Wolves 3 (Dicko 30, 48, Sako 67)
Wolves took the local honours and three more priceless points as they made their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium.
Another double from Nouha Dicko and a trademark free-kick from Bakary Sako saw Wanderers equal their record of eight consecutive wins and another clean sheet meant that just one goal – a penalty - had been conceded in the eight games.
With Wolves supporters occupying the stand behind the goal and all of the seating opposite the main stand, the game got off to an uneventful opening with a James Henry free-kick from wide on the left landing on the roof of the net in the fourth minute.
Henry then played a short corner to Jack Price and took a return pass before hitting a low shot that was taken by home keeper Richard O’Donnell.
O’Donnell saved again from Henry who had connected with a driven cross from Dicko and then a mistake by Romaine Sawyers saw Michael Jacobs and Sako combining to set up Henry who this time dragged his shot wide.
O’Donnell held on to a 20-yard drive from Dicko before Sako was shown the yellow card after catching Fabian Brandy.
Wolves moved into the lead on the half-hour through Dicko who got in front of James Chambers and swept the ball home from close quarters after Henry had fired over a low cross.
Danny Batth was booked for a foul on Sawyers but Milan Lalkovic hit the free-kick wide and Troy Hewitt was close to the target with a ferocious shot on the turn from 20-yards.
Andy Taylor went into the book for a foul on Henry and Sako’s free-kick flashed through a crowded goalmouth and narrowly wide of the far post.
In first-half stoppage time, Brandy ran through three challenges into the Wolves box but his shot at goal went straight to Carl Ikeme.
Half-Time: Walsall 0 Wolves 1
Shortly after the restart, Nicky Featherstone tested Ikeme from 20-yards but the keeper had little difficulty in fielding the ball before Wolves went two p in the 48th minute.
The ball fell to Henry just inside the home area and his cross hit the inside of the far post before bouncing down and the predatory Dicko was there to convert from point-blank range (pictured).
Batth and Richard Stearman closed down Hewitt as he ran into the visitors area and the Saddlers’ man’s final shot lacked the power to trouble Ikeme. A Jacobs snapshot flew inches wide and then Ikeme made a good save as Brandy got his head to Sawyers’s centre.
Sawyers then cut inside into the box and hit an angled effort that was taken by Ikeme before the first change of the afternoon saw James Baxendale taking the place of Lalkovic.
Taylor’s blatant obstruction of Henry led to Wolves going three up in the 67th minute. Sako picked his spot with the free-kick convincingly beating O’Donnell from 22-yards
Further changes for both sides followed as Walsall enjoyed the majority of possession in the closing stages with Price becoming the third Molineux man to be booked after a late challenge on Sawyers.
In the 89th minute Ikeme held a low shot from Saddlers substitute Michael Ngoo but the keeper had enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon.
Saddlers: O’Donnell, Purkiss, Taylor, Butler (capt), Featherstone, A. Chambers, Lalkovic (Baxendale 65), J. Chambers, Hewitt (Ngoo 75), Sawyers, Brandy (Westcarr 67).
Unused subs: Downing, Benning, Roberts, McQuikin.
Booking: Taylor (43 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Golbourne, Ricketts, McDonald, Batth, Stearman, Henry, Jacobs, Dicko (Clarke 75), Price, Sako (Edwards 84).
Unused subs: Doherty, Elokobi, McAlinden, Ebanks-Landell, McCarey.
Bookings: Sako (29 – foul), Batth (36 – foul), Price (70 – foul).
Referee: P. Tierney.
Attendance: 10,139 (3,444 away supporters).
Wolves Under 18s 2 (Keita-pen, Carthey) Bolton 3