Sheffield United 0
Wolves 2 (Henry 13, Edwards 53)
Wolves bounced back from their disappointment at Crawley to record a well-earned win over a Sheffield United team that had gone 11 matches without defeat dropping just two points and conceding one goal in the process.
The only blot on Wolves’ afternoon was that six of their team were booked which didn’t reflect the manner in which the game was played
Kenny Jackett made four changes to the team that had lost to Crawley in midweek with Bakary Sako, Jack Price, Samuel Ricketts and Nouha Dicko all dropping down to the bench. In came Matt Doherty, Dave Edwards, Leon Clarke and Lee Evans.
United kicked-off attacking the Bramall Lane end that housed just under 3,000 travelling fans.
Michael Jacobs got in the first shot of the game but he was wide of the mark from 22-yards before the agility of Carl Ikeme prevented the Blades from taking a fourth minute lead. Kieron Freeman pulled the ball back to Stefan Scougall and from just six-yards out he hit a full blooded shot that was brilliantly turned aside by the keeper.
Jacobs forced a diving save from Mark Howard in the home goal and then Kevin McDonald, who was attracting the derision of the home fans on his return to Brammall Lane, was off target from distance.
Wolves moved into a 13th minute lead with something of a fluke. James Henry crossed from the right and as Edwards ran in Howard was obviously distracted and the ball went in just inside the far post.
Doughty was booked for a foul on Jamie Murphy and Jose Baxter’s free-kick hit the defensive wall and took a massive deflection but Ikeme was able to grab the ball as it ballooned up in the air.
A low cross from Baxter flew dangerously through Ikeme’s goalmouth and then Danny Batth obstructed Baxter and received a yellow card for his troubles.
Wolves were inches away from a second after Clarke had dispossessed Harry Maguire wide on the left. The ball was played in to Henry who unleashed a terrific shot from 20-yards that smacked against the post and bounced to safety.
Home appeals for a penalty when Conor Coady ran into Batth were ignored, but Ikeme was soon back in action as he did well to parry a low shot from Baxter before claiming the ball at the second attempt.
A great jinking run by Jacobs took him into the home box where he was tackled by Maguire. This time it was Wolves that were looking at the referee for a spot kick but he showed no interest.
Just a minute before the break Richard Stearman came to the rescue as he headed John Brayford’s shot off the line after former Wolf Neill Collins had nodded down Baxter’s cross.
Half-Time: Blades 0 Wolves 1
A Henry corner was cleared soon after the resumption and then there was a chance for United when Scougall fired over the bar after Murphy had chested down a cross from Brayford.
Wolves went two up in the 53rd minute a superb crossfield pass from Jacobs picked out Henry on the far side. The winger drilled in a low centre that took a deflection and fell invitingly into the path of Edwards who slammed home a right foot shot from six-yards out (pictured).
Evans was booked for a challenge on Scougall some 22-yards out from the Wolves goal and in a central position. Baxter’s free-kick was only just wide and the ball skimmed the side netting as it went past.
Clarke ran onto a Scott Golbourne through ball and clipped the ball past Howard but any celebrations were cut short by the offside flag for what must have been a marginal decision.
Both sides made a change in the 62nd minute with Ben Davies replacing Ryan Flynn for United and Price that of Evans for Wolves.
Clarke almost grabbed a third for Wanderers when he ran onto Golbourne’s through ball but the striker lifted the ball over the advancing Howard and, unfortunately, the crossbar too.
Price on Maguire and McDonald on Coady were both harshly yellow carded for tackles either side of another Wolves substitution as Ricketts replaced Doherty.
The visitors defence was quelling any threats from the home forwards and when United substitutes Davies and Chris Porter combined to make a chance, the latter’s header lacked the power to worry Ikeme.
Shortly before the end, Stearman became the sixth Wolves man to be booked for handling the ball after a quickly taken United throw which was taken five years away from where the ball had gone out.
After five additional minutes the final whistle signalled a commendable performance and result from Jackett’s men.
Blades: Howard, Brayford, Maguire, Flynn (Davies 62), Doyle (capt), Baxter (Porter 66), Collins, Coady, Scougall, Murphy, Freeman (Paynter 88).
Unused subs: McGinn, Long, Khan, Dimaio.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty (Ricketts 75), Golbourne, McDonald, Batth (capt), Stearman, Henry, Edwards, Clarke, Evans (Price 62), Jacobs (Sako 90).
Unused subs: Elokobi, McAlinden, McCarey, Dicko.
Bookings: Doherty (18 – foul), Batth (29 – foul), Evans (59 – foul), Price (68 – foul) McDonald (78 – foul), Stearman (90 – deliberate hand ball).
Referee: K. Friend.