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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
20:04 26th December 2013

Late Goal Sees Off Plucky Alex

Wolves 2 (Jacobs 3, Griffiths 90+2)

Crewe Alexandra 0

It took a stoppage time goal from substitute Leigh Griffiths to confirm Wolves’ victory over a plucky Crewe Alexandra side after Michael Jacobs had scored his first goal for the club in the opening minutes.

Kenny Jackett made three changes to his starting X1 with Kevin McDonald, back from suspension, Michael Jacobs and Cassidy coming in and replacing Björn Sigurdarson, Bakary Sako and Kevin Doyle.

Wolves kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and they were ahead as the game moved into the third minute. Cassidy played Scott Golbourne in on the overlap and his cross was met by Jacobs whose bullet header left Alex keeper Ben Garratt with no chance.

Crewe responded with a free-kick from Harry Davis that was headed goalwards by visiting skipper Abdul Osman but Carl Ikeme didn’t have to move his feet to save.

James Henry comprehensively beat Kelvin Mellor as he took the ball to the bye-line and Garratt did well to cut out the winger’s low, driven centre.

Cassidy tried his luck with an overhead kick following a Henry corner but the ball struck a defender and bounced away from goal before being scrambled clear.

Jack Price was way too high with a shot from fully 30-yards out before a good save from Ikeme prevented a 27th minute equaliser from Alex. George Evans lifted over a corner and Chuks Aneke, with a bouncing header, brought the best out of the Wolves keeper.

Seconds later a Price cross hit Osman and fell to Danny Batth and the defender looked odds on to score. But the ball struck the base of the left hand upright before bouncing into the path of Henry whose goalbound follow up was deflected behind off Mellor for a fruitless corner.

Another good Crewe opportunity was thwarted by Ikeme who turned aside an Aneke drive with Osman running into an offside position as he followed up.

Jacobs went into the book for a foul on Byron Moore and, after a Mark Ellis header flew across goal and bounced behind off Osman at the far post, Evans was also yellow carded after a late challenge on McDonald.

Half-Time: Wolves 1 Crewe 0

In the opening attack of the new half, Cassidy took the ball down the right flank and fired over the near angle.

Then Ikeme pulled off a terrific save from Tom Hitchcock who had run onto Aneke’s through ball and was clean through on goal. Then Golbourne limped from the field to be replaced by Ethan Ebanks-Landell. Shortly afterwards there was another Wolves change with Griffiths taking the place of Dave Edwards.

Cassidy was making his presence felt on the opposition defence and after Garratt had saved a low drive from outside the box, another effort from the Welsh striker hit a defender and looped up in the air falling to Ebanks-Landell who, faced with three defenders, could only lob the ball onto the roof of the net.

Garratt made a routine stop to hold on to a Jacobs shot but then the keeper made an outstanding save as he palmed a Griffiths header against the underside if the bar after Henry had supplied the cross.

Batth forced the ball home after another Henry cross but the referee deemed that Richard Stearman had fouled the keeper. At the other end Davis was high and wide with a 25-yrad free-kick after Ebanks-Landell had been pulled up for a challenge on Moore.

Henry and Griffiths were wide and high with respective goal attempts and when the pair combined shortly afterwards, a defender block Henry’s path to goal.

In the 89th minute the home support held its breath as a shot from Crewe substitute A-Jay Leitch-Smith seemed to take an age before it drifted narrowly wide of the far post.

But, as the game drifted into stoppage time, Griffiths eased the tension and he ran onto a pass from Henry and checked before slamming a left-foot drive past Garratt from the edge of the box (pictured).  

Wolves: Ikeme, Golbourne (Ebanks-Landell 56), Ricketts (capt), McDonald, Batth, Stearman, Henry, Edwards (Griffiths 59), Cassidy (Doyle 90+2), Price, Jacobs.

Unused subs: Hennessey, Sako, Evans, McAlindon.

Booking: Jacobs (40 – foul)

Alex: Garratt, Tootle, Mellor, Davis, Ellis, Osman (capt), Moore (Leitch-Smith 85), Hitchcock (Inman 74), Evans (Grant 74), Aneke, Bangna

Unused subs: Martin, Ray, Guthrie, Oliver.

Booking: Evans (42 – foul). 

Referee: S. Attwell.

Attendance: 22,693.

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