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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:57 8th August 2015

A Winning Start

Blackburn Rovers 1 (Conway 39)

Wolves 2 (Afobe 29, Edwards 45)

Wolves had to work hard for their narrow win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park with a controversial goal from Dave Edwards proving to be the deciding factor.

Conor Coady made his League debut for Wolves whilst summer signings Adam Le Fondre and Sheyi Ojo were named as substitutes.

Rovers kicked the season off attacking the end of the ground that housed over 3,500 travelling supporters.

And there was an early escape for Wanderers as Jordan Rhodes, from just outside the area, hit a terrific shot that smacked against the far post and bounced away to safety.

Rovers were enjoying the majority of the early attacking play and after Ben Marshall had dragged a low shot wide of Carl Ikeme’s other post, the keeper produced a great save in tipping over Shane Duffy’s header following a Markus Olsson cross.

James Henry and Dominic Iorfa combined twice in quick succession on the right in the hope of testing the home defence and although they were unsuccessful, it was Wolves that moved into a 29th minute lead. 

Dave Edwards spotted Benik Afobe’s run down the middle as he dinked a headed through ball to the striker who, from 20-yards, calmly stroked the ball into the net beyond David Raya who had advanced from his line.

A deep cross from Kevin McDonald was just too far in front of the inrushing Nouha Dicko who, moments, later diverted a driven cross from Henry into the side netting.

Just as it seemed that Wolves had gained the upper hand, Rovers equalised with something of a freak goal. Craig Conway’s shot took a massive deflection off Richard Stearman and the ball looped up in the air and was going to drop over the line. Under pressure from Rhodes, Ikeme could only palm the ball into the net. 

Wolves regained the advantage on the stroke of half-time through Edwards who headed home a cross from Dicko much to the ire of the home players who protested vehemently that the midfielder had handled the ball.

Half-Time: Rovers 1 Wolves 2

Within two minutes of the restart there was a chance of a third for Kenny Jackett’s men as Iorfa drove into the home area and fired in a low cross that flew through a crowded six-yard box with Afobe taking a swing at the ball but failing to make contact.

Iorfa went into the book for a challenge on Conway to the left of the Wolves area. Conway took the free-kick himself and the ball was deflected out on the far side for a corner that came to nothing.

There were loud home appeals for a penalty when Hause came into contact with Nathan Delfouneso but the referee was having none of it.

Olsson went into the book for a hefty change on Afobe before Rhodes went close for the home side when he drove across the face of goal although he looked to have pushed Stearman over to get at the ball.

On 76 minutes there was a great piece of work from Henry who held off a challenge and got in a shot from 20-yards that hit the bar with Raya a spectator.

Dicko and Duffy then both needed treatment after the Wolves man tried an overhead kick which caught his marker. 

A 25-yard volley from Afobe flew straight into Raya’s arms before Dicko was replaced by Ojo and Henry found himself in the book for an innocuous looking challenge on Conway.

Rovers threw everything at Wolves in the five added minutes. Substitute Fode Koita hit a long range effort that took a deflection and clipped the bottom of the post and, from the corner conceded, taken by Conway, Jason Lowe headed the ball on to Corry Evans who prodded wide at the far post.

With added time now in its sixth minute, Ojo broke from defence and with the Rovers rearguard stretched he wasted a good opportunity by dwelling too long on the ball rather than slipping a pass to the unmarked Le Fondre who had come on for the closing stages. 

Ojo advanced into the box where he went down under a tackle but his appeals for a penalty were met by a yellow card with the referee believing it was a dive.

Rovers: Raya, Henley, Hanley (capt), Lowe, Delfouneso (Koita 75), Marshall, Rhodes, Olsson, Duffy, Guthrie (Evans 75), Conway.

Unused subs: Steele, Spurr, Kilgallon, Brown, Williamson.

Booking: Guthrie (45+2 – foul).

Wolves: Ikeme, Golbourn, Iorfa, Edwards, Stearman (capt), Hause, Henry (Doherty 90), McDonald, Afobe (Le Fondre 90+1), Dicko (Ojo 84), Coady.

Unused subs: McCarey, van La Parra, Price, Ebanks-Landell.

Bookings: Iorfa (57 – foul), Henry (86 – foul), Ojo (90+6 – simulation).

Referee: M. Haywood.

Attendance: 16,159 (3,596 away supporters).

    QUICK FACTS

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