Watford 0 Wolves 1 - Report and pictures

Vicarage Road is a ground which holds many fine memories for Wolves boss Kenny Jackett.

And tonight he was provided with another one to savour as Wolves won for just the second time in nine games.

It was a thoroughly deserved three points, though it was not achieved without some nail-biting moments, as Wolves held onto the slender lead given to them by returning striker Nouha Dicko 12 minutes into the second half.

A combination of poor finishing and superb goalkeeping from Heurelho Gomes had denied them from going ahead much earlier and what would have been a comfortable win.

Dicko was guilty for perhaps the worst miss in the opening half but made no mistake when he was found six yards out by the excellent Rajiv van La Parra.

Watford hit the bar twice in the final 20 minutes through substitute Odion Ighalo but an equaliser would have been cruel on the visitors.

You did not need to be an expert in mind reading to guess Jackett’s thoughts when the sodden head coach appeared on the stadium’s big screen with ten minutes remaining in the first half.

It came just moments after Nouha Dicko had missed a golden chance to put the visitors ahead after being sent clean through on goal, the final glaring chance of a half where Gomes had denied Dave Edwards, Rajiv Van La Parra and Bakary Sako.

The latter was a world class save as he somehow gothis fingertips to a 25 yard drive which was about to creep under his bar.

It was the kind of moment which made you wonder if it would be Wolves’ night, before Dicko made sure it was.

As expected, the striker was back in the starting line-up for the first time in more than two months after finally seeing off a hamstring problem.

Danny Graham dropped to the bench, while Jack Price replaced James Henry in Wolves’ only other change.

Watford made three changes and – contrary to some reports in the build-up to the game – former Walsall hitman Troy Deeney was fit to play.

The 26-year-old partnered Albion flop Matej Vydra up front for the Hornets.

It was Vydra who had the first effort of the game with a shot which was blocked by Richard Stearman after Price had been robbed in midfield.

Wolves were asking soon asking some serious questions of the home defence and went close to breaking the deadlock on now fewer than six occasions inside the opening 20 minutes.

First van La Parra side-footed inches wide after Sako had won possession out on the left flank and found his fellow wideman in space on the edge of the box.

Youngster Dominic Iorfa then should have done better than hook the ball over from eight yards out after exchanging passes with Kevin McDonald inside the box.

When Dave Edwards did test Gomes moments later, the keeper proved equal to his first time shot and tipped it round the post.

The Brazilian, as he has so often done his career, nearly followed the sublime with the ridiculous as he made a hash of gathering Sako’s scuffed corner with no Wolves man able to force the loose ball home.

But he was soon back on his game, producing a wonder stop to tip over Sako’s 25 yard drive which looked destined for the top corner.

His early work wasn’t finished there and moments later he was down again to tip a Van La Parra snapshot round the upright.

From the corner, Edwards got his head to the ball at the near post but again Gomes was there to push the ball away.

After having done all the attacking, Wolves were suddenly asked to do some defending as Batth blocked from Daniel Tozser. Juan Carlos Paredes also had an effort deflected wide as the hosts served notice of their own attacking threat

Yet the best chances kept coming at the other end and just past the half hour mark Dicko squandered a golden opportunity to put them ahead.

Van La Parra found Sako in the middle of the park and having spotted the run of his fellow Mali international, he weighted the perfect through pass to put the striker in the clear.

But Dicko fluffed his lines, sliding his shot past Gomes but also wide of the post as the half ended goal-less.

Wolves were quickly into their stride early in the second period and Van La Parra should have found Dicko in space inside the box but under-hit his cross.

Carl Ikeme was then called into his first save of the game as Vydra bounced a volley into his arms, with the hosts switching to four at the back in a big to negate the influence of van La Parra and Sako.

It didn’t work, as van La Parra played the major role as Wolves finally broke the deadlock three minutes before the hour.

The winger drove into the left-hand side of the box and squared for an unmarked Dicko, who simply couldn’t miss from six yards out.

