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19:27 7th February 2015

Off Colour Wolves Lose First In Nine

Wolves 1 (Afobe 26)

Reading 2 (Pogrebnyak 1, Williams 70)

Off colour Wolves hit back to equalise after conceding a goal from the kick-off but couldn’t build up a big enough head of steam to see off visiting Reading before conceding what turned out to be the winning goal with 20 minutes remaining.

Kenny Jackett made wholesale changes to his team with Matt Doherty, Kortney Hause, Lee Evans and Bakary Sako, who was back from the African Cup of Nations duty, coming into the side. Making his debut was keeper Tomasz Kuszczak who replaced the injured Carl Ikeme. 

Dropping down to the bench were Dominic Iorfa, Jack Price, Nouha Dicko and Scott Golbourne.

The visitors kicked-off and they stunned Molineux into silence by taking the lead after just 20 seconds. Hause’s attempted clearing header dropped to Simon Cox and his threaded through ball ran to Pavel Pogrebnyak whose drive from six-yards flew inside the near post.

Sako tried to conjure up an equaliser after he had powered his way past two defenders but his dipping shot from 25-yards was too high - although not by much.

After Richard Stearman had been booked for clipping Cox, Kevin McDonald almost opened up the Reading defence as he jinked his way to the by-line but his low cross went into the side netting.

Wolves continued to pile on the pressure and after Sako had dribbled his way into the box, his cross hit a defender and bounced behind for a corner. Evans took the kick and Sako got in a header that Adam Federici pawed into the air before Nathaniel Chalobah cleared acrobatically off the line.

But in their next attack, with 26 minutes gone, Wolves pulled level as Benik Afobe beat Federici with a glancing header following a right-wing cross from Rajiv van La Parra.

Danny Williams was yellow carded for a foul on van La Parra, then Afobe sent a header over the bar after Sako had hoisted a free-kick into the area.

In the 41st minute a dangerous looking effort from Gareth McCleary was deflected away by Doherty and, after Stephen Kelly had been booked for fouling Hause, Williams fired over from 22-yards.

Half-Time: Wolves 1 Reading 1

Dave Edwards headed wide from a Sako centre five minutes after the break and then Hal Robson-Kanu was yellow carded for a late challenge on Stearman.

Wolves almost conceded a second when Kuszczak’s attempt at clearing a Stearman back pass went straight to Cox whose shot was blocked by McDonald. The ball bounced back to Cox who played Robson-Kanu though on goal with Kuszczak twice blocking before the ball went out for a corner.

Although that particular flag-kick was cleared, when Reading won another in the 61st minute, Michael Hector headed a foot wide from Oliver Norwood’s kick.

Then came the first home substitution with Dicko going on in place of Evans. 

Kuszczak did well to turn over a 25-yard free-kick from Norwood and, when Wolves went forward, van La Parra took a return pass from Dicko before hitting a cross that fell to the unmarked Sako on the far side of the box. For once, the winger failed to control the ball and the chance was gone.

With 70 minutes gone Reading regained the lead as McCleary laid the ball into the path of Williams who ran in and hit a fierce shot that flew into the net off the inside of the far post.

It was the signal for a double change for the home team with James Henry and Price replacing van La Parra and Edwards respectively.

With the action centred around the Reading goal substitute Nick Blackman suddenly broke away and after running half the length of the field he hit a low angled drive that Kuszczak just managed to get his fingertips to in conceding a corner.

In the 89th minute Sako hit a low corner that ran to Henry who completely missed his kick in the heart of the area and, in stoppage time, Henry hit a 20-yard shot that Dicko headed on but, unfortunately, Federici just managed to cling on to the ball.

That was to be the last chance of a disappointing afternoon for the home support as Wolves slipped to their first League defeat in nine games.

Wolves: Kuszczak, Doherty, Hause, Edwards (Price 71), Batth (capt), Stearman, van La Parra (Henry 71), Evans (Dicko 62), Afobe, McDonald, Sako.

Unused subs: Flatt, Golbourne, Ebanks-Landell, Iorfa.

Booking: Stearman (18 – foul).

Reading: Federici, Kelly, Pearce (capt), Pogrebnyak, Robson-Kanu (Blackman 72), Cox (Akpan 84), Obita, McCleary, Chalobah (Norwood 58), Hector, Williams.

Unused subs: Mackie, Yakubu, Andersen, Cooper.

Bookings: Williams (32 – foul), Kelly (42 – foul), Robson-Kanu (53 – foul), Pogrebnyak (90+1- foul).

Referee: K. Hill.

Attendance: 20,274.


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