Back To Winning Ways
Queens Park Rangers 1 (Lynch 90)
Wolves 2 (Edwards 60, Costa 67)
After nine winless fixtures, Wolves finally got back into winning ways with a 2-1 triumph over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
Paul Lambert made five changes to his side with skipper Danny Batth returning from suspension and keeper Carl Ikeme returning from injury.
Also starting the game were Romain Saiss, Ivan Caveleiro and Nouha Dicko whilst the men they replaced – Andy Lonergan, Kortney Hause, George Saville, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Jack Price were named as substitutes.
The opening stages were spent almost entirely in the Wolves half with the visiting defence having to clear a Tjaronn Chery free-kick and two long throws from Jack Robinson before Chery dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box.
Wolves’ first threat came in the form of a Cavaleiro free-kick that was headed behind for an unproductive corner.
A home corner, taken by Chery, fell to Grant Hall who hit a terrific shot that was deflected over the bar by Batth. From Chery’s corner James Perch was penalised for a foul on Ikeme and then booked for disputing the decision.
As Wolves began to work their way into the game, Alex Smithies left his goal and just beat Helder Costa to Conor Coady’s long through ball.
In the 21st minute, Cavaleiro’s cross dropped nicely for Costa who hit a first-time shot that drew a fantastic reflex save from Smithies.
For the R’s Nedum Onuoha hooked over Ikeme’s bar from 12-yards out and then the keeper had to race from his area to clear from Perch.
A 25-yard free-kick from Chery went straight through to Ikeme before, in the 34th minute, the home side were reduced to ten men after Perch had been shown a second yellow following a lunge on Matt Doherty.
After some neat work by Doherty on the left, Cavaleiro took possession and switched play with a crossfield pass to Costa whose cross was headed inches wide of the far post by Dave Edwards.
Chery had another free-kick opportunity just before the break but the ball bounced gently through to Ikeme.
Half-Time: QPR 0 Wolves 0
Yeni Ngbakoto was an interval replacement for Conor Washington and the new half began with a booking for each side – Cavaleiro for catching the foot of Onuoha who was booked himself shortly afterwards for pulling back Dicko.
Cavaleiro then hit a low cross through the six-yard box that no-one could get a touch before Wolves finally made the breakthrough on hour mark.
Doherty played a weighted pass into the box for Dominic Iorfa on the overlap and the Under 21 international pulled the ball back for Edwards who lashed it into the top corner from ten-yards.
Almost immediately, Ian Holloway made another change with former Molineux favourite Karl Henry taking over from Sandro.
Edwards almost grabbed a another in the 65th minute with a glancing header that drew another great reflex save from Smithies.
Two minutes later, however, Costa grabbed the all-important second with a fine individual goal. He held off three challenges as he scampered into the box and buried a low shot that, this time, Smithies could do nothing about.
Both sides made changes in the minutes that followed. For Rangers, Idrissa Sylla went on for Sebastian Polter whilst Wolves replaced Cavaleiro and Dicko with Saville and Bodvarsson respectively.
After Batth had been booked for dissent after conceding a foul from an innocuous challenge, Wolves looked on for a third as Costa boke and laid a perfect pass in front on Doherty but Smithies won the one on one battle spreading himself to block.
Ikeme went down after attempting a goal kick with an apparent ankle injury. After treatment it was clear that he couldn’t continue and Lonergan took over between the sticks.
With three minutes of the 90 remaining, Bodvarsson spun off his marker and a terrific burst of pace saw him sprint into the box where Smithies was waiting to once again pull off an excellent save.
In the 90th minute, Robinson’s long throw bounced in the box and from close range Joel Lynch hammered it into the roof of the net.
In all there were nine minutes of stoppage time and it certainly wasn’t something for those of a nervous disposition.
At one stage Wanderers had three one on one’s inside 90 seconds - from Costa twice and Bodvarsson with Smithies blocking them all.
For the home side, Chery fired high over the bar from the edge of the box and a fierce effort from Henry took a massive deflection – thankfully for Wolves, away from goal.
QPR: Smithies, Hall, Onuoha, Lynch, Washington (Ngbakoto 45), Chery, Polter (Sylla 67), Robinson, Luongo, Perch, Sandro (Henry 62).
Unused subs: Ingram, Bidwell, Cousins, Gladwin.
Bookings: Perch (10 – dissent), Onuoha (51 – foul).
Sending-Off: Perch (34 – foul, second bookable offence).
Wolves: Ikeme (Lonergan 82), Doherty, Iorfa, Edwards, Stearman, Batth (capt), Costa, Saiss, Dicko (Bodvarsson 76), Coady, Cavaleiro (Saville 72).
Unused subs: Wallace, Price, Enobakhare, Hause.
Bookings: Cavaleiro (48 – foul), Batth (78 – foul), Saiss (90+2 – foul).
Referee: T. Robinson.
Attendance: 12,220 (804 away supporters).