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Clarke Wins It At The Kassam


00:42 30th July 2014

Sixth pre-season goal for striker.

Oxford United 0

Wolves 1 (Clarke 27)

Leon Clarke’s six goal of the pre-season friendly campaign was enough to settle a competitive game with League Two Oxford United as Wolves paid a first ever visit to the Kassam Stadium.

There was little goalmouth action in the opening exchanges and when Wolves did win an eighth minute corner, taken by James Henry, Dominic Iorfa headed over the bar.

At the other end Kevin Foley did well to clear the ball after Danny Rose had planted a free-kick into the heart of the Wolves goalmouth.

Sam Humphreys set up Rose for a volley which was knocked down and then collected by keeper Aaron McCarey before, in United’s next attack, Iorfa headed clear a dangerous cross from Tom Newey.

Leon Clarke almost made the breakthrough as he knocked down an attempted clearance and steered the ball towards goal only for keeper George Long to dive and save.

But the striker wasn’t to be denied and he stroked a low, left foot shot past Long to give Wolves a 27th minute lead after Eusebio Bancessi’s short through pass had opened up the home defence.

Oxford struggled to clear a Henry corner before Bancessi hooked the ball high and wide and Rose must have been grateful to be flagged offside after he ballooned the ball over an empty net from just six-yards out after McCarey had parried a long range shot from Callum O’Dowda.

Henry took the free-kick after he had been fouled to the left of the Oxford box but Long claimed Iorfa’s looping header under the bar without too much trouble.

Half-Time: Oxford 0 Wolves 1 

Wolves should have opened the new half with a corner with Henry’s shot was clearly deflected behind by a defender but the referee surprisingly awarded a goal kick.

A tremendous save by Long then denied Henry a spectacular goal as he connected with Stephen Ward’s cross and hit a first time volley that was turned away by the keeper. 

Clarke wasn’t far away from a second goal as he scooped the ball wide at the near post after meeting a Foley cross. At the opposite end, McCarey could only look on as Humphries hit a cross shot just wide.

Foley was in action at both ends – his driven cross being headed clear after Henry had played him in on the overlap, and then he had to head behind a David Hunt cross with McCarey punching clear the resultant corner.

Just before the end there was a chance for Henry as a lofted pass dropped at his feet but, as he turned to shoot, Long had closed him down and the keeper blocked the ball at point blank range.

Oxford: G. Long, Newey (Grant 89), Raynes, Mullins (capt) (Wright 27), Rose, Hylton (Roberts 74), Ruffels, O’Dowda (Shama 80), Collins, Riley (Hunt 74), Humphreys (Meades 74).

Unused subs: Crocombe, Bevans, S. Long, Ashby, Hawtin.

Wolves: McCarey, Foley, Ward, Iorfa, Ebanks-Landell (capt), Davis, Price, Henry, Clarke, Bancessi (Forde 60), McAlinden.

Unused subs: Weeks, O’Hanlon, Torres, Keita, Dutton.

Referee: J. Busby.

Attendance: 2,727 (736 away supporters).

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