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18:17 26th September 2010

Third Time Unlucky

Wolves 1 (Jarvis 61)

Aston Villa 2 (Downing 24, Heskey 88)

Aston Villa snatched an undeserved win thanks to Emile Heskey's 88th minute header as Wolves, for the third Premier League fixture in succession, succumbed to a late goal.

To rub salt into the wounds, the cross for Heskey's strike came from Stephen Warnock who was perhaps a little fortunate to be on the field at that stage.

There were two changes to the team that started at Tottenham with Christophe Berra returning from suspension in place of Richard Stearman and Dave Edwards for Michael Mancienne in midfield.

Villa kicked-off attacking the North Bank end in front of watching England manager Fabio Capello.

Twice in the opening minutes Edwards and Kevin Doyle combined to create chances. Edwards intercepted a stray Villa pass and pushed the ball through to Doyle whose shot was blocked by Carlos Cuellar.

Then it was a case of role reversal as the striker slipped a lovely ball through to his team-mate who was tackled by Warnock as he fired at goal. Appeals for a corner were rejected.

In the 12th minute Heskey chased a long though ball and was about to shoot from the edge of the box when Kevin Foley slid in with a timely tackle. The loose ball was rolling towards the inrushing Stewart Downing but Dave Jones had spotted the danger and he completed the clearance.

Warnock was booked for a crude challenge on Edwards - Brad Friedel clung on to Jones's free-kick.

Marc Albrighton shot straight at Marcus Hahnemann and then, from a Downing corner, the keeper half stopped a James Collins header and Doyle was fouled by Ashley Young as he cleared from in front of the line.

But there was no escape in Villa's next attack as Downing slotted the ball home at the far post after Albrighton had sent a driven centre through the six-yard box.

Wolves battled hard to get back on level terms and twice in the 35th minute Friedel rescued his team with first class saves. Stephen Ward's log throw found its way to Steven Fletcher whose hooked shot was blocked by the keeper. Jones raced onto the rebound and fired goalwards but again Friedel blocked.

Ward limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by George Elokobi.

Just on half-time Albrighton fouled Jones near the right hand corner of the Villa area. Jones took the free-kick kick himself but the ball was headed clear.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Villa 1

Warnock appeared to be extremely fortunate to stay on the field after a 48th minute tackle on Doyle. It looked a yellow card offence but the referee just gave the defender a stern lecture. Friedel punched clear Elokobi's free-kick.

Nigel Reo-Coker's long range drive sailed straight into Hahnemann's midriff and then the keeper did well to hold on to a deflected effort from Jones.

Jody Craddock was yellow carded for hauling back Ashley Young on the halfway line but the home fans were soon cheering as their side drew level with the game having just passed the hour mark.

Matt Jarvis crossed from the right and as Edwards lunged for the ball without getting a touch, it curled inside the far post past a bemused Friedel.

Hahnemann pulled off a fine fingertip save to deny Ashley Young who had cut in from the left and worked a shooting position for himself before Mick McCarthy made two substitutions with Stearman coming on for Foley and then Adlene Guedioura for Edwards.

Guedioura almost did the trick within three minutes of his introduction with a low angled shot that Friedel only claimed at the second attempt.

But it was Villa that claimed the points as Heskey rose high to score with a textbook header from Warnock's cross.

In stoppage time, as Wolves threw everything at the visitors goal, Steve Sidwell was booked for a lunging tackle on Guedioura that saw the Algerian carried off on a stretcher.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Foley (Stearman 76), Ward (Elokobi 38), Edwards (Guedioura 81), Berra, Craddock, Jarvis, Henry (capt), Fletcher, Doyle, Jones.

Unused subs: Elokobi, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Hennessey, Bent, Milijaš, Guedioura.

Booking: Craddock (59 - foul).

Villa: Friedel, L. Young, Warnock, Downing, A. Young, Albrighton (Agbonlahor 67), Heskey, Petrov (capt) (Sidwell 86), Reo-Coker, Cuellar, Collins.

Unused subs: Ireland, Davies, Guzan, Bannan, Lichaj.

Bookings: Warnock (18 - foul), Sidwell (90 - foul).

Referee: M. Halsey.

Attendance: 27,511.

Wolves Academy Under 18s 1 (Kempton) Bolton 1

    Data provided by Press Association


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