Watford might have drawn level when Deeney headed into the box and several players seemed to miss the chance to bundle the loose ball home.

Bassong then should definitely have levelled things up but failed to make clean connection from three yards out after Wolves failed to clear a corner, allowing goalkeeper Carl Ikeme to gather.

Deeney then fired an effort which Ikeme was able to watch round the far post.

The goalkeeper was called into action to deny substitute Odion Ighalo, pushing his rasping effort onto the bar as Wolves began to sit deeper and Watford pressed for a leveller.

The closing stages saw a three minute substitute appearance from Tommy Rowe before Ighalo lashed an effort onto the bar from 12 yards out as the clock ticked into time added on.

But Wolves held on to extend their unbeaten run to three games ahead of Brentford’s visit to Molineux tomorrow.

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Comments for: "Watford 0 Wolves 1 - Report and pictures"

Rampton

A great Boxing away day victory!

We could of been half a dozen up in the first half - with Dicko returning the quality shows.

Hopefully KJ will get the financial backing to bring in several quality players to push for promotion.

CoRnIsHWoLf

"bring in several quality players....." I see the festive cheer's been flowing freely in you house Rampton.

wolfo

good win, not sure how we come away with the 3points though as watford were all over us the last 45minutes.

really lucky win, deserved it but lucky, if we play like that against brentford and continue to not be clinical whilst we have the ball upfront i.e counter attacks etc then weve lost already.

kenny really needs to work on getting more than a goal a game from the squad, we need more goals end of.

we need 2-3 goals against brentford just to stay in the game, never mind win it.

just hope the players realise we still need to raise are game and we were lucky, great response though the last week, keep it up.

oh p.s santa thanks for 2 quality fullbacks from the academy.

brierley hill wolf

Really lucky win???????? Which game were you watching, not the same one as me, yes they dominated the the last 15 minutes but thats it. Best players on the park stearman (outstanding) and our 2 full backs........

ItsPeteNuts

Brentford are coming TOMORROW? Blimey, I had no idea our fixture list was so congested.

SEATTLE WOLF

Eagle eye, that you are, IPN! E&S Sports Editor has spiked his egg nog a few times too many, and clean missed thar little tid-bit!

Hopefully, fingers crossed, playing staff is ready and raring to go for the Bees' visit!

UTMW!

ItsPeteNuts

It's because this is the version that will appear in today's paper edition. Not entirely sure why, almost certainly because people want to be able to pass comment as soon as possible but I haven't asked, but most newspapers now put their physical version online the night before. Modern times...

3 Points Saturday

Great!!!

Great!!!Great!!!

Great!!!

performance.

Could have been even more brilliant but for some sloppy missed passes and wasted chances but we are on the way back. This is the team to start and win against Brentford. Can't wait

UTW

The Flying Winger

A perfect end to a perfect Christmas, yes there is a Santa Claus!!

Lived a bit dangerously at times and had the wood work to thank for not going behind.

Some excellent defending and another good performance from Stearman.

We have to put these chances away folks

Shewolf1943

Thanks for that lads. Really deserved the win tonight. Everybody played well especially Iorfa and Hause. Glad to see Dicko back and scoring. Proud of you all more of the same on Sunday please.

Tomwolf

Excellent win, good team performance,I thought Stearman was m.o.t.m. What a commanding performance by him, how many headers and blocks, and tackles he won, i lost count of. And an excellent work like performance by Edwards. Only an outstanding performance by Gomes,kept the score to 1-0. I also maintain, that playing Price, brings out the best in McDonald. I also think our young fullbacks, are getting better each game they play, and give us more height and strength in defence.UTW:

ulv

Good result, congrats team! Play-off position well within reach - but, like a few others, I do feel a bit uncomfortable thinking that Wolves might play in the Premier League next season. There's quite a lot that needs improving, on and off the field. Anyway - cheers, enjoy your Christmas holidays, and utw!

