Report | Newcastle 1-0 Wolves

Newcastle 1 (Wood pen 72) Wolves 0

Chris Wood’s second-half penalty proved the difference under the St James’ Park lights on Friday evening, as Wolves failed to make up ground on the chasing pack in the top half of the Premier League table.

The Newcastle striker won the spot kick himself, having been clattered by Jose Sa, and he dusted himself off to fire down the middle with the crucial kick. Wood had already been denied by VAR in the opening period, with Wolves struggling to make their mark on proceedings.

Clear-cut chances for Bruno Lage’s side were hard to come by. Fabio Silva nodded a presentable opportunity wide, before being denied by a strong Martin Dubravka save in the closing stages, but that was the closest the visitors came on a difficult night in the north east.

The first-half at St James’ Park followed a similar pattern to Wolves’ last trip north to Everton, with things tight and, ultimately, goalless at the break. The hosts did the most in a bid to change that, with early substitute Miguel Almiron plucking a ball out of the sky and firing over Sa’s crossbar.

Wood was more clinical with his finish soon after, only for VAR to save Wolves. The defending hadn’t been convincing, as Almiron fed Bruno Guimaraes down the right, and he clipped over Sa, before Jonny played the ball off Willy Boly and Wood tucked home, but Guimaraes had strayed beyond the last defender before playing the pass.

That close call appeared to shake Wolves up momentarily, and their best move of the half saw Silva feed Jonny, who was confident following consecutive goals either side of the international weekend, but this time his effort sailed over Martin Dubravka’s goal.

In the dying embers of the half Joelinton flicked Matt Targett’s free-kick just wide, before both Fabian Schar and Targett slammed efforts into the Wolves wall from a dangerous free-kick, before Peter Bankes called time on the opening period.

Half-time | Newcastle 0-0 Wolves

While the first-half wasn’t much of a spectacle, the second was better, and Wolves were improved, but it was the hosts took who things up a notch to claim the points. Dan Burn’s flick was  a warning sign that Sa swept up, while Hee Chan Hwang did threaten for Wolves to no avail at the other end.

Allan Saint-Maximin had an even better chance soon after, blazing over Guimaraes’ cross, but the old gold didn’t read the warning signs, and when Luke Cundle slipped in the middle, Newcastle broke and Wood was chopped down by Sa in the area. Bankes pointed to the spot and Wood fired down the middle for the only goal of the game.

Two chances for Silva were the closest Wolves came to an equaliser. First, he glanced Marcal’s cross wide when well placed, before his sharp turn was followed by a powerful effort towards the near post, but Dubravka’s strong one-handed stop kept the hosts ahead.

Wolves didn't come closer. Joelinton and Saint-Maximin were both denied by routine Sa saves in the closing stages, while Wolves’ last period of possession failed to be following with anything in the way of opportunities, as the hosts claimed the points.

Full-time | Newcastle 1-0 Wolves

Newcastle | Dubravka, Krafth, Burn, Schar, Targett, Guimaraes (Longstaff 88), Shelvey, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin (Murphy 90), Fraser (Almiron 13), Wood.

Unused subs | Darlow, Dummett, Lascelles, Ritchie, Manquillo, Gayle.

Wolves | Sa, Jonny, Boly, Coady, Kilman, Marcal (Ait-Nouri 86), Moutinho, Cundle, Trincao (Campbell 78), Hwang (Neto 78), Silva.

Unused subs | Ruddy, Semedo, Toti, Saiss, Mosquera, Chiquinho.