Sunderland 0 Wolves 0

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Two superb pieces of goalkeeping ensured Wolves ended their 30-match wait for a clean sheet and seven-game losing streak at Sunderland today.

Two superb pieces of goalkeeping ensured Wolves ended their 30-match wait for a clean sheet and seven-game losing streak at Sunderland today.

First Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey brilliantly smothered James McClean's stooping header on the line in the 74th minute.

Then at the other end seven minutes later, Black Cats number one Simon Mignolet tipped away Steven Fletcher's glancing header.

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Sebastian Larsson scooped over and substitute Dave Edwards volleyed just wide a minute from time as a dull game livened up with chances for both sides in the final half-hour.

It was Wolves first clean sheet since the goalless draw at Villa on August 27th and ended their chances of equalling the club's longest losing run set in February 1982.

Boss Tery Connor made five changes from the side beaten 3-0 by Arsenal on Wednesday.


As expected, Christophe Berra replaced the suspended Sebastien Bassong at centre-back, but there were also recalls for Kevin Foley, Anthony Forde, Fletcher and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake as Ronald Zubar, Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle made way, while Edwards dropped to the bench after suffering tight hamstrings in the last two games.

Sunderland carried the greater threat in a turgid first half when clear-cut chances were thin on the ground.

After Fletcher had failed to impress referee Mike Jones with a sixth-minute tumble in the penalty area, Sunderland created the first chance when Larsson fired inches wide from a Nicklas Bendtner pass into space.

McClean went close in the 16th minute, sending an angled drive into the side-netting that some home fans thought had gone in.


Left-winger McClean also forced the only serious save of the first period in the 27th minute when his shot bounced up in front of Hennessey, who managed to palm the ball wide.

Wolves, who were backed by just 559 fans, their smallest away following of the season, failed to create any worthwhile chances in the first half, although Michael Kightly was crowded out by four players as he tried to wriggle through following a sloppy pass from Larsson in the 34th minute.

A desperate game livened up after the break, and after Stephane Sessegnon saw a shot blocked, Forde had Wolves' first on-target effort in the 59th minute when he cut in from the left and forced Mignolet to smother his low drive at the near post.

Two minutes later, Ebanks-Blake had their best chance to date when he latched onto Fletcher's flick-on but from just outside the six-yard box he could volley comfortably wide.

Ebanks-Blake was then presented with another opening, this time from Foley's deep cross when he got between the centre-backs, but instead of heading it first-time opted to take a touch and he couldn't keep hold of the ball.

Then came Hennessey's heroics before substitute Jarvis had a shot blocked by Phil Bardsley.

Hennessey's brave handiwork was then matched by Mignolet at the other end to deny Fletcher.

The draw means both Connor's points have come in the North East after the 2-2 deadlock at Newcastle in his first game in charge and provided Wolves with the flimsiest of survival lifelines.

But a rescue act still looks highly improbable.

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