East Fife 2, Wolves 3
It was a case of five in Fife tonight as Wolves kicked off life under Kenny Jackett by winning by the odd goal in five at the Bayview Stadium in their first pre-season friendly.
Jackett named pretty much a different side in each half and looked at different formations and personnel as he started a more closer assessment of his squad in a match situation.
Björn Sigurdarson opened the scoring just after the half hour mark before East Fife equalised from a Joe Jackson penalty just before the break.
Wolves were the dominant side after the break with Leigh Griffiths scoring with his first touch three minutes after the restart and Tongo Doumbia converting a Griffiths corner after the hour mark.
East Fife notched a late consolation through Kevin Nade but it was Wolves who were still pushing at full time as they ran out 3-2 winners.
It was just after the quarter of an hour mark that Wolves created the first opening, the lively Bakary Sako being denied by East Fife keeper Michael Andrews.
Matt Doherty was also enjoying a positive influence getting forward from a right midfield position and he too called Andrews into action after a neat control and half volley.
East Fife had also threatened on several occasions but it was Wolves who broke the deadlock thanks to another break down the left from the dangerous Sako.
His deep cross was met by a downward header from Jake Cassidy which was parried by Andrews for Sigurdarson to lash home the rebound from close range.
Wolves were now in full flow and Doherty almost made it two, beating the keeper to Sako’s early pullback only to see his effort flash back off the post.
And East Fife took full advantage to draw level shortly before the break, Jackson being clipped inside the box and getting up himself to send Carl Ikeme the wrong way from the spot.
After the raft of half time changes – ten for Wolves in all – it was the visitors who produced a blistering start to the second period with Griffiths finishing off Liam McAlinden’s left wing cross with his first touch.
Both frontmen looked in confident mood, with McAlinden almost fashioning a chance for himself with some excellent control and then being denied by Andrews after a well-worked move featuring Griffiths and Anthony Forde.
It was Griffiths’ corner which helped Wolves go further in front on 64 minutes, Batth flicking the ball on for Doumbia to convert from close range.
Wolves failed to add to their lead despite several more impressive forays, and had Aaron McCarey showing plenty of courage at the other end in coming for crosses from East Fife’s rare ventures forward.
But McCarey had no chance on 78 minutes as his touch failed to prevent Nade’s shot from finding the net after the home striker had latched on to a ricochet.
That was to prove the last of the goalmouth action as Wolves ran out 3-2 winners, offering plenty of food for thought for Jackett as he ran the rule over his entire squad.
WOLVES: Ikeme (McCarey 45), Stearman (Margreitter 45), Batth (Elokobi 64), Ricketts (Reckord 45), Doherty (Doumbia 45), Davis (Evans 45), Edwards (Price 45), Elokobi (Foley 45), Sako (Forde 45, Ismail 76), Sigurdarson (Griffiths 45), Cassidy (McAlinden 45).
REFEREE: David Somers