Wolves win and in styleBy: DJ | December 1st, 2012
After nine games without a win Wolves fans were almost in a state of shock to see their team 4 goals in front by half time here but it was a more than welcome sight after a poor couple of months. It was a reward for Solbakken taking the handbrakes off and playing all three of his main strikers against fellow strugglers Bristol City.
There were three changes to the starting line up with Henry, Foley and Ebanks Blake returning to the team;
Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Sigurdarson, Henry, Edwards, Sako
Doyle, Ebanks Blake
Wolves were the liveliest from the word go and should have been ahead after only four minutes. Sako was sent away on the left and his low cross found Ebanks Blake 5 yards out but the striker missed a sitter by hitting the ball wide with the goal gaping in front of him. Sigurdarson’s pace was proving useful on the right and it was looking like a game for the taking as City looked a very poor team. But the game had a frustrating period with neither of these out of form teams looking able to retain possession before Wolves started to dominate in telling fashion.
There were a series of Wolves corners that were mostly placed at the near post for Doyle to flick on, and when Bristol failed to clear one of them 20 minutes in, Stephen Ward volleyed a shot across the face of goal from just inside the penalty area that was going narrowly wide but Ebanks Blake was able to turn the ball in. And four minutes later the three strikers combined to double Wolves lead. SEB sent Sigurdarson away on the right of the area and he cut in along the dead ball line before hitting the ball low and hard across the goal for Doyle to turn it in.
Wolves were now well on top with the home fans far from happy with their team’s performance and Ebanks Blake and Sigurdarson were linking well on the right to create much of the danger. And 4 minutes before the break it was 3-0 with a superb goal from Doyle. He picked up the ball midway in his own half and just kept going as he headed towards the right of the Bristol defence then cut back and accelerated past the last defender on the left before sending a shot across the keeper into the far corner. And Wolves didn’t rest on their laurels and ripped the City defence apart with some sharp passing that lead to a 4th just before the break. Sako fed Ebanks Blake who in turn put in Sigurdarson who shot first time into the corner.
After all the disappointment of the last two months it was a strange feeling at the break to have the game sealed before the interval and there were streams of home fans heading for the exits when the 3rd and 4th goals went in. There was an inevitable anti climax about the second half but after a period of quiet play Doyle got through on the right and had a shot blocked by the keeper and then a Sako corner found Johnson beyond the far post and his looping header back across the goal came back off the bar.
There was a blow for Wolves when Edwards fell awkwardly and had to leave the field on a stretcher to be replaced by David Davis. Doyle was given an ovation by Wolves fans as he was replaced by Forde as the game faded out but Bristol did bring a first save of the game from Ikeme with 15 minutes left, while SEB had 3 attempts for Wolves. Bristol got a surprise consolation goal with 5 minutes left when Danns drove the ball into the roof of the net from the best part of 30 yards. Nouble was a late replacement for Sigurdarson as Wolves coasted to an overdue success.
Ikeme – caught a few crosses but had an easy afternoon until beaten by an unstoppable shot late on
Foley – much better today and it would be a big boost if this was a sign he can get back to his best
Ward – held his own defensively and made some good attacking runs
Johnson – an easy day at the office and had a good game
Berra – commanding in the air against a City team that had few ideas other than long balls forward
Sigurdarson – gave Wolves an attacking threat on the right that has been missing for most of the season and his pace and support of the strikers was a key feature of the improved performance
Henry – although he has his critics Wolves look better when he is in the team
Edwards – worked hard as usual before picking up an injury that saw him stretchered off
Sako – for once not the main threat as most of the attacking came on the right but still created a few chances
Doyle – excellent second goal and certainly had an extra pace to his step after getting amongst the goals
SEB – missed an open goal early then went on to have his best game for ages and I made him Wolves best player on the day
Davis – busy 30 minutes as a replacement for Edwards
Forde and Nouble were late subs
So what a relief to get three points and to do so with a thoroughly convincing win. Lets be honest and say their opponents looked a very poor team but this was a result that will have done wonders for the confidence of the manager, players and supporters and hopefully will be the start of a prolonged climb up the table.