Wolves 3 (Le Fondre 56, Ojo 59. Henry 78)
Wolves produced their best performance of the season in recording a 3-0 victory at Fulham. The Cottagers were reduced to ten men in the 35th minute but Kenny Jackett’s men were well on top even before Tom Cairney’s dismissal for a dangerous challenge on Adam Le Fondre.
There were two changes for the trip to the banks of the Thames. Nathan Byrne, who made his full debut, and Le Fondre came in for Jed Wallace, who took a place on the bench, and Rajiv van La Parra.
The Cottagers included two former Molineux men in their line-up, Jamie O’Hara and Richard Stearman.
Fulham kicked-off attacking the end of Craven Cottage that housed around 1,200 fans that had travelled down to London.
In the third minute Fulham won a corner that was taken by Ben Pringle and headed away by Benik Afobe. The striker was soon in action at the other end. Byrne got a head to James Henry’s cross and when Andy Lonergan failed to clear, he had to paw away Afobe’s follow up that bounced up off the floor.
Henry wasn’t far off with a dipping shot from the corner of the area that flew over the far angle, whilst Emi Martinez easily coped with a 20-yard drive from Cairney.
Danny Batth was penalised for a shove on Moussa Dembele just to the left of the Wolves area, but Ross McCormack’s free-kick went straight into the arms of Martinez.
Midway through the half, Kevin McDonald superbly jinked his way through the heart of the Fulham midfield before laying the ball off to Le Fondre on the left.
His low cross fell to Afobi and although the striker had his back to goal with a man behind him, he still managed to turn and get in a shot that had Lonergan at full stretch.
Lonergan was soon in action again this time saving from one of his own players. Byrne crossed from the right and Ryan Fredericks rose to power a header towards his own net with the keeper pulling off a flying save to keep the ball out. It dropped nicely for Byrne but, as he was challenged, he fired wide.
Seconds later Lonergan pulled off a great save to keep out Henry’s curled effort from the edge of the box after Le Fondre had slipped a short pass to him.
Ten minutes before the break, Fulham were reduced to ten men as Cairney lunged in on Le Fondre with a double footed challenge and was shown a straight red card.
Dembele ran half the length of the field before hitting a low shot straight at Martinez and, in first-half stoppage time, Henry headed onto the roof of the net from the tightest of angles after a cross from Dominic Iorfa.
Half-Time; Fulham 0 Wolves 0
Sheyi Ojo replaced Byrne at the start of the new half.
Wolves continued to pile on the pressure and Lonergan had to turn away a header from Le Fondre following a Henry corner.
The keeper was finally beaten in the 56th minute as Ojo curled a shot from the 18-yard line towards the far corner (pictured) with Le Fondre’s glancing header guiding the ball into the net.
Three minutes later and the lead was doubled as Ojo, from virtually the same position, hit a low shot that went through the arms and legs of the unfortunate Lonergan who had done so much to keep his side in the game.
Wolves continued to dominate the possession and attacking play and Tim Ream needed attention after taking a Henry piledriver flush in the face.
On 78 minutes the trusty right foot of Henry confirmed that the three points were Molineux bound. Ream was lucky to escape a card when he fouled Le Fondre who was chasing McDonald’s through ball on the edge of the area.
Another foot and it would have been a stonewall penalty but it mattered not as Henry curled a beauty over the wall and past Lonergan who simply didn’t move.
Just before the end, the keeper saved a curling effort from McDonald but by then Fulham were a well beaten side.
Fulham: Lonergan, Stearman, Fredericks (Vosere 76), Cairney, Ream, Pringle (Christensen 60), Tunnicliffe, O’Hara (Mattila 83), Dembele, Husband, McCormack (capt).
Unused subs: Lewis, Woodrow, Kavanagh, Burn.
Sending-Off: Cairney (35 – dangerous challenge).
Wolves: Martinez, Iorfa, Golbourne, McDonald, Batth (capt), Hause, Henry (Wallace 90+2), Le Fondre (Enobakhare 78), Afobe, Price, Byrne (Ojo 45).
Unused subs: Ikeme, Ebanks-Landell, Doherty, Saville.
Referee: D. Drysdale.