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18:11 1st April 2013

Wolves Enjoy Blue Monday

Birmingham City 2 (Elliott-pen 54, 90+6)

Wolves  3 (Hunt 20, Ebanks-Blake 27, 36-pen)

If the victory over Middlesbrough was a step nearer to safety for Wolves, then the win against Birmingham at St Andrew’s was a giant leap.

Three up at the break, Wanderers had to withstand a second half barrage from Blues but the Molineux men held on to record a third consecutive victory.

Wolves were unchanged as Blues kicked-off attacking the railway end that housed around 1,600 travelling supporters.

Kaspars Gorkss headed clear a Wade Elliott corner as the home side pressed in the early stages and Dorus De Vries soon had a taste of the action as he clung hold of a low drive from Nathan Redmond.

Wolves responded with two Stephen Hunt corners and a shot from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake that was saved by Jack Butland following a cross from Kevin Doyle.

In the 16th minute a Jamie O’Hara corner flicked off a head to the far side of the goalmouth and when Stephen Hunt hooked the ball back into the danger area, Curtis Davies booted it behind for another, unproductive, flag-kick.

Four minutes later Wolves moved into the lead. Ebanks-Blake helped the ball on to Björn Sigurdarson who teed up David Davis for a low shot that Butland could only parry. The loose ball ran to Hunt to the left of goal and his shot went in off Davies.

Mitch Hancox wasn’t far away with a drive that went wide of the far post and then Nikola Zigic wasted a good chance for Blues when he hooked the ball over the bar after a telling cross from Wes Thomas.

On 27 minutes Wolves doubled their lead as Davis lifted a great cross into the box and Ebanks-Blake ran in at the far post to head home.

Two minutes later Blues were awarded a free-kick inside the ‘D’ of the Wolves box after O’Hara’s challenge on Ravel Morrison. O’Hara was shown the yellow card before Shane Ferguson took the free-kick and hit the outside of De Vries’s right hand post.

With 36 minutes on the clock Wolves were awarded a penalty after Butland had upended Doyle. The Irish striker had raced onto Davis’s through ball when he was clattered by the keeper who was only shown the yellow card. Ebanks-Blake confidently stroked home the spot kick.

In stoppage time Roger Johnson went into the book after a late challenge on Thomas.

Half-Time: Blues 0 Wolves 3

The second-half started disastrously for the visitors. Davies, for pulling back Redmond, and Jack Robinson, for felling Thomas, both went into the book before Blues cut the deficit in the 54th minute.

There was a chance for Thomas but he failed to make proper contact allowing De Vries to save. Then Morrison hit the post with an overhead kick and as the ball bounced away from goal O’Hara was adjudged to have pushed Thomas. It was a debateable decision but Elliott sent De Vries the wrong way from the spot.

Dean Saunders sent Karl Henry on in place of O’Hara as Blues piled on the pressure. Former Albion defender Paul Robinson hit Ebanks-Blake with a tackle that left the Wolves man in obvious distress. Surprisingly, no foul was given and the striker was helped to the dressing room as his place was taken by Nouha Dicko.

In the 70th minute Hunt delivered a cross that was cut out by Hancox as Nouha lay in wait at the far post before Thomas missed two chances in as many minutes for the home side.

His header clipped the outside of the far post after a cross from Ferguson and, when the pair combined again, this time Thomas headed his team-mate’s cross over the bar.

After 79 minutes Thomas took advantage of a lucky bounce as he chased the ball into the box but his shot flashed across the face of goal and wide. Then Redmond ran into the Wolves area but his effort flew over De Vries’s bar.

As the clock neared the 90 minutes mark there was a let off after Thomas intercepted Robinson’s back-pass and fired into the side netting with a clutch of home players waiting in the goalmouth. 

In the final of the six minutes of stoppage time, Robinson handled in the area presenting Blues with a second penalty. This time De Vries saved Elliott’s kick but the keeper couldn’t hold the ball and Elliott followed up to score.

In the few seconds that remained a Blues free-kick from the left of the box was cleared before the referee ended an eventful afternoon. 

Blues: Butland, Davies (capt), Morrison, Elliott, Zigic, Thomas, Redmond (Lovenkrands 82), Hancox (Arthur 78), Caddis, Robinson, Ferguson.

Unused subs: C. Doyle, Caldwell, Mullins, Ambrose, Reilly.

Booking: Butland (36 – foul).

Wolves: De Vries, Doherty, Robinson, Davis, Gorkss, Johnson, Sigurdarson O’Hara (Henry 57), Doyle (capt), Ebanks-Blake (Dicko 63), Hunt (Batth 86).

Unused subs: McCarey, Ward, Hammill, Doumbia.

Bookings: O’Hara (29 – foul), Johnson (45+1 – foul), Davis (49 – foul), Robinson (51 – foul).

Referee: C. Boyeson.

Attendance: 19,630 (1,623 away supporters).


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