Boss Ståle Solbakken hailed a “great victory” from a difficult awayday as Wolves ended Blackpool’s eight-game unbeaten run in a Friday night thriller at Bloomfield Road.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake capped an electric start from Wolves with a fine third-minute finish, before the Seasiders were denied by a string of top class saves from Carl Ikeme either side of the interval.
Ebanks-Blake notched his second from the penalty spot as Wolves regained control 18 minutes from time, and then saw his shot take a bobble denying him a hat trick, only for Alex Baptiste’s late header to give Solbakken’s men one or two anxious moments before clinching the win!
“It was a very exciting game against a very good team,” said the boss.
“Sometimes you must praise the opposition when you win and Blackpool are a very good team.
“We started brightly, got a deserved goal and played well for the first 15 minutes.
“But then Blackpool took over.
“We tried to get them offside but that meant they caught us on the counter attack and (Thomas) Ince was on his own.
“And in the second half they started very aggressively which we knew would happen but couldn’t really deal with it.
“They played as if it was the last ten minutes of the season.
“The speed of the wingers caused us problems and Carl made three or four good saves in the first ten minutes.
“After that it evened out a little and calmed down and I don’t think they had a big chance until the goal.
“Credit to our lads for coming back into it and I think we controlled it more again towards the end.
“Dave Davis came on, did very well and we started to get more grip of the game again.
“And we did well defensively even after their goal because there was a few minutes added time and they didn’t have a chance.
“But we must certainly praise Carl for the first ten minutes of the second half which kept us in the lead and the lads have given him a pat on the back.
“Blackpool are a very good team who will cause anyone problems and especially here at home.
“It is a difficult place to come and a great victory for us.”
For once in recent weeks it was Wolves on the right end of the game’s major big decision, Chris Basham adjudged to have tugged back Bakary Sako to give Ebanks-Blake the penalty chance on 72 minutes.
“It was definitely a free kick or a penalty,” said the boss.
“I could see there was a pull on the shirt but from my position I couldn’t see whether it was a penalty or a free kick.
“I think we are still 1-5 behind in penalties so I don’t think anyone can complain about it!”
In terms of individuals there were key performances at both ends of the pitch thanks to Ikeme’s brilliance and Ebanks-Blake’s finishing.
“Carl has been solid the whole season but also one-on-one against Ince in the first half he was very good,” said Solbakken.
“And the two saves at the beginning of the second half was very good.
“Sylvan did well with the penalty but I think he could have whacked another one to get his hat trick!
“But I think it took a bobble.
“If that goes in we could have avoided those five heartbreaking minutes at the end!
“I am happy for Sylvan because he has worked hard for a long period of time and has just struggled a little bit in front of goal.
“But he has come into training with a great attitude even when he was on the bench and I’m really pleased he has got his two goals.”
It was a clever pass from Jermaine Pennant which set up Ebanks-Blake for his first goal, the on-loan winger having his best game for Wolves thus far according to Solbakken.
“His performance gives us something else to take with us,” said the boss.
“I think it was by far the best game he has played in a Wolves shirt particularly when it comes to a difficult away game where the pitch isn’t great either.”