Wednesbury wolves

Unfortunately for me I missed game, at in laws all day, and they can't stand football!!!! From reading report on internet sounds like we dominated and should've won by more, well done wolves what an amazing result, still on cloud 9, let's hope for another win on Sunday, hope everyone had a great Christmas including chillo sue sir bill johnwolf farmer buckswolf, and a happy new year to you all. Well done again wolves onwards and upwards!!!!!

Wednesbury wolves

Sorry Ritchie I missed u out!!! Lmao

sue

A happy new year to you too...

Chillo Wolf

Merry Christmas

Buckswolf

Cheers Wednesbury - Happy Christmas and all the best for some new in-laws in your christmas stocking next year! UTW

Sir Billy Quiet

You need to sort the in laws out! Happy Christmas let's hope its a six pointer.......

Stokewolf64

We controlled the game really well in the first half, and probably should have been out of sight by half time, but their keeper made some great saves..

Great run and cut back to Nouha by VLP for the goal, I just wish he would make more of those runs..

Really pleased for Hause and Iorfa, they are starting to build their confidence, and overall the back 4 looked solid.

No surprise Watford came at us after they went one down, and their substitutions definitely made a difference. I still don't understand why we let Guedioura go to Forest though, looked a handful when he came on for them.

All in all a great win away from home, and 3 points in the bag..

Hopefully same again against Brentford.

UTW

p.s. Well done to the Wolves fans that made the trip.. Brilliant !!!

Finchy

That should shut the bar-humbugs up for a bit! Nice 3 points today well done!! Same again Sunday and it will be a good Christmas gift from wolves!

Timbo

Great team effort under difficult conditions. Well done Wolves, let's keep this going. UTW

paul

Well what a great win, every player did there job 100%, and kenny got his tactics spot on. the young fullbacks looked seasoned pro"s, if we could just take all our chances we would not have to chew our nails off. Dicko & Sako will be off soon with Mali, hope there replacements are already lined up,

Gabbawolf

It's time to do something about our goals for and against. Too many wasted chances, especially when you see some other teams baging in 4 or even 6 goals on a fairly regular basis....could come back to bite at the end of the season.

Stearmans overhead kick

Fine defensive display from Bath, Price, Stearman, &Macdonald ,The two young full backs were also excellent and looked quite at ease at this level tonight, Would have been daylight robbery if that second shot against the crossbar had gone in. Looked more of a threat going forward with our passing of the ball as well But still put ourselves in a bit of bother with our passing coming out of defence, Could have won by a couple more.Fitting the match was won by a pure quality goal as well, Well done the Wolves team and also the hardy Wolves fans that turned out on such a foul night weather wise.

karlwolves

Buckswolf

Spot on Karl! ;-) UTW

Corfuwolves

That's more like it!

3 Points Saturday

Great win.

Worth all three points.

African Cup of nations coming up means we deffo need a new striker or even two.

The two full backs look the assured biznez.

The starting line up has to be the same against Brentford, who on todays result shouldn't be too tall an order for the resurgent Wolves...

No tinkering Kenny please.

Solentwolves

Superb result. Good on'yer, Nouha. Well done, lads. UTW

Doyler!

They delivered! Well done lads that was a tough game and they soaked it up. True grit. Great game to watch. Still think midfield could be a bit slicker and move quiker on the attack and counter but a great spirited performance and three points. Can't take it from Watford they were unlucky and a very real threat especially in the second half when their subs came on.

KJ's hinted that they are looking to sign so a step in the right direction.

UTMW

Cookley Wolf

A very welcome but not entirely convincing 3 points. After an excellent start with more shots on the opposition goal than in any other game I can remember this season, we deserved to be comfortably in front at half time. Dicko's second half goal was just desserts for our good work up until that point, BUT, after the goal we were woeful and frankly lucky to get away with it in the end.

Once we had taken the lead, all we needed to do was keep possession, frustrate Watford, force them to throw men forward and then with a bit of guile, pick them off for maybe a second or even a third goal.

