Wolves edge out the BluesBy: DJ | December 8th, 2012
Wolves secured their second successive win to set about repairing the damage done by the recent 9 game winless streak and getting their season back on track. That this win came against their local West Midlands rivals added to the pleasure for their fans who will be hoping they are seeing the start of a resurgence up towards the right end of the table. As expected there was just one change to the team compared to last week with Tongo Doumbia back in the team at the expense of the injured David Edwards;
Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Sigurdarson, Henry, Doumbia, Sako
Ebanks Blake, Doyle
There was a lively derby atmosphere in the ground but that wasn’t matched by the early football with neither team producing goalmouth action but Birmingham certainly the better team in the opening exchanges. And the first time we came close to a goal came when Sako gave the ball away and a Caddis effort was heading for the top corner until Ikeme produced an excellent diving save. Blues were passing the ball better than Wolves and looked the most likely team to open the scoring throughout the first half hour. But Wolves were first to get the ball into the net when Doyle finished sharply but was given offside.
And from Wolves next attack they were able to break the deadlock. Ebanks Blake was fouled near the dead ball line to give Sako the opportunity to deliver a cross from a short corner position. He decided to drill the ball hard and low towards the near post and Marlon King who has scored 12 league goals for the Blues this season, made it unlucky number 13 when he turned the ball into his own net. It was enough to give Wolves a half tme lead that they barely deserved as Blues had dominated possession and territory and passed the ball far better.
Early in the 2nd half there was an early chance for Berra, after Doyle had flicked on a Sako corner at the near post, but he drilled the ball over the bar. And Wolves were playing much better after the break and Doyle was narrowly wide after a mazy run. Chances were coming Wolves way as they were now dominating the game. Sako hammered a shot just over, Doyle was again narrowly wide and Ward tested Butland with a dangerous cross. Wolves used just two subs with Davis replacing Doumbia and Pennant for SEB but they continued to dominate the game but just couldn’t find the second goal.
There were a succession of Sako corners that were causing Blues problems and Butland scrambled away a Doyle header and then a Johnson effort came back off the bar and Sigurdarson had a shot blocked. But a one goal lead is always a narrow one and there was some anxiety as Blues pushed forward late on with keeper Butland coming forward for a corner. But Wolves deservedly held on for a win their second half performance certainly meritted.
Ikeme – looks a very assured keeper nowadays and made one excellent save first half
Foley – finding his best form now
Johnson – had a good game against his former club
Berra – another steady game
Ward – good game defensively and linked really well with Sako second half in possibly his best performance of the season
Sigurdarson – providing Wolves with more threat on the right and links well with the other strikers. Starting to look a very good prospect.
Henry – got a grip on the game second half
Doumbia – not back to his early season form but made some good runs forward after the break
Sako – a constant threat in the 2nd half and added yet another assist to his impressive first season
Ebanks Blake – no real scoring chances on the day but earning his place in the team now
Doyle – right back to his best with some great runs and passes and close to scoring on a number of occasions. My man of the match
Davis – did well as a second half sub and starting to reveal his potential
Pennant – late sub but made little impact
Not impressive in the first half but much better after the break when they should have secured a win by a bigger margin. The league position hasn’t changed much after these two wins as they move up to 16th, but they are 10 points ahead of the relegation teams and only 5 points off 6th place as they join the mid table scramble. Tricky away games at Middlesbrough and Blackpool to come before xmas and they will be good tests to see if the season can yet turn into a positive challenge in the top half of the league.