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Wolves 2 Sheffield United 0

Sport | Published:

[gallery] Wolves overcame arguably their worst half of the season to record an ultimately comfortable second successive victory to close the gap on leaders Leyton Orient.

An unstoppable 30-yard shot from Bakary Sako for his sixth goal of the season on the stroke of 90 minutes reduced Orient's lead over them to three points after Walsall ended their 100 per cent record with a 1-1 draw.

Leigh Griffiths got Wolves moving with his fifth goal of the season in the 66th minute from Sako's cross.

After the first goal, Griffiths saw a clean-through effort blocked by Florent Cuvelier and Dave Edwards had a header ruled out for offside while Kevin McDonald fired inches over against his old club and Kevin Doyle blazed high and wide when through on goal.

But that all came after a dreadfully lacklustre first-half display from Wolves, who were outplayed by the Blades, who hardly looked like a side that had lost five in a row.

Carl Ikeme made three saves from Florent Cuvelier and Ryan Hall twice as Wolves struggled to get out of their own box at times before they were booed off at the break in front of their second successive 20,000-plus home gate, a club record at this level.

Jackett made two changes from the side that won 1-0 at Shrewsbury last week.

Both were in midfield, with Dave Edwards and Jack Price in for Zeli Ismail and David Davis, who was serving a one-match ban.

Price was making his first League start, while Edwards was making his first start of the season.

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It meant fit-again Kevin Doyle had to wait for his return, starting on the bench after his thigh injury.

United were unchanged from their 1-0 defeat against Preston last week, with Wolves' Championship title winners, Neill Collins and Matt Hill, in their line-up. They were applauded by the home fans, while the away contingent booed their former midfielder Kevin McDonald.

Wolves kicked off attacking the Stan Cullis Stand but it was a 45 minutes to forget from their perspective.

In arguably their worst half of the season so far, Jackett's side were lacklustre to a man.

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Constantly giving the ball away cheaply, they failed to show any authority, energy or attacking spark.

And when their first shot of any description arrived a minute before the break, there were loud ironic cheers to greet Griffiths's low, mis-hit effort which trickled to keeper George Long.

By contrast, there was plenty to keep Ikeme busy as United controlled possession, belying their record of five straight defeats.

Instead it was Wolves who looked like a team who had suffered that fate as they struggled to get out of their own half.

Former Walsall loan midfielder Cuvelier was first to try his luck with a low drive from 22 yards that Ikeme parried to his right after eight minutes.

Two minutes later winger Hall, who continually gave the Wolves defence problems, cut inside from the left and unleashed a fierce shot from the corner of the box that Ikeme tipped away for a corner.

Hall was again the dangerman on 27 when he wriggled clean through only for Ikeme to block the ball with his legs to prevent a certain goal.

Cuvelier had another sight of goal in the 29th minute when he arrived late in the box to slide the ball wide from a cross by Hall, who this time popped up on the right wing.

Wolves' lacklustre efforts saw the crowd getting edgy, but the Molineux masses stuck behind them and tried to inspire their team to a much-needed collective improvement.

Finally, Wolves threatened with 32 minutes on the clock after Scott Golbourne won a corner.

Sako's driven flag-kick found Matt Doherty towering to head home at the far post, but his header was blocked on the line, only for the flag to go up on the far side for a foul.

Wolves were booed off at the break and it was little surprise after such an uninspired opening period.

It was also little surprise that Jackett made his first change, introducing Doyle for Bjorn Sigurdarson in attack.

The home side showed a greater deal of urgency and certainly enjoyed more possession than they had in the first.

They still found it difficult to penetrate a determined visitors' rearguard however.

Doyle tried his luck with a left-foot drive from 20 yards that flew straight at Long as they tried to force a breakthrough.

It finally came through Griffiths, and not without a touch of good fortune in Wolves' favour.

Danny Batth started the move on his own goalline when he won a tussle with King to clear left-footed for Sako on the halfway line.

The French winger powered forward and spotted Griffiths with a low cross that saw the striker's first attempt blocked by keeper Long only for the rebound to hit Griffiths and fly into the net.

It was greeted by huge relief by the Molineux masses, who were rewarded for their patience and support on a day when up to then, it had been a hugely frustrating time to be a Wolves fan.

With the wind back in their sails, Wolves had the ball in the net again in the 70th minute when Edwards glanced home Griffiths's cross but it was ruled out for offside.

The goal saw United lose heart and Wolves remained in control for the rest of the game to make it two wins in a row.

Sako almost burst the net with an unstoppable shot from 30 yards after being teed up by McDonald's volleyed pass to his left, seconds after the former Blades midfielder had gone inches away from a dream goal with a rising shot from Doherty's pass from the edge of the box.

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