Instead we contrived to let them have the ball for most of the rest of the game after we scored. Considering we had five men in midfield, we seemed to struggle to put more than one or two passes together all second half and gave away possession repeatedly and too easily. We simply didn't press them at all in midfield and every time there was a loose ball in the middle of the park, there was never a Wolves player near it and certainly no-one trying to win it back again. I have been an admirer of Jack Price last season and was glad to see him back in the fold tonight, but to be honest I thought his decision making was not great on several occasions and don't think he necessarily did enough to keep the shirt on Sunday.

Our defence generally played well but we invited far too much pressure on them in the last half hour which was a direct result of the lack of bite and urgency in midfield. On the attacking side, although Van La Parra created the goal it was pretty much the only thing he did. There is simply not enough end product from him. He doesn't get enough crosses into the box and I don't think his undoubted pace causes opposition teams anything like as much concern as it should do.

I'm not one of the moaners and I am very glad to see the three points in the bag. However if Watford had scored rather than hitting the bar near the end we could certainly have had no complaints and only ourselves to blame.

On a positive note, as I said, it was a much more convincing display in the first half hour. If we could create chances like that for 90 minutes we'd certainly win the vast majority of our games. Also if we could learn to simply keep the ball when we take a lead, it would probably prove to be one of the best forms of defence. Credit to the defence tonight for doing their job, and credit to our lone striker for doing his job.

I think a really astute signing in January would be a seasoned midfield general to bring some leadership to the middle of the park which is badly needed. Someone in the mould of Ince, Rae or similar could be the missing part of the jigsaw. Oh yes, and an on-loan striker in the mould of Bent or Defoe would be nice too :-)

The Flying Winger

CW, very good assessment of the game, we do have to find away of playing well for 90 mins and converting some of our opportunities.

Tonka

Good points well made.

Agree with comments on Price, too lightweight, remained on the fringes of play, although better than Edwards in that position. Bring back Evans I say.

Reason for improved performance Is move to more effective formation of 4-2-3-1 and the return of Dicko to make it all work.

The Tank

A surprisingly negative appraisal of a top drawer performance me thinks ? If Watford had snatched an equaliser then we would have been justified in feeling aggrieved, on the whole we pressed well and high up the pitch and created numerous chances, Watford were good for last 15 minutes which you would expect from an ambitious team at home and 1-0 down. Goals are a confidence thing, we are just out of a rough patch, confidence will come after this result, add that to players coming back from injury and we will be dishing out some hidings soon enough. Your article is off the mark.

Sir Billy Quiet

Jack Price will be a key player from now to the end of the season. KJ made a big mistake leaving him out for so long. Every team needs a player that keeps the tempo ticking over and Jack does this for Wolves, MacDonald looks a better player with Price alongside him.

Hungry like the Wolves

Good result but feel we will feel a few injustices later in the season if we do not improve our finishing. I would like to point out that the 25 yard shot that produced a sublime save from Gomez was not from Sako but from Kortney Hause and I feel he deserves a mention because it was a super shot. Iorfa looked strong again ( in both senses) and looks very promising. UTW

Hong Kong Pete

HITW

Yes I thought the express and star had got it wrong terrific shot from Kortney wished it had gone in but that's what Gomez is there for, saved them from embarrasment on the day

Tellitasitis

Proud of the boys today.

keep saying it, but if only we had played consistently throughout the season as we did in the first half again today, we would walk this division.

If that performance had been replicated against Brighton we would have blown them away within 20 mins. Sometimes, I can't understand why we under-perform against the lesser teams and yet take the better teams apart.

We had to suffer again in the second half because we thought we had done enough and dropped ever further back inviting pressure, but every player played his heart out, and that is all I ever ask.

Unfair to single out individuals in that performance, but today I'm going to. The full backs were immense, Danny was a real leader, Stears put his body on the line, Jack was solid again, Edwards ran himself into the ground, and Bako, Dicko and Van the Man were always a threat.

