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Match Report: Walsall 0-3 Wolves


19:30 28th July 2012

Comfortable win in sun-soaked friendly

Walsall 0
Wolves 3 (Nouble 23, Hammill 37, Doyle 67)

Wolves cruised to a comfortable friendly victory over neighbours Walsall with 23 members of the Molineux squad having a work out in the afternoon sun.
Both clubs played in their new away strips – Walsall in all yellow and Wolves in all teal.
The opening exchanges were lively but chanceless. It wasn’t until the tenth minute that there was an opportunity for Frank Nouble who headed wide following a George Elokobi centre.
Dorus de Vries had to race from his line to save at Jamie Paterson’s feet before the Dutch keeper was instrumental in Wolves taking a 23rd minute lead.
Andy Butler tried to head the keeper’s long clearance back to David Grof but he didn’t get enough on the ball allowing Nouble to chip over Grof into the empty net.
Elokobi hurt himself in stretching for a tackle and he immediately trotted off to be replaced by Adam Hammill.
The Liverpudlian had only been on the field for eight minutes when he increased Wolves’ lead. Ben Purkiss tried to clear Michael Kightly’s cross but he succeeded only in setting up Hammill who drove an angled shot home despite Grof getting something on the ball.
Walsall’s best chance of the half came in the 39th minute when Paterson drilled a low shot a foot wide of the far post. 
In the final minute, De Vries made a relatively comfortable stop when James Baxendale fired at goal from the edge of the area.
Half-Time: Walsall 0 Wolves 2
For the new half, Walsall introduced eight replacements whilst, as he had done a week earlier at Bray, Ståle Solbakken changed his entire team.  
Connor Taylor wasn’t far away from reducing the deficit when he burst into the right side of the visitors’ box and unleashed a fierce shot that flew over the bar.
Dean Holden did well to head behind a dangerous cross from Matt Jarvis who took the resultant corner himself. The ball fell to Stephen Ward whose hooked shot bounced clear off a defender.
Wolves soon forced another flag-kick, again taken by Jarvis,and this time Kevin Doyle header smacked into Grof’s face and bounced clear.
But the Irish striker wasn’t to be denied and he added a third goal in 67th minute stroking the ball into the net from ten yards out after Ward had squared a pass to him.
Holden vollied wide after a corner from former Wolves Academy graduate Ashley Hemmings. 
Then a late challenge by Holden on Hunt was punished by a free-kick 25 yards out. Up stepped Milijaš who curled the ball over the wall and forced Grof to dive and punch clear.
Both sides had a chance in the final two minutes. Doyle, at the near post, controlled a Jarvis corner and turned sharply and shot only for Grof to make a fine save.
Then Hemmings tried to take the ball around Carl Ikeme to give the Saddlers a consolation goal but he was thwarted by his former team-mate.   
Walsall (first-half): Grof, J. Chambers, Gilbert, Butler, Purkiss, Featherstone, A. Chambers, Baxendale, Grigg, Paterson, Jones.
Walsall (second-half): Grof, Gilbert (Benning 68), Purkiss (George 68), Downing, Holden, Taylor, Cuvelier, Sammons, Hemmings, Williams (Morris 84), Torres. 
Unused sub: Walker.
Wolves (first-half): De Vries, Zubar, Elokobi (Hammill 29), Davis, Stearman, Berra, O’Hara, Jonsson, Nouble, Kightly, Forde.
Wolves (second-half): Ikeme, Ward, Foley, Milijaš, Johnson, Batth, Hunt, Henry, Doyle, Ebanks-Blake, Jarvis.
Referee: D. Langford.
Attendance: 4,219 (2,180 away supporters).

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