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18:40 14th April 2012

Wolves Share The Spoils

Sunderland 0

Wolves 0

Battling Wolves kept a clean sheet for the first time in eight months as they took a deserved point from their game at Sunderland to keep alive their slim hopes of Premier League survival.

Terry Connor made five changes to the team that had lost to Arsenal in midweek. With Sebastien Bassong suspended, the boss also left out Dave Edwards, Kevin Doyle, Matt Jarvis and Ronald Zubar all of whom were named as substitutes.

Into the team came Anthony Forde, Kevin Foley, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Christophe Berra and Steven Fletcher.

Wolves defended the end of the ground that housed around 500 hardy travelling supporters and in the opening minute they looked down as Stephen Ward cleared from Stephane Sessegnon from near the right-hand corner flag.

Sebastian Larsson's cross was deflected over the bar by Forde and, from James McClean's corner, Berra had to head behind to relieve the pressure. Larsson took the second flag-kick from the opposite side and the ball curled across the goalmouth and out beyond the far post.

In the seventh minute Fletcher cut into the box from the right and skipped past one challenge when he looked to be body checked by Craig Gardner. The incident happened right in front of the referee but the official kept his arms by his side. Fletcher had to receive treatment before continuing.

Nicklas Bendtner set up Larsson but he fired wildly wide of the near post, From Wayne Hennessey's clearance, the ball was worked upfield into the path of Forde who tried a low, curling shot that home keeper Simon Mignolet only claimed at the second attempt.

In the 14th minute Bendtner headed behind a Michael Kightly cross and from Forde's corner the ball was headed out to Kightly. He lifted the ball back into the box and it was nodded back by Ward for Berra to try a header.

His effort was blocked and there was a terrific scramble before the home defence finally cleared their lines.

Sunderland threatened again with a break down the right flank. Bendtner squared a pass for Sessegnon to help the ball on to James McClean who drove into the side netting.

Richard Stearman's challenge on Sessegnon to the left of the Wolves box led to a Larsson free-kick that curled over the wall and into the arms of Hennessey.

An angled shot from McClean took a hefty deflection off Richard Stearman. The ball could have gone anywhere but fortunately it went straight to Hennessey.

The keeper was called into action again in the 31st minute as he touched a 25-yard daisy cutter from Sessegnon around the post.

The corner was taken by Larsson and the ball went through to Sessegnon at the far post where he stuck out a foot but he could only divert the ball wide.

There was a half chance for Kightly as he won the ball on the edge of the Sunderland box. He jinked into the area but was crowded out by four defenders as he tried to line up a shot.

Just before the break, Phil Bardsley was just wide with a low, long range effort.

Half-Time: Sunderland 0 Wolves 0

Hennessey was the busier of the two keepers in the opening minutes of the new half although it was mainly to deal with crosses and a handful of corners from Larsson.

After 58 minutes, Forde cut inside from the left and unleashed a shot that Mignolet dived to save at his near post.

Fletcher cleverly backheeled a return pass to Ebanks-Blake but the striker blasted a rising drive wide of the target. Before play restarted the impressive Forde was replaced by Jarvis.

Larsson headed wide from a McClean centre and when Foley lifted a high forward pass into the Sunderland box, Ebanks- Blake was converged upon by two defenders who, between them, cleared the danger.

With 73 minutes gone, Hennessey had to be at his best to thwart McClean who met Craig Gardner's cross at the far post and got in a header that the keeper diverted away with his legs.

The ball was cleared to Jarvis who ran into the box and hit a shot that was blocked by Phil Bardsley at close quarters. Edwards was then sent on for Kightly for the remaining 15 minutes.

After 81 minutes Jarvis's pinpoint centre was met by the head of Fletcher and his header drew a fine save from Mignolet. The keeper was beaten by Fletcher moments later but the referee disallowed the 'goal' for a Foley push on the Belgian.

There was a scramble in the Wolves box following a cross from home substitute Frazier Campbell and Hennessey took a knock in the melee before Ward booted the ball away.

Stearman became the game's only booking for pulling back Sessegnon before both sides went close to winning it in the 88th minute.

Sessegnon tried a cross-shot and Larsson ran in to blaze over the bar from just eight yards out. Seconds later, at the other end, Edwards hit a first time shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley (capt), Turner, Larsson, Gardner (Campbell 78), Richardson, Kilgallon, Colback, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner.

Unused subs: Westwood, Bridge, Vaughan, Ji, Meyler, Kyrgiakos.

Wolves: Hennessey, Foley (Zubar 82), Ward, Davis, Berra, Stearman, Kightly (Edwards 76), Henry (capt), Fletcher, Ebanks-Blake, Forde (Jarvis 61).

Unused subs: De Vries, Johnson, Jonsson, Doyle.

Booking: Stearman (86 - foul).

Referee: M. Jones.

Attendance: 37,476.

    Data provided by Press Association


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