There was some class there today as well, and if the Sako left foot back behind the right foot chip, to the Edwards overhead kick had scored, it would have been the goal of the season from any division.

It would have beaten the Ernie Hunt, Willie Carr donkey kick volley of yesteryear, ( both also ex-Wolves players, though playing for Coventry at the time). This one would have been pure Wolves.

Now the snow's here and the wife is looking longingly through the window, so I suppose I'd better go.....and let her in.

ELDERVO

Just got back to hotel, fantastic win for the lads in a battling game. Excellent performances all round especially from the young un's at the back. Both look strong in the tackles and pacey moving the ball forward. Jack Price has also made a big difference in the middle and should be kept in the side.

Good to see us playing 90 mins+ for a change instead of the half games we've been having of late. Defence again looks solid and confident with few nervy moments. Dicko was awesome considering he was only seen as good for 20 mins just a few days ago.

Great support by the travelling faithful again, and if the guy sat next to me with the 'antler' hat is reading, he left his gloves which I picked up. I'll pass them on if you're there sunday.

Much more optimistic now for Brentford game after today's performance, well done lads .....' it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.'

UTMW

SEATTLE WOLF

Eldervo...

Brave soul, out in that muck. I have been to Vicerage Road back in the days where away support was at the opposite end. One game was a wet one, and rain was driven up the terraces. Couldn't have cared less as Wolves won, and Keano scored a winner, if I remember correctly!

Anyhow, waxing on a bit too much, I couldn't agree more about our young d-corps. Hard to believe that Stears is one of our senior rearguards!

As some good management teams do, and I believe Wolves managerial hierarchy will as well, patiently building a team, brick by brick, from the back, then up the middle, with a strong spine, bam, there's the beginning of a good side.

I believe Wolves are getting back to their stingy ways, or at least I hope that's tge direction we are headed; the odd winning goal will take care of business, especially if we're minding the shop in the back!

UTMW!

KnightWolf

Really pleased with the three points and especially for the supporters who made the trip. I would have taken a point before the start given the recent form of both teams. Our back four deserve a lot of credit today , it's annoying when chances are missed at the other end knowing that one slip could be costly so to keep a clean sheet is great work.So lots of positives , countered by the sensible points already made:

-this team isn't good enough to get promoted, so what's the plan in the boardroom?

-we are very reliant on Dicko & Sako, what's the plan for the African Nations Cup period?

-What's the plan if our old pal Willie McKay starts agitating for transfers next year?

tesswoody

Well done Wolves !

Bring on Brentford. It is time to trounce them.

UTW

DancesWithWolves

Great result, bit like our early season form. The young full backs were tremendous. Watford are a top Championship club and came back strongly after we scored, which was to be expected. We could have been three or four up in the first half, but the second half was more evenly matched. Several candidates for MOTM. On this form we are on our way back, but strengthening in January is imperative. Kenny is rising to the challenge and has reversed our blip.

Bedford Wolf

Fabulous result AND performance. Everyone played well including Iorfa and Hause though Batth and Stearman were also immense. What a difference Dicko makes - non stop running, chasing, hassling. How we have missed his energy. Let's follow it up now by beating Brentford - we owe them!

SEATTLE WOLF

Worthy Wolves!

No qualms or quibbles about this performance. We battled gallantly on a miserable day away to a playoff position team, one who hasn't lost at home for nine games and a few months.

Bright, bustling and gutsy Wolves deserved the spoils and another notch closer to a playoff spot.

Our young players were HUGE today, and great to see Dicko back on the goal trail.

UTMW!

Robert

Well deserved win with KJ and his staff getting tactics bang on as we shut them down over the pitch as teams have done to us recently. Well done the lads.

AucklandKiwiWolf

I watched the game on wiziwig this morning.While there are some concerns about the missed opportunites and a nailbiting ending,the win was thoroughly deserved.Keep up the good work Wolves!

sue

I was so proud of our very young team, battled so hard and deserved to win.

