Wolves 1 (Doyle 55)
Hull City 0
Wolves bounced back from two consecutive defeats and out of the bottom three after a 1-0 victory over promotion chasing Hull with Kevin Doyle scoring a priceless goal – his eighth of the season.
Tongo Doumbia came in for the suspended Jamie O’Hara as the only change to the Wolves starting eleven. Hull got the game underway attacking the North Bank end.
There was little of note in the opening minutes with both keepers untroubled but there was a worrying moment for Wolves when Stephen Ward went down after a challenge from James Chester. No foul was awarded but Ward needed lengthy treatment before he was able to continue.
On the 15 minute mark, Roger Johnson’s challenge on Stephen Quinn resulted in a Hull free-kick to the left of the home area but Robert Koren over hit the kick and the ball drifted harmlessly out of play on the far side.
There was a chance for Wolves when Ward’s shot bounced clear off a defender to Stephen Hunt but his low shot struck Doyle and flew wide.
Hunt planted a deep free-kick into the Hull box after Ward had been fouled by David Meyler wide on the left but the Hull defence cleared its lines.
Ahmed Fathi let fly from 25-yards and Dorus De Vries must have been relieved to see the ball flash wide as he scrambled across his line.
In the 27th minute former Albion midfielder Koren, who appeared to have taken a knock, was replaced by Jay Simpson.
Some risky defensive play by the home team led to a Robbie Brady corner but Johnson was there to head clear, but there was a real threat in the 36th minute as Quinn’s 20-yard drive hit Kaspars Gorkss and was deflected just wide of the post.
Then Ward chested the ball into the path of Doumbia who hit a fierce drive that whistled wide of the mark.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Hull 0
The second half began as the first had ended with little goalmouth action as the teams jockeyed for midfield supremacy.
But, when the breakthrough arrived in the 55th minute, it went the way of Wolves. Doumbia won a tackle with Fathi and found Björn Sigurdarson and he picked out Doyle who drove the ball into the far corner of the net from just inside the area.
Hull had a chance to level four minutes later as Ahmed Elmohamady got to the by-line and played the ball back into the heart of the box. Simpson ran in and completely missed his kick and when the ball ran to Brady he fired high over the bar.
Midway through the half, Doyle headed Ward’s cross down into the path of Doumbia who hit an angled drive narrowly wide.
Karl Henry went into the book for clipping the heels of Simpson shortly before Hull sent on Matty Fryatt for Faye. Fathi was then booked for body checking Hunt who was breaking clear.
Luck was with Wolves in the 76th minute as Simpson’s drive beat De Vries but came back off the inside of the post before being cleared.
Wolves could easily have had a second a minute late when the ball broke for Hunt in the box. David Stockdale was quickly off his line to block. The ball didn’t bounce kindly for Sigurdarson who hit the follow up wide as he fell backwards.
Kevin Foley replaced the hard working Ward who was clearly struggling to shake off the rib injury he had picked up in the Huddersfield game.
Three minutes from time, Johnson took the ball out of defence and spread a pass to Doyle, Johnson continued his run and headed over when Doyle lofted a cross into the box.
The home fans had to endure four minutes of added time although the Wanderers defence held firm with keeper De Vries not having to make a worthwhile save in the contest.
Wolves: De Vries, Doherty, Robinson, Henry, Gorkss, Johnson, Hunt, Doumbia, Doyle (capt), Sigurdarson (Batth 89), Ward (Foley 78).
Unused subs: McCarey, Hammill, Dicko, Cassidy, McAlinden.
Booking: Henry (72 – foul).
Tigers: Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, Koren (capt) (Simpson 27), Fathi (Proschwitz 89), Faye (Fryatt 73), Elmohamady, Quinn, Brady, Meyler, Boyd.
Unused subs: Jakupovic, Rosenior, Cairney, McShane.
Bookings: Fathi (74 – foul), Brady (79 – foul), Boyd (89 – foul).
Referee: D. Coote.