Wolves returned to winning ways as they beat Ipswich Town 1-0 at Portman Road in the Sky Bet Championship.
A first half Matt Doherty header sealed the three points for Wolves, a win which extended their at the top of the Championship to 12 points.
It was a result which certainly could have been by a bigger margin if not for the heroics of Bartosz Bialkowski in the Ipswich goal.
In typical wintery conditions, it was the home side that had the first chance in the 11th minute. As a Conor Coady clearance was blocked, the ball fell to Callum Connolly 25 yards from goal. The central midfielder’s effort was well-stopped by Ruddy who collected at the second attempt.
Ipswich had another chance a minute later and Martyn Waghorn saw an opportunity to catch John Ruddy off his line. The Wolves ‘keeper was able to collect the forward’s effort in straight forward fashion.
In an excellent piece of build up play with 15 minutes on the clock, Wolves took the lead. Barry Douglas, Jota, Cavaleiro and N’Diaye all combined. The latter then played a sublime back heel to Douglas who stood a cross up at the back post for Matt Doherty to head into the top corner for Wolves.
Bialkowski, in the Ipswich goal, was made to make his first save of the game in the 25th minute. When Neves was fouled on the edge of the box, the Wolves left back curled a free kick around the wall which Bialkowski did well to palm round his right hand post.
Wolves went close to doubling their lead on the half hour mark. Helder Costa picked out a scampering Diogo Jota who controlled the ball brilliantly with his right foot before shooting with his left. The Ipswich ‘keeper was, once again, up to the test as he stuck out his right arm to save the shot.
Ipswich showed their threat at times throughout the first half. First, Connolly had a shot comfortably saved by Ruddy and then Celina missed the Wolves goal by inches with a curling right-footed effort from the edge of the box.
The hosts kept pushing and probing as the Wolves defence were forced to remain on their guard throughout. The tricky winger Celina picked out McGoldrick 20 yards from goal - his shot was smartly tipped over the crossbar by Ruddy.
Half-Time: Ipswich Town 0 Wolves 1
Wolves had the first chance of the second half. Ruben Neves picked out Ivan Cavaleiro with a ball over the top of the Ipswich defence. The forward then played the ball to Diogo Jota who’s first time effort stung the finger tips of Bialkowski.
Despite Ipswich having more of the ball in the opening stages of the second half, it was again Wolves who looked the more threatening. This time, Costa slide in Jota who looked to dink the ball over Bialkowski, who produced another fine save to deny the Portuguese forward.
It should have been 2-0 just before the hour mark as Diogo Jota played a one-two with Ivan Cavaleiro. He then raced beyond the Ipswich back line - all he had to do was beat Bialkowski. Unselfishly, he looked to square the ball to Helder Costa but the winger slipped and the attack broke down.
Bialkowski kept Ipswich in the game throughout the match as this time he came off his line quickly to smother Helder Costa as he beared down on goal.
The hosts also continued to show glimpses that they were still in the game as well as Waghorn's crisp effort hit the side netting.
In the 71st minute, Leo Bonatini was introduced and the Brazilian forward was involved instantly. Barry Douglas picked out the striker from the left and if not for an heroic block from an Ipswich defender, it would have surely been 2-0.
Full-Time: Ipswich Town 0 Wolves 1
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers ©, Waghorn, McGoldrick (Sears; 84), Celina, Spence, Garner (Ward; 84), Connolly, Gleeson (Hyam; 84), Carter-Vickers.
Unused Subs: Crowe, Webster, Bru, Kenlock.
Booked: Waghorn - foul; 11, Gleeson - foul; 26, Connolly - foul; 75.
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Douglas, Bennett, Cavaleiro (Bonatini; 71), Neves, Boly, Coady ©, Jota, N’Diaye, Costa (Enobakhare; 78).
Unused Subs: Norris, Batth, Vinagre, Gibbs-White, Miranda.
Booked: N'Diaye - foul; 84.
Referee: Simon Hooper.
Attendance: 15,971 (1,890 away supporters)