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18:23 1st November 2012

Roger Rescues Wolves

Wolves 1 (Johnson 74)

Blackburn Rovers 1 (Rhodes-pen 26)

Roger Johnson’s 74th minute header gave Wolves a more than deserved point from Dean Saunders’s first game in charge after a controversial penalty had gifted visiting Blackburn Rovers the lead.  

The new boss made two changes with Ronald Zubar playing his first senior game since October against, coincidently, Blackburn. The other change saw Jake Cassidy making his full debut with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Anthony Forde both named as substitutes.

Rovers kicked-off attacking the North Bank end but after just 30 seconds Kevin Doyle’s cross was headed behind for a Bakary Sako corner that curled across the goalmouth and went out on the far side.

Grant Hanley obstructed Doyle on the right wing but Sako’s free-kick was headed out before Cassidy saw his shot on the turn deflected over the bar. 

As Wolves dominated the early stages, Johnson was wide with a shot on the turn after a low cross from Cassidy. 

Colin Kazim-Richards was booked for a late challenge on David Davis before Todd Kane provided Carl Ikeme with his first action of the evening with a tame header that was easily fielded by the keeper.

Kevin Foley looked to be the victim of a mid-air shove but the referee waved play on and the ball broke to Jordan Rhodes who had a clear path to goal. But Ikeme was quickly off his line to narrow the angle and the striker succeeded only in flicking the ball wide of the target.

Rovers keeper Jake Kean made a fine reflex save from Foley’s flick after a low cross from Sako. Luck was against Wolves as the loose ball ran just behind Doyle.

Blackburn took the lead in the 26th minute after Ruben Rochina ran into Sako’s extended leg and went down. The linesman put his flag across his chest and the referee pointed to the spot. The decision seemed harsh to the extreme but Rhodes slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner out of Ikeme’s reach.

Danny Murphy was booked for a late challenge on Davis shortly before Rochina let fly with a long range effort that flew straight to Ikeme.

Four minutes before the interval there was some fine interplay between Foley, Sako and Stephen Ward whose low cross was turned away by Kean. The ball went to Davis stationed just inside the box but his shot on the turn went high over the bar.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Rovers 1

Rochina, with a shot on the run from 25-yards, tested Ikeme who needed two attempts to claim the ball, and, when Wolves went on the front foot, Johnson headed onto the roof of the net following a free-kick from Sako.

Martin Olsson and then Davis were both booked for dissent either side of a Zubar header that went over after Davis had provided the cross. Midway through the half Slawomir Peszko went on in place of Zubar. 

Cassidy’s header from Karl Henry’s centre lacked the power to trouble Kean, before a 74th minute change saw Wolves deservedly draw level.

Jamie O’Hara replaced Davis and seconds after his introduction he launched a long, diagonal ball into the Blackburn box and Johnson ran in and stooped to power a header into the net.

Ebanks-Blake was Wolves’ final change when he took the place of Cassidy who received a tremendous hand as he left the field.

And more bookings followed with O’Hara and Morten Gamst-Pedersen involved in a brief bout of pushing and shoving.

A great ball down the line from Ward fell to Sako and his cross went dangerously across the face of the goal but then bounced behind after hitting Doyle.

Doyle then went into the book when he caught the keeper as they went for a loose ball on the edge of the box.

In the 89th minute Olsson was lucky to escape with a rebuke after he had clattered into Peszko to the right of the Rovers box. Henry’s free-kick was claimed by Kean.

In the five minutes of stoppage time, Sako went on a tremendous run riding several tackles on a trip from the halfway line to the left hand corner. He turned and sent in a low cross that Kean cut out at his near post.

Wolves: Ikeme, Zubar (Peszko 67), Ward, Davis (O’Hara 74), Berra, Johnson, Foley, K. Henry (capt), Cassidy (Ebanks-Blake 79), Doyle, Sako.

Unused subs: Stearman, Batth, Forde, De Vries.

Bookings: Henry (45+1 – foul), Davis (66 – dissent), O’Hara (83 – flare up), Doyle (88 – foul).

Rovers: Kean, Olsson, Lowe, Rhodes, Murphy (capt), Dann, Kane, Rochina (Morris 79), Hanley (Givet 82), Vukcevic (Gamst Pedersen 56), Kazim-Richards. 

Unused subs: Usai, Goodwille, Gomes, Rosado.

Bookings: Kazim-Richards (9 – foul), Murphy (37 – foul), Olsson (62 – dissent), Gamst Pedersen (83 – flare up).

Referee: D. Whitestone.

Attendance:  20,264.


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