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15:30 31st October 2015

It's A Happy Halloween

Birmingham City 0

Wolves 2 (Edwards 11, Ojo 84)

It was a happy Halloween in the sunshine for Wolves at St Andrew’s as they beat local rivals Birmingham City 2-0 for a morale boosting and fully deserved victory.

There were three changes to the Wolves starting eleven with Rajiv van La Parra and Kourtney Hause ruled out by injury and Matt Doherty dropping down to the bench.

In came new loan signing Mike Williamson, James Henry and Dominic Iorfa whilst the other new loan, Grant Holt, was named as a substitute.

Three former Wanderers were included in the City side – Tomasz Kuszczak, David Davis and Stephen Gleeson. 

After an immaculately observed minute’s silence for the Fallen was held, Blues kicked off defending the Railway End that housed just over 2,000 Wolves fans.

In the opening seconds Jacques Maghoma found some space on the right and he drilled in a dangerous low cross that was booted clear by skipper Danny Batth.

Blues dominated the opening stages and it wasn’t until the sixth minute that Conor Coady got in the first attempt for the visitors with a shot that was deflected behind for a corner that was taken by Henry.

The ball was half cleared back to the winger who then delivered a telling cross that was headed over by Williamson on the far side of goal.

Wolves took the lead in the 11th minute when Nathan Byrne’s cross took a deflection and bounced over Paul Robinson. The ball fell to Benik Afobe and his low shot struck Kuszczak and bounced to Dave Edwards who made no mistake from eight-yards (pictured).

Kuszczak then failed to hold on to a low centre from Henry at the near post but the keeper recovered to claim the ball.

Emi Martinez did well to claim Damarai Gray’s corner in a crowded goalmouth before Byrne’s run took him into the home area but his attempted chip was wide of the far post.

Kuszczak pulled off a smart save from Henry whose drive from the 18-yard line flew through a sea of legs before being smothered by the Pole.

Then Kevin McDonald’s volley was too high after a Henry corner was headed into his path, and a Blues free-kick at the other end, just 20-yards out, was taken by Paul Caddis with the visitors wall doing its job.

As the half drew to a close, Gleeson fired well over from distances before Davis went a lot closer with an angled effort that ran across the face of goal before going narrowly wide of the far post.

The half ended with another Gray corner that was plucked out of the air by Martinez.

Half-Time: Blues 0 Wolves 1

Both sides won free-kicks in attacking positions in the opening minute after the break but the kicks, taken by McDonald and Robinson, were both cleared without too much difficulty by the respective defences.

Clayton Donaldson was wide with a flicked header after a centre from a Caddis before McDonald was booked for tripping Donaldson on the left-hand corner of the Wolves box. At the same time Blues introduced David Cotterill for Maikel Kieftenbeld. 

Cotterill was immediately involved as he took the free-kick which hit the wall and bounced to safety.

On 63 minutes it took a superb save from Kuszczak to thwart McDonald who struck a tremendous volley from the edge of the box after Byrne had laid the ball back to the Scottish midfielder.

Twice in a matter of seconds Wolves threatened the home goal with Williamson heading wide following Henry’s corner and Afobe curling a low angled shot wide of the far post after he had run into the box.

Sheyi Ojo replaced the impressive Byrne before Holt made his debut in the club’s colours when he went on for Afobe.

Holt was soon involved flicking a long ball from defence on to Henry whose shot from an acute angle was turned behind.

From the corner conceded, in the 84th minute, Wolves went two up. Henry played it short to Ojo who cut into the box and fired low into the far corner.

Three minutes later Ojo almost did it again but this time his cross-shot was wide of the mark.

There were five added minutes but Wolves held on comfortably much to the delight of their supporters.

Blues: Kuszczak, Grounds, Robinson, Kieftenbeld (Cotterill 58), Gray, Gleeson, Donaldson, Maghoma (Toral 67), Davis (Brock-Madsen 79), Morrison (capt), Caddis.

Unused subs: Legzoins, Soloman-Otabor, Shinnie, Spector.

Wolves: Martinez, Iorfa, Golbourne, Edwards, Batth (capt), Williamson, Henry (Doherty 89), Coady, Afobe (Holt 80), McDonald, Byrne (Ojo 74).

Unused subs: Ikeme, Price, Graham, Le Fondre.

Booking: McDonald (58 – foul).

Referee: P. Bankes.

Attendance: 18,946 (2,064 away supporters).


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