Wolves 2 (Edwards 86, Afobe 90)
Late goals from Dave Edwards and new signing Benik Afobe saw Wolves home when it appeared that bottom of the table Blackpool’s packed midfield and defence were going to frustrate the biggest crowd of the season at Molineux.
Kenny Jackett made three changes to the team that had narrowly lost out to Fulham in the midweek FA Cup replay, reverting to the side that had triumphed at Blackburn a week earlier. New signing Afobe was named as a substitute.
After a fitting and emotional tribute had be paid to Sir Jack Hayward, Wolves kicked off attacking the North Bank end and inside two minutes Blackpool keeper Joe Lewis plucked a James Henry corner out of the air.
There was a hold up as Peter Clarke received treatment after taking a knock whilst clearing a Henry free-kick. After play resumed a decent looking through ball from Kevin McDonald just eluded Nouha Dicko on the edge of the visitors area.
Blackpool’s first attempt at goal came in the 13th minute when Charles Dunne was high and wide with a long range effort.
Henry went close five minutes later with a subtle chip that wasn’t far over the angle, and then Rajiv van La Parra took a return pass from McDonald and fired a low cross into the area where Dunne was on hand to clear the danger.
Kortney Hause headed wide from a Henry corner and, when Blackpool went on the attack, Carl Ikeme had to have his wits about him as he held on to a snapshot from Tony McMahon.
Edwards curled a shot wide from the edge of the box after good work from Dominic Iorfa and van La Parra had carved out the chance, and four minutes before the break Blackpool’s first corner of the game was cleared after it was taken by Jamie O’Hara.
A drive from Edwards struck Dicko and bounced behind then, a minute before the break, Edwards took advantage of a lucky break to sprint clear but, with just the keeper to beat, he scuffed the ball wide.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Blackpool 0
Shortly after the restart, McDonald conceded a free-kick after a challenge on Dave Perkin’s but O’Hara’s free-kick was headed clear by Richard Stearman.
Then van La Parra took the ball to the bye-line and hit a low cross that Lewis just managed to claim as Dicko closed in.
Afobe joined the fray in the 57th minute as he replaced Henry shortly before O’Hara went into the book for a tackle on Edwards.
O’Hara was dispossessed by Afobe who made it to the 18-yard line before Dunne ran across to boot clear and then Clarke cleared Iorfa’s low cross after Edwards and van La Parra had combined to set up the youngster.
Blackpool boss Lee Clark made two switches with Connor Oliver and Grant Hall being replaced by Alex Henshall and Darren O’Dea respectively.
Lewis held on to a van La Parra shot after the Dutch winger had taken a return pass from McDonald before a second Wolves change saw Matt Doherty going into defence in place of Hause.
Wolves continued to press and van La Parra’s low cross just eluded the inrushing Dicko and Edwards before the breakthrough finally arrived in the 86th minute.
The goal came about through van La Parra who had been tormenting the Tangerines defence. Once again he took the ball to the line and his centre went in off the right knee of Edwards who celebrated by taking off his black armband, kissing it and holding it up to the sky in front of the South Bank.
The worry of having to survive a lengthy spell of added time was alleviated in the 90th minute when Darren O’Dea and Lewis got in a tangle after the keeper had left his area to deal with McDonald’s long through pass. The ball ran into the box and Afobe had the simplest of tasks in steering it over the line of the vacant goal before joyously celebrating.
Wolves: Ikeme, Hause (Doherty 76), Iorfa, Edwards, Batth (capt), Stearman, Henry (Afobe 57), McDonald, Dicko (Ebanks-Landell 89), Price, van La Parra.
Unused subs: Kuszczak, L. Clarke, Evans, Jacobs.
Blackpool: Lewis, Perkins, P. Clarke, Davies (Feruz 82), Orlandi, Delfouneso, Dunne, Oliver (Henshall 68), McMahon (capt), O’Hare, Hall (O’Dea 72).
Unused subs: Mellis, Parish, Sene, Nosworthy.
Booking: O’Hara (59 – foul).
Referee: K. Johnson.