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19:30 10th August 2014

Off To A Winning Start

Wolves 1 (Edwards 64)

Norwich City 0

Wolves got their Championship campaign off to the best of starts with a victory over a strong Norwich City side thanks to a Dave Edwards header midway through the second half.

With Samuel Ricketts named as a substitute, Danny Batth wore the captain’s armband. Rajiv van La Parra made his debut whilst the City team included two former Molineux men, Elliott Bennett and Andy Surman, in their number.

Wolves kicked-off and inside 30 seconds Edwards was too high with a first time shot after meeting Bakary Sako’s low cross. Seconds later Van La Parra completely bamboozled Martin Olsson before hitting a centre that was just too high for Nouha Dicko.

Norwich’s first attempt came from Nathan Redmond who pulled a low shot wide from just outside the area.

Wolves were enjoying much of the attacking play although Canaries keeper John Ruddy wasn’t troubled in the early minutes apart from fielding the odd cross or two.

Dicko looked to be the victim of some unpunished challenges but the referee couldn’t miss Olsson clattering into Van Parra in the centre-circle – a tackle that earned the City man a yellow card.

Van La Parra won a corner off Olsson but Ruddy plucked Lee Evans’s flag-kick out of the air.

Kevin McDonald’s interception presented Edwards with a half chance but his low shot was charged down by a defender as Kenny Jackett’s men continued to press.

A slick move involving Dicko, Golbourne and Sako ended with the latter’s driven cross being turned behind at the near post by a defender.

Sako’s corned wasn’t cleared and when the ball was played back to the winger he cut into the area and hit a shot that bounced to safety off Martin.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 City 0

Straight from the restart Dicko tried his luck from 25-yards but his effort was high and wide and seconds later, at the other end, Wes Hoolahan was also off target from the edge of the box.

In the 51st minute a superb cross by Sako just eluded the incoming Dicko who would have been an almost certain scorer had he made contact.

It took a great block from Richard Stearman to deny Surman who worked a shooting position in the box before hitting a low shot that the defender threw himself at to save the day.

Hoolahan went into the book for hauling down Sako before Norwich went close to breaking the deadlock when Lewis Grabban controlled a lofted though ball and hit a shot from a tight angle that Carl Ikeme managed to divert inches wide of the far post.

The visitors were reduced to ten men on the hour mark when Olsson clipped Van La Parra as he was about to run into the box. The referee waved a second yellow before the red. Sako took the free-kick, hard and low, and Ruddy saved well at his near post.

In the 64th minute things grew worse for the East Anglian team as Edwards rose to power home a header following a pinpoint cross from the impressive Van La Parra.

Ikeme was relieved to watch a long range effort from Bennett go wide as the Canaries went in search of a quick response and the keeper then had to make a brave save at the feet of Grabban after substitute Kyle Lafferty had nodded down a cross.

From the corner conceded the ball was cleared upfield to Dicko who outstripped his marker and homed in on the unprotected Ruddy. Dicko, unselfishly, pulled the ball back to Sako and Ruddy was able to block at close quarters.

In the closing minutes Wolves made three changes with Michael Jacobs, James Henry and Leon Clarke replacing Sako, Van La Parra and Dicko respectively.

There was a good chance to ease any late nerves with a second goal after Henry had dispossessed Bennett on the halfway line. He fed Clarke but the striker was forced wide and he shot into the side netting.

There were five added minutes for the crowd to endure but Ikeme and his defence seemed to be well on top of the situation. 

Wolves: Ikeme, Golbourne, Doherty, Evans, Batth, Stearman, Van La Parra (Henry 85), Evans, Dicko (Clarke 87), Edwards, Sako (Jacobs 81),      

Unused subs: McCarey, Ricketts, Price, Ebanks-Landell.

Canaries: Ruddy, Whittaker (Lefferty 75), Johnson, Martin (capt), Turner, Grabban, Hoolahan (Garido 62), E. Bennett, Redmond, Olsson, Surman (Tettey 65). 

Unused subs: Rudd, Loza, Murphy, R. Bennett. 

Sending-Off: Olsson (60 – foul – second bookable offence).

Bookings: Olsson (27 – foul), Hoolahan (54 – foul), Garrido (83 – foul), Martin (90+1 – dissent). 

Referee: S. Hooper.

Attendance: 22,053.


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