Oldham Athletic 0
Wolves 3 (McDonald 49, Jacobs 88, Henry 90+3)
Late goals from Michael Jacobs and James Henry sealed a victory for Wolves over Oldham that was a lot tighter than the final scoreline suggests although it was a thoroughly deserved three points.
Kenny Jackett made just the one change to his team with Bakary Sako coming in for Henry who was named as a substitute.
The weather at Boundary Park was fine but cold and the pitch was in remarkably good condition given the rain it had absorbed in recent weeks.
Wolves kicked-off defending the end of the ground that housed just over 1,000 of their supporters.
It took seven minutes for the first goal attempt to arrive – James Dayton’s full blooded shot being parried by Aaron McCarey
with Scott Golbourne completing the clearance.
Home skipper Korey Smith was lucky to escape a yellow card after he had clattered into Kevin McDonald seconds before Wolves were close to breaking the deadlock.
Sako hit a first time cross from the left and Nouha Dicko looked a certain scorer as he made a solid contact on the edge of the six-yard box. But home keeper Mark Oxley somehow blocked the ball and Lee Evans’s follow up hit a defender and bounced to safety.
In the 14th minute, a Jacobs corner dropped nicely for Sako stationed near the penalty spot and his hooked shot was turned away by Oxley.
McCarey had to make a similar save after Jonson Clarke-Harris had cut a path through the middle and fired at goal from 20-yards out.
Sako was next to try his luck after he ran into the box from the right and unleased a fierce effort that flew wide of the near post.
Both Jacobs and Dicko had shots blocked by defenders in quick succession and then a Sako shot on the turn was well saved by Oxley.
In the 36th minute a cross from Connor Brown ran through to Dayton whose miscued shot was well wide. Play quickly swung to the other end and a great strike from Dicko, from the edge of the area, smacked against the crossbar with Oxley beaten before the ball was cleared.
Twice Jacobs threatened with shots from distance. The first, from 25-yards, clipped the top of the net as it went over and then the midfielder hit a free-kick from even further out that was athletically tipped away by Oxley.
James Wesolowski was booked for dissent after he didn’t take too kindly for being penalised for a tackle on Sako.
In first-half stoppage time, two corners from Dayton caused problems in the visiting defence and from the second there was a chance for Clarke-Hughes but he miscued and his effort went wide.
Half-Time: Latics 0 Wolves 0
Kevin Doyle for Evans was an interval change for Wolves and he was soon involved with a low shot that struck a defender taking the sting out of it and allowing Oxley an easy save.
Wolves took the lead in the 49th minute following an Oldham corner. The ball was cleared to Jack Price just outside his own area.
He took the ball into the Oldham half and passed inside to Sako who, in turn, played it wide to Golbourne. His cross ran to Jacobs and although his effort was blocked, the ball rolled invitingly to McDonald who ran in and drilled a low shot into the corner of the net (pictured).
Jacobs almost added a second as he ran through but Oxley dived to save, and then Samuel Ricketts and Charlie MacDonald were booked after a brief exchange of views following a home attack.
Sako went on one of his speedy runs and was fouled by Dayton as he was about to enter the home box. After Dayton was booked, Jacobs lifted the free-kick over the wall but narrowly over the bar as well.
Danny Batth was just off target with a bullet header after a Jacobs corner and, when the Latics threatened, McCarey had to turn away a drive from Gary Harkins before Dayton hit an angled effort over the bar.
Henry replaced Sako for the final few minutes and he figured in the two late goals that killed off Oldham’s challenge.
He linked up with McDonald to set it up for Ricketts to run into the area. The skipper played a perfect square ball to Jacobs who blasted the ball past Oxley.
Deep into stoppage time Dicko’s shot from the left-hand corner of the area was palmed away by Oxley but only as far as Henry at the back post and he made no mistake.
Latics: Oxley, Brown, Grounds, Wesolowski, Kusunga (Lockwood 55), Tarkowski, Smith (capt), MacDonald (Philliskirk 70), Clarke-Harris, Dayton (Winchester 79), Harkins.
Unused subs: Mellor, Rodgers, Millar, Rachubka
Bookings: Smith (43 – dissent), MacDonald (54 – ungentlemanly conduct), Dayton (66 – foul).
Wolves: McCarey, Golbourne, Ricketts (capt), McDonald, Batth, Stearman, Jacobs, Price, Dicko, Evans (Doyle 45), Sako (Henry 79).
Unused subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Griffiths, McAlinden, Ebanks-Landell.
Booking: Ricketts (54 – ungentlemanly conduct).
Referee: G. Salisbury.
Attendance: 4,343 (1,058 away supporters).