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17:39 12th December 2010

Hunt Gives City The Blues

Wolves 1 (Hunt 45)

Birmingham City 0

A goal on the stroke of half-time from Stephen Hunt, against local rivals Birmingham City, was enough to secure a well deserved fourth win of the season for Wolves.

And yet the injury crisis at Molineux had escalated further with the news that four players that had started in the last game, against Blackburn Rovers, were ruled out.

Kevin Doyle, Michael Mancienne, Steven Mouyokolo and Matt Jarvis were out with Hunt, Richard Stearman, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Dave Edwards coming in.

Mick McCarthy opted for a 4-4-2 formation with Stephen Ward partnering Ebanks-Blake up front. Five members of the club's development squad were named as substitutes.

Blues kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and after just over a minute they had a man in the book after Roger Johnson had tripped Edwards who was running onto Ebanks-Blake's clever pass down the line.

Seconds later Christophe Berra had to clear a short, low cross from Cameron Jerome after the City striker had taken the ball to the by-line.

A smart piece of work from Ward on the right was followed by a pinpoint cross that picked out Edwards whose header forced a full length diving save from Ben Foster.

In the 11th minute Ward flicked on an Edwards cross to Hunt inside the six-yard box but he was thwarted by Foster who had spotted the danger and blocked at point blank range.

Wolves were doing most of the pressing but it took a timely tackle from Ronald Zubar to dispossess Nikola Zigic as he prepared to shoot.

Foster made another good save, this time to deny Ebanks-Blake who had controlled a low cross from Hunt and hit a fierce shot on the turn.

Jerome was shown the yellow card after he had clattered into Stearman who was steadying himself to head clear.

Ward volleyed over the angle from 22-yards and then Foster beat the ball away after Ebanks-Blake had smashed an Edwards cross towards goal.

Stearman went into the book for a foul on Jerome in the centre circle shortly before Wolves took a deserved lead as the game was about to enter stoppage time.

Ebanks-Blake delivered a superb cross from the right and Hunt ran in at the near post to rocket a half volley past Foster (pictured).

Half-Time: Wolves 1 Blues 0

It could have been two inside two minutes of the restart but Edwards miscued his header from Ward's cross and the ball rolled wide.

Zigic was the victim of a ridiculous yellow card after Berra had run into him with the Birmingham man merely waiting for the ball to drop.

Foster dived to take a 25-yard free- kick from Nenad Milijaš after Ward had been fouled by Scott Dann, then the keeper had to move smartly to take an edge of the area effort from Zubar.

Berra headed over after a Hunt corner before the visitors made a double switch with Jean Beausejour and Craig Gardner the respective replacements for Zigic and Keith Fahey.

With 64 minutes gone Foster saved his side again after a Hunt corner. Berra headed the ball into the floor and as it bounced Milijaš headed goalwards only for Foster to pull off a great reflex save.

Midway through the half Berra was hurt when he tried to meet a cross from Hunt but collided with the far post. The defender was able to resume after treatment but he looked to be in considerable pain.

Ebanks-Blake fired over a low cross which was helped on by Ward who hooked the ball into the six-yard box but Foster was there at the near post to cut out the danger.

There were loud boos as Wolves' nemesis Kevin Phillips ran on to replace Lee Bowyer for the final 20 minutes.

Kevin Foley became the second home player to go into the book after he had pulled back Gardner, and there was a moment of danger when Milijaš lost possession to Gardener who fed Dann. His cross went dangerously across the face of goal with Jerome getting a touch but failing to divert the ball towards goal.

Steven Fletcher was sent on for Edwards for the final few minutes and within seconds of his introduction the Scottish striker was fouled by Stephen Carr right on the left hand side of the Birmingham box. Johnson cleared Hunt's free-kick.

In the 89th minute the home supporters had their hearts in their mouths as the unmarked Phillips jumped to meet Gardner's cross but his header was yards wide of the target.

In stoppage time a frustrated Sebastian Larsson was booked for dissent as Wolves held out in the four added minutes with few problems.

It was the first League victory in ten attempts against Blues for the Molineux men and the first clean sheet of the season with Wayne Hennessey not required to make a direct save.

Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar, Elokobi, Edwards (Fletcher 84), Berra, Stearman, Foley (capt), Milijaš, Ebanks-Blake, Ward, Hunt.

Unused subs: Hahnemann, Mujangi-Bia, Ebanks-Landell, Winnall, Rooney, Doherty.

Bookings: Stearman (40 - foul), Foley (78 - foul).

Blues: Foster, Carr (capt), Murphy, Bowyer (Phillips 73), Johnson, Larsson, Jerome, Ferguson, Dann, Fahey (Gardner 60), Zigic (Beausejour 60).

Unused subs: Taylor, Derbyshire, Parnaby, Madera.

Bookings: Johnson (2 - foul), Jerome (28 - foul), Zigic (49 - foul), Larsson (90 - dissent).

Referee: M. Atkinson.

Attendance: 25,150.

    Data provided by Press Association


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