Blackburn Rovers 0
Wolves 1 (Edwards 48)
A well taken goal from Dave Edwards shortly after the interval was enough to give Wolves the three points. The victory was fully deserved with Kenny Jackett’s men playing some sparkling football on a dreary and cold Lancashire afternoon.
Rajiv van La Parra returned to the starting line up as did Kevin McDonald, Nouha Dicko and Kortney Hause. Bakary Sako was absent preparing for the African Cup of Nations whilst Matt Doherty, Leon Clarke and Lee Evans all dropped down to the bench following the FA Cup draw at Fulham.
Rovers kicked-off defending the Darwen End of the ground that housed 1,500 away supporters.
Ben Marshall got in the first shot of the game with a drive from outside the box that lacked power and went wide. Then Hause had to receive treatment after taking an accidental whack to the head from Alex Baptiste.
Dicko broke into the right of the home area and hit an angled effort that Jason Steele parried at his near post. James Henry’s corner was scrambled clear as was a deep free-kick from the midfielder that followed moments later.
Most of the early action was in the Blackburn half of the field and Steele did well to cut out at his near post a low, driven cross from Henry.
Jordan Rhodes headed over from close range after a Markus Olsson cross but the flag had been raised for offside anyway.
Three more Henry corners came to nothing and when Rovers went forward Marshall headed well wide after a cross from Rhodes.
Carl Ikeme confidently claimed a low curling cross from Rudy Gestede then the keeper pulled off a tremendous flying save to keep out a free-kick from Marshall after Edwards was adjudged to have fouled Lee Williamson 20-yards out.
Danny Batth’s header following another Henry corner was cleared from in front of goal and then McDonald was harshly booked for a challenge on Taylor.
Right at the end of the five minutes of added time, Rhodes was wide with a header after Olsson had supplied the centre.
Half-Time: Rovers 0 Wolves 0
Within three minutes of the resumption Wolves were ahead. Dicko found Edwards just outside the home area and the Welsh midfielder checked and ran along the 18-yard line before swivelling and hitting a low shot beyond the dive of Steele.
The Wanderers supporters behind the goal were still celebrating when, in the 52nd minute, Richard Stearman, in attempting to clear Tom Cairney’s cross, headed against his own post.
Gestede then drew a good save from Ikeme who clung onto the French striker’s angled drive.
Wolves were soon back on the attack and van La Parra fired wide after Dicko had created the chance.
A great run by Dominic Iorfa saw him take the ball from outside his own area to a spot midway in Blackburn’s half before he was fouled by Marshall who was booked for his troubles. From the resultant free-kick, taken by Henry, Batth headed over at the near post.
Luck was against Edwards in the 70th minute when he looked odds on for a second goal. Dicko carved open the home defence and fed Henry who spotted Edwards’s run. The ball was perfectly placed but it hit a bobble as it reached Edwards and he could only shoot over.
Three minutes later, from a virtually identical spot, van La Para sliced wide from the rebound after Dicko had taken a pass from Edwards and smashed a shot against the bar.
Henry took the ball from the centre circle and sprinted towards the home area before unleashing a rising drive that was only just too high.
Henry was involved again but was crowded out before he could get a shot away after neat work by van La Parra and Dicko had created the opening.
In the 85th minute, there was a moment of danger when substitute Craig Conway got goalside of Hause and hit shot that Ikeme blocked and then gathered.
Just before the game drifted into added time, Ikeme was equal to a low shot from another home substitute, Josh King.
Much to the frustration of home supporters and players alike, the visitors weren’t unduly troubled in the five extra minutes.
Rovers: Steele, Hanley (capt), Cairney, Rhodes, Marshall, Olsson, Baptiste (Conway 71), Williamson (King 80), Taylor, Duffy, Gestede (Brown 74).
Unused subs: Eastwood, Kilgallon, Dunn, C. Evans.
Bookings: Marshall (67 – foul), Hanley (90+3 - foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Hause, Iorfa, Edwards, Batth (capt), Stearman, Henry, McDonald, Dicko (Doherty 86) Price (Ebanks-Landell 90+2), van La Parra.
Unused subs: Kuszczak, Clarke, L. Evans, McAlinden, Jacobs.
Booking: McDonald (42 – foul).
Referee: M. Haywood.
Attendance: 15,355 (1,498 away supporters).