Wolves 2 (Henry 50, Griffiths 66)
Oldham Athletic 0
Wolves closed in on the top two in League One as second half goals from James Henry and Leigh Griffiths resulted in victory over a resilient Oldham side.
There was just the one change to the home starting X1 with Lee Evans coming in for Kevin Doyle who took a place on the bench.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the North Bank end but the opening couple of minutes belonged to the visitors as they refused to concede the early possession.
It wasn’t until the seventh minute that Wanderers threatened for the first time as a nice link up between Henry and Griffiths gave Evans the chance to deliver a low cross that was cut out by keeper Mark Oxley as Bakary Sako lay in wait for any slip.
Sako lifted a shot well over from 25-yards as rain fell on an already saturated pitch. The winger then dropped back to help clear an Oldham attack before he broke away and gave Scott Golbourne the chance to put in a cross.
The ball was headed out but only as far as Matt Doherty who worked himself into a shooting position before thumping a shot that was deflected behind for what turned out to be a fruitless Sako corner.
A free-kick from Sako, taken near the right-hand corner flag, was punched behind by Oxley. Danny Batth met Sako’s corner with a bouncing header which went over the bar.
The rain was, by now, torrential, with the ball starting to hold up on the sodden surface and chances for both sides were virtually non-existent. Wolves then lost the services of Doherty who limped off with a hamstring injury. Richard Stearman took his place.
A minute into stoppage time Henry almost unlocked the Oldham defence with a terrific shot from 20-yards that drew a fine diving save from Oxley.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Oldham 0
The first effort of the new half came 40 seconds in as Oldham’s Carl Winchester struck a left foot shot that was far too high to trouble Carl Ikeme.
Then a Henry corner was half cleared to Golbourne on the far side and from his cross Batth’s powerful header drifted the wrong side of the post.
But the breakthrough arrived in the 50th minute as Oxley pushed out Sako’s low cross. Luck was against the keeper though as the ball hit Henry who was just three yards out and rolled back over the line.
It took the combined efforts of Batth and Stearman to deny Jonson Clarke-Harris a clear sight at goal – the Oldham substitute having been on the field for less than two minutes.
A Kevin McDonald centre just eluded Sako who was unmarked at the far post and then Henry headed onto the roof of the net after a Sako cross from the left.
But in their next attack, in the 66th minute, Wolves moved into a two goal lead. A sweeping through ball from Sako was handled by Jonathan Grounds but he couldn’t stop the ball going through to Griffiths who found the net via the inside of the post with a low shot from the edge of the area.
Grounds was shown the yellow card and, if Griffiths hadn’t scored, it surely would have been a red one as he was the last man.
The visitors tried to hit back and Ikeme did well to block at Cristian Montano’s feet before diving onto the loose ball. Then the keeper made a fine save as he tipped over a piledriver from Danny Philliskirk.
Montano went into the book for a late challenge on Stearman before Oxley turned a fierce effort from Henry behind at the near post after Griffiths’s backheel had set up the chance.
Griffiths then broke clear as he latched onto a long clearance from Ikeme but Oxley was quickly off his line to challenge and the Scottish striker’s chip rolled wide.
Although Ikeme had to field a 25-yard drive from James Wesolowski shortly before the end, there was little else to trouble the Molineux rearguard.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty (Stearman 37), Golbourne, McDonald, Batth, Ricketts (capt), Henry, Price, Griffiths (Doyle 90+2), Evans (Edwards 88), Sako.
Unused subs: Forde, Sigurdarson, Ismail, McCarey.
Latics: Oxley, Grounds, Wesolowski, Kusunga, Tarkowski, Smith (capt), Montano, Winchester (Clarke-Harris 56), Dayton (Rooney 56), Mills (Mellor 62), Philliskirk.
Unused subs: Rachubka, Schmeltz, Rodgers, Millar.
Bookings: Grounds (66 – deliberate hand ball), Nontano (73 – foul).
Referee: R. Ellis.