Wolves 3 (Sako-pen 18, Afobe 55, Henry 67)
Sheffield Wednesday 0
Wolves had their work cut out but in the end came out on top of a hard fought out encounter with Sheffield Wednesday.
The win kept Kenny Jackett’s men in touch with the top sixth although the evening was marred by a serious looking injury to Richard Stearman who was making his 200th League appearance for the club
Scott Golbourne and Nouha Dicko returned to the starting line-up in place of Kortney Hause and James Henry who both took a seat on the bench.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and the first chance fell to the visitors as Atdhe Nuhiu headed over after a cross from Stevie May.
A low corner from Bakary Sako ran through to Benik Afobe who got a foot to the ball but could only steer it wide.
There was a spirited opening from both teams as an early advantage was sought, and there was a chance for Wolves following a superb crossfield pass from Jack Price to Rajiv van La Parra to the right of the area. The winger cut past a defender and into the box but his low cross was cut out by Keiren Westwood in the Owls’ goal.
It was Wolves that opened the scoring in the 17th minute thanks to a Sako spot kick. The penalty owed much to the determination of Dicko who ran from inside his own half and cut into the Owls box before he went down under a challenge from Claude Dielna.
The Wednesday man was booked and amidst protestations from the opposition players, Sako kept his cool and drilled home the spot kick.
Wednesday tried to find a quick response and Tomasz Kuszczak had to get down smartly to keep out a low drive from Jacques Maghoma from just outside the area.
On the half-hour van La Parra played Kevin McDonald in but the midfielder’s angled shot was saved by Westwood who hurt himself in doing so and had to have treatment before play could resume.
He soon recovered, however, and was at his best just a couple of minutes later making a great save to turn away Dicko’s shot on the turn from the corner of the box.
A minute later van La Parra teed up Price but his low shot went straight to Westwood before Wednesday went close as Kuszczak pulled off a full length save to keep out a Nuhiu header.
Three minutes before the break McDonald went on a probing run down the right flank and crossed for Sako whose shot took a hefty deflection taking the sting out of it and allowing Westwood to claim.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Owls 0
The visitors made a strong start to the new half with Maghoma finding some space and hitting a shot that was only just wide of the far post.
Then a Nuhiu header skimmed the roof of the net after Chris Maguire had crossed from the left before Wolves made a change with Henry talking the place of van La Parra.
Somewhat against the run of play Wolves went two up in the 55th minute. Matt Doherty hit a low ball from the right into the path of Afobe whose first time, left foot drive hit the inside of the post and flew across to the far side of the goal before going in.
Sam Hutchinson wasn’t far off pulling one back for Wednesday with a long range drive that Kuszczak was relieved to see go wide.
But Henry eased any potential fears with a cracking third goal in the 67th minute. He ran in from the right before hitting a shot from the edge of the area that flew into the opposite top corner of the net (pictured).
Henry almost grabbed a second four minutes later but he just failed to get his foot to Sako’s cross after a fine first time pass from McDonald had released the Mali winger.
In the 73rd minute Stearman went down in obvious distress and after lengthy attention he was carried off on a stretcher.
In the closing stages Maguire fired straight at Kuszczak from 20-yards and, at the other end, Golbourne slipped a short cross to Afobe who rode a tackle as he ran into the box before hitting a shot that Westwood claimed at the second attempt.
Wolves: Kuszczak, Doherty, Golbourne, Price, Batth (capt), Stearman (Ebanks-Landell 74), van La Parra (Henry 53), McDonald (Edwards 88), Afobe, Dicko, Sako.
Unused subs: McCarey, Hause, Evans, Doyle.
Owls: Westwood, Hutchinson (Melo 77), May (Lavery 63), Nuhiu, Maguire, Lees (capt), Helan, Maghoma, Dielna, Vermijl, McGugan.
Unused subs: Kirkland, Buxton, Mattock, Lee, De Havilland.
Bookings: Dielna (18 – foul), McGugan (86 – kicking the ball away).
Referee: S. Hooper.