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23:03 26th November 2013

Convincing Victory

Wolves 2 (Griffiths 16, Edwards 42)

Tranmere Rovers 0

Wolves moved back to the top of the League after a victory over Tranmere Rovers that was a lot more convincing than the final 2-0 scoreline suggests.

Scott Golbourne returned to the side in place of Matt Doherty who took a place on the bench. 

Wolves kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and after just 50 seconds a low shot from Kevin Doyle took a hefty deflection and was saved by Rovers keeper Owain Fon Williams.

Richard Stearman took the ball out of defence and fed Bakary Sako on the left. He switched the ball inside to Michael Jacobs who rode two challenges and was about to take a shot when a defender ran across to boot the ball behind.

Although Jacobs’s flag-kick was cleared Wolves soon won another and this time Sako took the kick and Leigh Griffiths ran in to head the ball onto the roof of the net.

The home side were dominating and Fon Williams only just beat Sako to the ball after the winger took a return pass from Doyle.

Jacobs was putting on an impressive display in the heart of midfield and he wasn’t far off with a long distance drive that had Fon Williams diving full length to cover.

But the keeper was badly at fault in the 16th minute as Wanderers moved into the lead. He appeared to have Griffiths’s 25-yard shot covered but the ball squirmed from his grasp and rolled over the line (pictured).

Some great determination from Jacobs saw him winning the ball and releasing Sako on the left. He raced to the by-line and hit a low cross that was cleared from in front of goal by Ian Goodison.

It was Goodison once again that cleared the lines when Jacobs got behind the Rovers defence and delivered a short cross after being played in by Sako.

Goodison made it a hat-trick of critical clearances when he booted away a Jacobs centre. The ball ran to Sako who ran into the box and dragged it narrowly wide of the far post.

A tremendous interception by Samuel Ricketts stopped Ryan Lowe’s shot getting through to Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro who would otherwise have had a clear sight of goal.

But that attack from the visitors was a rare one and Wolves were soon back on the front foot and, three minutes before the break Dave Edwards doubled his team’s advantage.

Sako planted a deep ball into the box and Griffiths got in a header that was deflected behind for a corner. Sako took the kick and Edwards rose in a crowded goalmouth to glance a header into the corner of the net.

A minute later Ricketts almost made it three as he ran half the length of the field before unleashing a rising drive from just inside the area that was only just too high.

Half-Time: Wolves 2 Rovers 0

Both sides made a change at the start of the new half. Griffiths was replaced by Jake Cassidy and James Wallace was the change for Tranmere when he went on for Max Power.

Five minutes after his introduction Cassidy had a great chance of a third when he ran onto Doyle’s through ball and held off a challenge before shooting inches wide of the post. 

Whilst Ricketts was off the field having treatment for a nosebleed, Akpa Akpro fired wide with an angled shot after running into the box.

Danny Batth advanced up the field and fed a pass to Jacobs who ran through a series of challenges just outside and then inside the area, but the ball ran away from him and was shepherded out by Goodison.

Wolves continued to pile on the pressure and after Doyle had a shot deflected into the side netting, Sako fired high over the bar after Golbourne’s cross had been headed out. 

A more accurate effort from Sako was deflected forcing Fon Williams to change direction as he dived to save. The keeper couldn’t hold on to the ball and Goodison, who else, was there to clear as Cassidy ran in.

Cassidy, with a shot from the edge of the box was too high, and in the next attack Sako picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and fired wise of the far post.

Then Doyle got in on the act with two attempts in a minute – the first flying straight to the keeper and the second clearing the bar.

A lunge by Wallace on Jacobs left the midfielder rolling in pain on the floor and provoked an angry reaction from the home players. The crowd were baying for a red card but the referee’s decision was a yellow.

Shortly before the end, Fon Williams saved well from Sako after Golbourne had carved out the shooting opportunity.

Wolves: Ikeme, Golbourne, Ricketts (capt), McDonald, Batth, Stearman, Jacobs (Price 85), Edwards, Griffiths (Cassidy 45), Doyle, Sako (Ismail 89).

Unused subs: Evans, Ebanks-Landell, Doherty, McCarey.

Rovers:  Williams, Holmes, Ridehalgh, Atkinson, Goodison, McNulty, Kirby (Baggie 68), Power (Wallace 45), R. Lowe (capt), Koumas (Sodje 68), Akpa Akpro.

Unused subs: Horwood, Hateley, J. Rowe, Mooney. 

Booking: Wallace (82 – foul).

Referee: G. Scott.

Attendance: 14,989.


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