A Winning End
Wolves 2 (Turner-og 7, Saville 34)
Sheffield Wednesday 1 (McGugan 90-pen)
It was against a depleted Sheffield Wednesday side and ultimately it counted for nothing, but Kenny Jackett’s men finished the season on a high with a narrow victory over the Yorkshire club.
There were two changes to the Wolves line-up with Kortney Hause and Jack Price coming in for Sylvain Deslandes and Dave Edwards who were both named as substitutes.
Wednesday, on the other hand, their place in the play-offs already assured, made ten changes from their last game. They included Jeremy Helan who recently enjoyed eight games on loan to Wolves the last of which was last month at Leeds.
The visitors kicked-off attacking the South Bank end on a sun kissed Molineux afternoon and with 5,000 Wednesday supporters adding their voice to the formidable efforts of the home crowd, there was a vibrant atmosphere inside the ground.
Jed Wallace collected a through ball from Matt Doherty and had the ball in the Wednesday net after just six minutes but the offside flag had been raised.
But just a minute later Owls keeper Joe Wildtree was beaten again and this time it did count. Doherty fired over a short low cross and Michael Turner diverted the ball into his own net at the near post as he attempted to clear.
There was a chance of an equaliser when Wednesday were awarded a free-kick inside the ‘D’ and it looked ominous as Lewis McGugan drilled a low effort through the wall but Carl Ikeme, who would have been unsighted until the last second, pulled off a tremendous save.
Wolves were soon back on the attack and Wildsmith just beat Dominic Iorfa to James Henry’s threaded through ball.
Wildsmith punched a Price free-kick behind for an unproductive corner whilst, at the other end, an Aiden McGeady shot took a massive deflection off Hause and drifted wide of the post with Ikeme a helpless spectator.
Danny Batth headed wide from a Price corner and from the midfielder’s next flag-kick the ball was headed out to George Saville whose shot crashed against the inside of the post before bouncing across the face of goal and being cleared.
But Saville wasn’t to be denied and in Wolves’ next attack, in the 34th minute, he converted from eight-yards after Doherty had again acted as creator running in along the by-line and pulling the ball back.
Half-Time: Wolves 2 Owls 0
Adam Le Fondre was an interval replacement for illness victim Wallace. Three minutes into the new half, Atdhe Nuhiu missed a good chance for Wednesday when he headed over following a lofted cross from McGugan.
Ikeme then saved bravely at the feet of Helan who had sprinted deep into the home area before he was thwarted by the keeper.
McGugan pulled back Iorfa to the right of the Wednesday box. Price hoisted over the free-kick which fell to Doherty on the far side. He returned the ball into the heart of the six-yard box but no-one could get a touch and it drifted harmlessly out of play.
Hause headed wide from a Saville corner and, when Wednesday threatened, Batth got in a tremendous block when McGeady hit a goalbound effort from just outside the box.
Edwards replaced Joe Mason with a quarter of an hour remaining and, after Price hit a first time shot well wide from Henry’s square pass, the visitors lost the services of Nuhiu who limped off with Jack Stobbs taking his place.
With the game in the 90th minute, Wednesday pulled one back from the spot after Doherty was adjudged to have handled. McGugan sent Ikeme the wrong way with the penalty.
The Owls pushed hard in the three minutes of added time and Ikeme made a smart save to keep out a close range attempt from Vincent Sasso. But Wanderers held on for the three points.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Hause, Coady, Batth (capt), Iorfa, Henry, J. Price, Mason (Edwards 76), Saville, Wallace (Le Fondre 45).
Unused subs: Martinez, Hunte, Deslandes, Byrne, Enobakhare.
Owls: Wildsmith, Palmer, Turner, Semedo, Matias, Nuhiu (Stobbs 79), McGugan, Helan, Joao, Sasso, McGeady.
Unused subs: L. Price, Loovens, Hooper, Lopez, Hunt, Bannan.
Referee: D. Bond.