Nottingham Forest 1 (Blackstock 90+3)
Wolves 2 (Afobe 46, Sako-pen 72)
Kenny Jackett’s men pulled off another excellent victory, this time against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, to bank another three points in the chase for a top six finish. Benik Afobe and Bakary Sako were on target for Wanderers with Forest’s consolation goal coming with virtually the last kick of the game.
There were two changes from the team that had beaten Derby County two weeks earlier; Carl Ikeme returned from his injury lay off to take over from Tomasz Kuszczak in goal, and Dominic Iorfa replaced Matt Doherty in defence.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the Trent End with 2,000 travelling supporters stationed behind them. And they saw Wolves win a first minute corner after Sako’s long range shot cannoned behind off a defender.
Sako’s flag kick was only half cleared and when the winger lofted the ball into the box again, home keeper Karl Darlow collected.
The first danger to the Wolves goal came when Iorfa fouled Michail Antonio wide on the left. Ben Osborn fired the free-kick into the heart of the box where Chuba Akpom could only manage to head high over the bar.
There were loud appeals for a home penalty in the 14th minute when Akpom went down under a challenge from Danny Batth but the referee, who was perfectly placed, waved away the claims.
After Gary Gardner had been booked for a crude challenge on Scott Golbourne that left the defender in need of attention, Michael Mancienne hit a terrific shot from 25-yards that drew a full length diving save from Ikeme.
On 25 minutes Afobe was inches away from giving Wolves the lead with a towering header from James Henry’s cross that just beat the far post.
Eric Lichaj’s foul on Jack Price some 30-yards out, in a central position, presented Sako with a free-kick opportunity but his effort bounced to safety off the Forest defensive wall.
Wanderers were unlucky in the 32nd minute after Kelvin Wilson slipped in trying to clear Kevin McDonald’s through ball. Afobe quickly took possession only for Darlow to block at his feet.
The loose ball ran to Nouha Dicko who took aim and shot towards goal only for Lichaj to make a last ditch clearance from in front of the line.
A volley from Henry Lansbury flew over the angle and, at the other end, Darlow saved Dicko’s shot on the turn shortly before the break.
Half-Time: Forest 0 Wolves 0
Wolves moved ahead just 28 seconds after the restart thanks to a great individual effort from Afobe who took the ball from inside his own half and ran through the heart of the Forest defence before drilling a low, right foot drive into the corner of the net from the edge of the area.
The goal rocked the home side back on their heels and the visiting defence looked well in charge until the 62nd minute when Mancienne’s cross was pushed back into the danger area by Chris Burke. Gardner missed as he swung at the ball and substitute Jamie Paterson, who looked to be taken by surprise, failed to get any power behind his shot and Ikeme saved with ease.
Antonio lashed a shot into the side netting in Forest’s next attack before Price went into the book for a foul on Paterson.
Midway through the half Wolves made a double switch with Dicko and Henry being replaced by Dave Edwards and Rajiv van La Parra respectively.
Lichaj dragged a shot tamely across the face of Ikeme’s goal shortly before, in the 72nd minute, Sako doubled the lead from the spot after he had been felled in the box by Lansbury. The leading scorer sent Darlow the wrong way from the spot.
Three minutes later Sako was close again when he met van La Parra’s cross and sent a volley from a tight angle right through the six-yard box.
Wolves held out comfortably in the time that remained until the dying seconds of the four minutes of stoppage time when Forest substitute Dexter Blackstock thumped home a consolation.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Mancienne, Wilson, Lansbury (capt), Lascelles, Antonio (Blackstock 83), Gardner, Burke (Walker 76), Akpom, Osborn (Paterson 56).
Unused subs: Fox, Vaughan, Hobbs, Evtimov.
Booking: Gardner (15 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Golbourne, Price, Stearman, Batth, Henry (van La Parra 67), McDonald, Afobe (Doherty 89), Dicko (Edwards 67), Sako.
Unused subs: Kuszczak, Doyle, Ebanks-Landell, Hause.
Booking: Price (66 – foul).
Referee: A. D’Urso.