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Sako Spot On

PUBLISHED

21:55 11th July 2014

Winning start to pre-season.

Cheltenham Town 1 (Richards 60)

Wolves 3 (Sako-pen 35, Edwards 37, Clarke 49)

Wolves began their pre-season warm up with a useful exercise and fairly comfortable victory over Cheltenham Town of League Two.

On a beautiful summer’s night at Whaddon Road, there was a lively start to the game with both sides making some early probes although the first real chance didn’t arrive until the ninth minute when Bakary Sako’s cross presented Dave Edwards with a chance that the midfielder  sidefooted over the bar from eight-yards.

A sublime chip by Kevin McDonald dropped nicely for Sako who had beaten the offside trap but the winger was only able to prod the ball wide of the target.

Matt Richards went on a jinking run through the heart of the visiting defence but he was tackled by Richard Stearman as he shot and the ball trickled through to Carl Ikeme.

The keeper had to have his wits about him, however, as Lee Vaughan let fly with a stinging effort from 20-yards that was smothered by Ikeme. 

Play quickly switched to the other end and Michael Jacobs worked his way into a shooting position before curling a shot narrowly wide.

Wolves took the lead from the spot in the 35th minute. The referee was nicely placed to judge that Troy Brown had taken Jacobs’s legs and Sako cheekily chipped the ball straight down the middle after keeper Trevor Carson had committed himself.

A little over a minute later and it was two. This time Sako was the provider with a low cross that Nouha Dicko laid into the path of Edwards who made no mistake with a low shot into the corner of the net.

Jacobs almost grabbed a third with a long-range dipping effort that was just too high.

Half-Time: Town 0 Wolves 2

Kenny Jackett changed the team at half-time with three players – Kortney Hause, Rajiv Van La Parra and Tommy Rowe – all making a first start in the Wanderers first team.

With 49 minutes on the clock Wolves strengthened their grip on the game as Leon Clarke chased down Liam McAlinden’s flick on and fired low past Carson.

Clarke almost grabbed a second with a smart shot on the turn that drew a fine save from the Town keeper.

Cheltenham pulled one back on the hour mark after Hause was harshly adjudged to have fouled Byron Harrison some 22-yards out. If anything, it looked as it was the Wolves man who was the victim but Richards curled a superb free-kick beyond the dive of Aaron McCarey.

Three minutes later and Steve Elliott was close to a second for the home team with a header that was just too high after Asa Hall had planted a free-kick into the heart of the area. 

After Town boss Dean Yates had made a quadruple substitution, James Henry tested Carson with a 20-yard drive and then Clarke saw his angled shot bounce clear off the far post after Rowe had chipped a lofted pass into his path. 

Five more Town changes followed before Wolves almost increased their lead when Van La Parra shot over the angle after Clarke had won possession in the Town area.

Town: Carson, Haworth (Kotwicki 61), Braham-Barrett (Black 45), Taylor (Powell 75), Brown (Deaman 61), Elliott (Streete 72), Hall (Williams 72), Richards (Wallace 61), Harrison (Culley 61), Gornell (Dale 72), Vaughan (capt) (Hanks 75).

Unused subs: McNamara, Bowen.

Wolves (first-half): Ikeme, Ricketts (capt), Golbourne, Edwards, Stearman, Batth, Jacobs, Evans, Dicko, Sako, McDonald.

Wolves (second-half): McCarey, Doherty (capt), Foley, Price, Ebanks-Landell, Hause, Henry, Rowe, McAlinden, Clarke, Van La Parra. 

Unused subs: Reid, Iorfa. 

Referee: O. Langford.

Attendance: 1,705 (832 away supporters).

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