Wolves 1 (Ward 4)
Huddersfield Town 3 (Scannell 27, Beckford 68, 70)
Wolves found themselves back in the bottom three of the Championship after losing at home to a Huddersfield team also fighting to beat the drop.
After dominating the early stages and taking the lead, it all turned sour for Dean Saunders’s men as the Yorkshire team hit back three times. To add to the home misery, Jamie O’Hara was sent off midway through the second half.
David Davis was ruled out through injury and Jake Cassidy was suffering from a chest infection and they were replaced by Stephen Ward and Karl Henry as the only changes to the Wolves starting eleven. Ward played on the left of midfield with Stephen Hunt moving over to the right.
Wolves kicked-off defending the South Bank end and they posed the first goal threat after Oscar Goburn had fouled Kevin Doyle midway in the Town half. O’Hara planted the free-kick into the box and Björn Sigurdarson powered a header across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
But, in their next attack, Wanderers moved into a fourth minute lead. Doyle took the ball to the by-line and hit a low cross that was confidently dispatched by Ward from eight-yards out.
O’Hara tried his luck with a well struck effort from 25-yards that was a little too close to keeper Alex Smithies who took the ball without due concern.
The home side had enjoyed much of the early attacking play but they were almost caught out in the 17th minute by Oliver Norwood’s lofted pass into the area that James Vaughan poked inches wide of the post.
Paul Dixon’s foul on Sigurdarson to the right of the Town area led to another O’Hara free-kick that was headed behind for an unproductive corner by Calum Woods. Moments later Henry saw his shot blocked after good work by Doyle on the right had created the opportunity.
Town drew level in the 27th minute when Sean Scannell rode tackles from Matt Doherty and Hunt before rifling the ball home from the tightest of angles.
Just three minutes later there was almost a second goal for the visitors as Adam Clayton jinked his way past three defenders before Dorus De Vries blocked bravely at his feet.
Then a shot from Neil Danns took a hefty deflection off Roger Johnson and drifted wide for a corner with De Vries stranded.
In stoppage time Scannell, from what looked to be an offside position, was allowed to continue and it took a fine save from De Vries to thwart the Town man whilst the crowd vented its anger on the linesman.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Town 1
Just a minute after the resumption, Smithies, under pressure, had to punch clear a cross from Hunt and when Wolves won a corner, taken by O’Hara, the keeper again had to use his fists to clear but this time the referee blew for a push.
On 52 minutes Jack Robinson hit a low cross into the area and Ward’s shot on the turn went behind off a defender. The Town defence failed to clear O’Hara’s flag-kick but when the ball dropped to Sigurdarson on the far side he lifted a first time shot high over the bar.
Ward was then shown the yellow card as he tangled with Smithies who was attempting to clear.
Town made a double change with Jermaine Beckford and Keith Southern taking the respective places of Danns and Gobern.
In the 65th minute Vaughan headed out a Hunt corner as far as O’Hara who nodded the ball back into the area. Both Ward and Doyle got their heads to the ball which eventually fell to Johnson who dragged his shot well wide of the far post from a good position.
Just three minutes later Town moved into the lead following Norwood’s corner. De Vries did well to keep out Vaughan’s header but Beckford was there to smash the ball into the net.
Two minutes later Beckford grabbed his second when he ran onto Scannell’s pass and easily beat the exposed De Vries. The striker was yellow carded for his over-extended celebration.
From the restart the game exploded after O’Hara was fouled by Southern in the centre circle. The Molineux midfielder reacted by pushing Southern in the face. He went down as if poleaxed and that was the signal for a melee with players from both sides.
O’Hara was shown a straight red for raising his hands and Southern was booked along with Doherty and Clarke.
Tongo Doumbis went on in place of Ward who was struggling after taking a kick in the ribs.
Penalty appeals when Dixon appeared to handle Sigurdarson’s flick into the area were ignored. From Hunt’s corner Sigurdarson headed wide.
The ten men didn’t give up and tried to get back into the game but there was to be no joy and, just before the end, it took a good save from De Vries to deny Beckford a hat-trick.
Wolves: De Vries, Doherty, Robinson, Henry, Gorkss, Johnson, Hunt (Hammill 81), O’Hara, Doyle (capt), Sigurdarson (Dicko 81), Ward (Doumbia 73).
Unused subs: McCarey, Batth, Foley, McAlinden.
Bookings: Ward (59 - foul), Doherty (72 – ungentlemanly conduct).
Sent-Off: O’Hara: (72 – violent conduct).
Town: Smithies, Norwood, Scannell, Gobern (Southern 64), Gerrard, Dixon, Vaughan (Lee 87), Danns (Beckford 64), Clayton, Woods, Clarke (capt).
Unused subs: Bennett, Wallace, Lynch, Arfield.
Bookings: Beckford (70 – time wasting), Southern (72 – foul), Clarke (72 - ungentlemanly conduct).
Referee: K. Stroud.