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17:17 8th May 2011

Three Precious Points

Wolves 3 (Fletcher 15, 47, Guedioura 28)

West Bromwich Albion 1 (Odemwingie-pen 54)

Wolves boosted their Premier League survival hopes with a well-deserved 3-1 victory over arch rivals West Bromwich Albion earning three precious points. Steven Fletcher struck twice sandwiching an Adlene Guedioura effort before The Baggies hit back with a consolation penalty.

Mick McCarthy opted to leave Matt Jarvis on the bench with Stephen Hunt coming in to play wide left. The only other change from the team that took a point from Birmingham saw Guedioura playing on the right with Kevin Foley dropping to right back in place of Richard Stearman who was also named as a substitute.

Albion kicked-off attacking the South Bank end of a noisy Molineux with the home side doing the early pressing. The first attack of note saw Stephen Ward caught narrowly offside after running onto Fletcher's nod on from Jamie O'Hara's centre.

In the fifth minute Wayne Hennessey fielded a deflected, angled effort from Jerome Thomas before a Fletcher shot on the turn was blocked following another O'Hara cross.

A Youssouf Mulumbu foul on Guedioura led to a O'Hara free-kick that was headed out by James Morrison before Jonas Olsson's trip on Ward was the catalyst to Wanderers taking the lead.

O'Hara arrowed the free-kick towards the far corner of the net and Scott Carson made a tremendous save at the expense of a corner. Hunt's flag kick hit Guedioura's midriff and dropped nicely into the path of Fletcher who hit a low shot into the net.

Just a minute later, after Fletcher had been fouled outside the visitors area, Guedioura curled the free-kick just over the angle.

In the 28th minute, Wolves went two up, again following another Hunt corner. It was role reversal this time with Fletcher heading the ball back into the six-yard box for Guedioura to volley home from close quarters (pictured).

There was an opportunity for Albion after Karl Henry had fouled Peter Odemwingie some 25-yards out but Nicky Shorey's free-kick was way too high.

After Somen Tchoyi had fouled O'Hara to the left of the Albion area, the on loan midfielder took the free-kick himself and George Elokobi raced in to power a header over the bar.

O'Hara was in the thick of things and from his right-wing cross, Ward headed inches wide of the far post.

In the final minute of the half, Odemwingie almost reduced the deficit with a terrific cross-shot that was uncomfortably close as it flew wide.

Half-Time: Wolves 2 Albion 0

Within two minutes of the restart the home supporters were in raptures as Fletcher scored his second and his side's third.

Abdoulaye Meite failed to clear Foley's through ball and Fletcher kept his cool as he took possession and slid the ball past the unprotected Carson.

Thomas's snapshot was safely collected by Hennessy and when Wolves threatened again, Guedioura's 20-yard drive was deflected into the side netting.

In the 54th minute, Odemwingie reduced his team's deficit as he tucked away a penalty awarded after Guedioura's challenge on Thomas.

Ten minutes later, Thomas held off Foley's challenge and lashed a shot against the bar. After Marc-Antoine Fortune had replaced Gonzalo Jara, Tchoyi, with a free header, also went close.

Jarvis was sent on in place of Guedioura for the final 15 minutes before Shorey's pass picked out Fortune who held off Craddock before shooting over the bar.

More substitutions followed with Ismail Miller taking the place of Simon Cox for the visitors and Stearman for O'Hara for Wolves.

Craddock and Henry both went into the book for fouls on Miller as the minutes ticked away and Ward was literally six inches away from a fourth goal that would have eased any frayed nerves with a low shot that just beat the far post.

Two minutes before the end, substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake drew a fine save from Carson who beat away an angled shot with the Molineux striker scooping the rebound wide.

Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Elokobi, Henry (capt), Craddock, Mancienne, Guedioura (Jarvis 75), Ward, Fletcher (Ebanks-Blake 84), O'Hara (Stearman 80), Hunt.

Unused subs: Hahnemann,Berra, Vokes, Milijaś.

Bookings: Guedioura (54 - foul), Craddock (79 - foul), Henry (82 - foul).

Albion: Carson, Olsson (capt), Tchoyi, Morrison, Thomas, Shorey, Mulumbu, Meite, Odemwingie, Cox (Miller 78), Jara (Fortune 68).

Unused subs: Myhill, Vela, Hurst, Thorne, Tamas.

Booking: Mulumbu (59 - dissent).

Referee: M. Dean.

Attendance: 28,510.

    Data provided by Press Association


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