Wolves 2 (Dicko 7, Tarkowski - og 72)
Brentford 1 (Batth - og 87)
After taking a two goal lead against Brentford, Wolves had to endure a few hairy moments as the game approached its conclusion.
A second yellow card meant that Wanderers were deprived of the services of Kevin McDonald for the final stages during which the Bees pulled one back with a deflected effort.
Less than 48 hours after the referee’s whistle sounded the end of the game against Watford at Vicarage Road, Kenny Jackett named an unchanged team against the high flying Bees.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and the Molineux men enjoyed the majority of the attacking play in the opening stages although they perhaps didn’t enjoy some of the decisions that went against them.
Brentford almost took the lead after five minutes in what was their first meaningful attack when Jota hammered a shot from 20-yards that drew a fine save from Carl Ikeme who touched the ball onto the post.
It was Wolves that drew first blood though, with seven minutes gone. Kourtney Hause’s through ball dropped nicely for Nouha Dicko who drew keeper David Button from his line before blasting the ball into the net.
Bakary Sako was close to doubling Wolves lead after he had taken a return pass from McDonald but the ball bounced to safety off the angle of post and bar.
Alex Pritchard was wide with a diving header from Moses Odubajo’s cross and when the same two players combined in the 37th minute, it took a timely block from Hause to divert away a fierce drive from Pritchard.
Richard Stearman got in a crucial challenge as Jota was taking aim and then Ikeme had to arch himself backwards to tip the ball over after it had skimmed off the top of Dominic Iorfa’s head as he attempted to clear Jake Bidwell’s centre.
In first half stoppage time, Button just managed to deflect away a 25-yard Sako free-kick that had found its way through the Brentford wall.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Brentford 0
There was another chance for Sako shortly after the resumption. Rajiv van La Parra delivered a low corner and Dave Edwards stepped over the ball allowing it to run through to Sako whose shot was too high.
Then Dicko ran onto a long clearance from Iorfa and played the ball wide to Edwards. The midfielder took the ball down the right before returning it to Dicko who was crowded out by three defenders allowing Button to save before the striker could get a shot away.
Dicko was nudged off the ball by James Tarkowski as he looked to take advantage of hesitancy between the defender and Button but play was allowed to continue.
McDonald was booked for a late challenge on Alan Judge before both sides made changes with James Henry replacing Dicko for Wolves whilst Brentford sent Jon Toral and Toumani Diagouraga on for Jota and Stuart Dallas respectively. Within three minutes of his introduction, Diagouraga was booked for a challenge on Stearman.
Wolves moved into a two goal lead in the 72nd minute. Edwards crossed from the right and van La Parra’s header bounced back of the crossbar. McDonald ran in and prodded the ball goalwards and although Button managed to save he could only divert the ball onto Tarkowski and it rolled back over the line (pictured).
Judge was yellow carded for a foul on Henry and, after Odubajo had cleared Iorfa’s cut back as Sako charged in, the referee was in action again showing a second yellow and then a red to McDonald who had mistimed his challenge on Judge.
An excellent crossfield ball from Henry picked out Sako who raced into the Brentford box and drilled a shot a foot wide of the far post. Then some deft footwork from Henry saw him past Tony Craig and Bidwell as he ran along the by-line before shooting into the side netting.
Brentford started to make the most of their man advantage forcing Wolves back and in the 87th minute they reduced the deficit with a fortuitous goal as Bidwell’s cross hit Danny Batth and looped over Ikeme.
In the four minutes of added time, Ikeme did well to push out a volley from Odubayo and then the post came to the rescue as Andre Gray got his head to Sam Saunders’s cross.
The final whistle was greeted by huge cheers from the home support that had seen their team make it ten points out of 12 from the last four games over the Christmas period.
Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Hause, Edwards, Batth (capt), Stearman, Price, van La Parra (Clarke 85), Dicko (Henry 65), McDonald, Sako (Doherty 90).
Unused subs: Kuszczak, Graham, Evans, Ebanks-Landell.
Bookings: McDonald (64 – foul, 77 – foul).
Sending-Off: McDonald (77 – second yellow card).
Brentford: Button, Bidwell, Craig (capt), Douglas, Odubajo, Dallas (Diagouraga 65), Judge, Gray, Pritchard (Saunders 82), Jota (Toral 65), Tarkowski.
Unused subs: Dean, Bonham, Yennaris, Proschwitz.
Bookings: Diagouraga (68 – foul), Judge (74 – foul).
Referee: K. Wright.