with a fine 40-yard run from Sigurdarson who was finally dispossessed as he ran into the Shrewsbury box.
Half-Time: Town 0 Wolves 0
The first threat from either side after the break came when a curling cross from Ismail was punched away by Weale. Then Sigurdarson headed over from a Sako free-kick after Golbourne had been fouled by Taylor to the left of the home area.
Griffiths, with a falling volley, shot over the bar then Town should have taken the lead when Main, from inside the six-yard box, blazed the ball over the ball following Taylor’s driven cross.
From a Taylor corner the ball was headed out to Luke Summerfield whose low drive flew through a crowded box straight into the arms of Ikeme.
In the 65th minute there was a double change for Wolves as Griffiths and Ismail were replaced by Jake Cassidy and Dave Edwards. For Shrewsbury born Edwards, it was his first football since picking up an injury in the season’s opener at Preston.
Edwards was soon involved as he played a neat ball to Golbourne who ran into the box before he appeared to be nudged off the ball.
David Davis went into the book for a late challenge on Taylor that left the Town man in need of attention.
Ikeme’s goal had another close escape when Somerfield sent a powerful header just over the bar after a cross from Ryan Woods and, from a Wolves attack, Matt Doherty cut in from the right and worked a shooting position before firing over the bar.
Sako’s left wing corner led to Wolves taking an 84th minute lead. Doherty’s header was bound for the back of the net until Taylor handled on the line. He was immediately shown the red card and Sako lashed home the spot-kick.
There was little to trouble Ikeme in the time that remained which included five added minutes as Wolves hit back with a win after their Walsall disappointment.
Town: Weale, Jacobson (capt), Summerfield, Jones, Bradshaw(Burke 71), Taylor, Wildig, Goldson, Woods, Reach (McAllister 86), Main.
Unused subs: Anyon, Winfield, McQuade, Smith, Anderson.
Sending-Off: Taylor (84 – deliberate hand ball).
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Golbourne, McDonald, Batth, Ricketts (capt), Ismail (Edwards 65), Davis, Griffiths (Cassidy 65), Sigurdarson (Foley 90), Sako.
Unused subs: Stearman, Price, McAlinden, McCarey.
Booking: Davis (75 – foul).
Referee: P. Gibbs.
Attendance: 9,510 (1,593 away supporters).