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00:37 23rd July 2012

Wolves Hold Out For Three Points

Wolves 2 (Ebanks-Blake 13, Stearman 20)

Leicester City 1 (Konchesky 69)

After a bright and breezy opening half during which they moved into a two goal lead, Wolves had to mount a rearguard action after the break having to withstand tremendous late pressure to preserve their lead after Paul Konchesky had pulled one back for Leicester.

Bakary Sako made his home debut and two other recent signings, Razak Boukari and Georg Margreitter, were named as substitutes.

City kicked off attacking the North Bank end but it was Wolves that made the early running and Konchesky was lucky to escape with just a rebuke from the referee after a high tackle that left Kevin Doyle in pain and in need of attention.

Carl Ikeme had to head clear from just outside his area after Jamie Vardy broke through the middle chasing a long through ball, and then Andy King saw his close-range shot deflected over the bar by Roger Johnson.

Ben Marshall’s foul on Tongo Doumbia led to Wolves taking the lead after 13 minutes. The French winger took the free-kick floating the ball towards the far post where Sylvan Ebanks-Blake ran between two defenders to head past Kasper Schmeichel.

Wanderers kept up the pressure and but for Schmeichel would have been two up on 20 minutes. Liam Moore’s terrible pass went straight to Doyle whose curling shot was heading for the top corner until the keeper threw himself sideways to make a spectacular save.

But it was the briefest of respites for the Dane who was beaten from the corner conceded. Sako’s flag-kick was nodded on by Doyle to Richard Stearman at the far post and his hooked shot found the net despite Schmeichel  getting both hands to it.

Schmeichel punched clear from a crowded six yard box after another Sako corner, before Ikeme made an excellent save turning over Marshall’s effort from the 18 yard line.

Ikeme was called into action again as he parried a 20 yard drive from Marshall and then pounced on the loose ball before Vardy could prosper.

Three minutes before the break, Doyle had a shot blocked by Schmeichel and when the ball rebounded to the striker Morgan threw himself in front of the follow up shot.

Kevin Nugent got in the final attempt of the half but his shot was way too high.

Half-Time: Wolves 2 City 0

Ikeme knew little about Vardy’s header that hit the keeper’s shins, then a free-kick from Sako was pushed round the post by Schmeichel.

Konchesky committed one foul too many on Doyle and was yellow carded before a City corner, taken by Marshall, was nodded on by Vardy and flew inches wide of the far post.

Marshall’s challenge on Slawomir Peszko sparked cries for a penalty from both home players and supporters but the referee waved the appeals aside. Moments later, David Nugent was booked after a challenge on Karl Henry.

After Ebanks-Blake had curled a shot over the angle, Christophe Berra blocked superbly after City substitute Anthony Knockaert looked certain to score.

Dave Edwards replaced Doumbia midway through the half but he could only watch as Konchesky reduced the arrears with a bullet of a shot from 30 yards in the 69th minute.

More changes followed and for Wolves Boukari and Björn Sigurdarson took the places of Peszko and Ebanks-Blake respectively.

Leicester were beginning to turn the screw forcing Wolves back and Nugent was a whisker away from equalising with a glancing header after a cross from Ritchie De Laet.

Martyn Waghorn was closer still seconds later with a drive that hit the inside of the past and bounced out with Berra and Johnson clearing the loose ball. Henry was then booked after a clumsy challenge on Daniel Drinkwater.

In the closing minutes, whilst Leicester had most of the attacking play, Wolves twice went close on the break. From Sako’s low cross, Doyle turned and fired straight at Schmeichel, then Doyle cleverly worked his way to the by-line before delivering a ball across the face of goal that Moore almost turned into his own net.    

Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman, Ward, Doumbia (Edwards 66), Berra, Johnson, Peszko (Boukari 73), Henry (capt), Ebanks-Blake (Sigurdarson 74), Doyle, Sako.

Unused subs: De Vries, Davis, Foley, Margreitter.

Booking: Henry (78 – foul).

Foxes: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan (capt), Marshall, Vardy (Waghorn 71), King (James 31) , Dyer (Knockaert 45), Moore, Nugent.

Unused subs: St. Ledger, Logan, Beckford, Futacs.

Bookings: Konchesky (5 – foul), Nugent (58 – foul).

Referee: S. Attwell.

Attendance: 20,030.

    Data provided by Press Association


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