Great to see the defence playing so well,the two new fullbacks fitted in nicely and Stearman was immense my man of the match.

The Flying Winger

Summed up very well Sue.

Albrightondek

Sue - I missed the match as I was flying back from Tenerife, but from all the reports I've read, your comment seems to be in line with them. Both Iorfa and Hause are growing in confidence and will be hard to drop as and when Doherty and Goldbourne become available again. And yes, Stearman seems to have had an excellent game at the back alongside Batth.

Hopefully they can continue in the same form tomorrow.

Stafford_DeWolf

Excellent performance. Truly amazing the difference to the attacking play Nouha Dicko makes. Might have been 3 or 4 up at half time. Jack Price and teenage fullbacks excellent. All is forgiven Santa.

Buckswolf

Have E&S installed a whinge filter for the festive season? Surely Morgan and Moxey must have got something wrong for Christmas? ;-) UTW

old golds worth more

A fantastic result that was thoroughly deserved, best game we have had in front of the Sky camera's for awhile. Should have been at least two or three up by half time, but being Wolves we have to do things the hard way, which gave us the supporters, some nail biting moments, especially during the last ten minutes or so. Great result, great team effort and great tactics by KJ, well done all round.

WolvesPak

That 25 yard thunderbolt was not from Sako but Kortney Hause!

#wolverhampton

Great win! Back to our best - pressing high up the park. Just shows how much we missed Dicko with is energy and price who always seems to be in the right place. Ba'ath was imperious. Just hope the energy levels can be repeated against Brentford. On this performance we can reverse the defeat and push on. Well done lads and the fans deserve praise too

ItsPeteNuts

Ba'ath? He's not an Arab nationalist, mate.

#wolverhampton

Apologises - bloody predictive text!

Lobo para siempre

Can Kenny stay, then?

Rampton

Of course he can it's Christmas.

Stafford_DeWolf

Yep (Till the next time Nouha Dicko is absent). :-)

Bazwolf

What a wonderful set of fans are Wolves fans. Yesterday they braved the worst cold, wet, torrential, inceasingly freezing rai to cheer WW to a much deserved victory. There was purpose and confidence in this performance. I was absolutely delighted to watch Hause and Iorfaand they were very reliable. I thought Iorfa was excellent and even ventured forward with purpose. A lovely moment at the end of the game was when these 2 lads came to the fans and Dominic found his Dad to gve hima hug. So nice. We confirmed that we haf the team without Dicko and Sako in it...............and the 2 together produce synergy. Dicko is a great lone front player and he really worked Bassong who had a mosy uncomfortable afternoon. This is beter Wolves. Jingle Bells, fun, Wanderers win away...hay!!!!

oldwolf

I thought the 2 young full backs were absolutely immense in the first half and kept attacking when they won the ball. They both have a fast turn of speed. in the second half I don't know whether the manager told them to play more defensively but the momentum seemed to leave the team a a bit and allowed Watford to get hold of the midfield more.

but the pace of the game was quite breathtaking, well done to all of the players particularly in such atrocious conditions,

old wolf

CAROLINA WOLF

Great result. Watford a team in contention! I'll take the points any day.

So they hit the cross bar a couple of times, but the ball didn't go in, I'll take that too.

It's happened to us and will happen again, they played good enough to win and did..

Well done lads.

DancesWithWolves

A fully fit and match-sharp Dicko absolutely inspired the others. We have really missed him. With Dicko back and on form we play at our best. He just inspires everyone with his energy and running. His goal was difficult to execute as he had to scoop the ball from behind almost. The young full backs were a revelation. This was an important match as our mini revival was fragile. OK we beat Sheffield Wed but to beat Watford away was a far greater achievement.

We have now played exactly half the season. Let's now avenge every defeat and repeat every win. And, BTW, two to three good signings will come in handy.

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