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Wolves 3 Bristol City 1 - match report

Sport | Published:

Wolves made it back-to-back wins for the first time since the start of November with an ultimately comfortable win against struggling Bristol City.

Nouha Dicko made it a scoring debut after his permanent move with the ninth-minute opener then fired the second off Derrick Williams for an own goal two minutes before the break.

Sam Baldock (24) reduced the arrears from the spot after James Henry pulled back Greg Cunningham.

But substitute Bakary Sako restored Wolves' two-goal cushion with a fierce drive on 76 and it could have been more emphatic with Kevin McDonald having an effort tipped over and Lee Evans blazing over.

Head coach Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Preston 2-0 two weeks ago.

Jack Price and Nouha Dicko replaced Dave Edwards, who was out with a slight foot injury, and Leigh Griffiths, who dropped to the bench.

Before the game, there was a minute's applause in honour of Wolves goalkeeping great Bert Williams, who died last Sunday aged 93.

Wolves players past and present Malcolm Finlayson, Ron Flowers, Phil Parkes and Carl Ikeme joined the Williams family pitchside.

Gold flowers spelling out 'BERT' were carried by goalkeepers Wolves' Aaron McCarey and Elliott Parish of Bristol City and placed behind the respective goals.

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Bristol City kicked off in driving rain on a heavy pitch, and goalmouth action was relatively thin on the ground in a first half which didn't flow particularly well, with the heavy conditions making it difficult for both teams to play attractive football.

Lee Evans was the most advanced midfielder in the absence of Edwards, and he was virtually a second striker alongside Dicko at times.

The visitors had the first chance in the sixth minute when one-time Wolves target Marvin Elliott put Bobby Reid through the middle but McCarey was equal to his first-time shot, beating it away.

Wolves responded in the best way – by taking the lead.

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And it was a debut goal for Dicko, who latched onto a first-time flick by Michael Jacobs and ran at a defender before unleashing a fierce, low left-foot shot that beat Parish at his near post.

Their tails up, captain Sam Ricketts showed the confidence suddenly flooding through the gold and black ranks by letting fly in the 13th minute.with a curling effort from the corner of the box that floated over the bar.

Bristol City levelled when Baldock rolled home a spot-kick sending McCarey the wrong way after Henry pushed Cunningham as he broke onto a return pass in the box.

Chances were thin on the ground for the rest of the half, although Wolves remained the side on top.

The game became scrappy, and the home fans were unhappy at referee Nigel Miller after he allowed a challenge by Elliott which left Price in a crumpled heap, to go unpunished.

The game became interesting again just before the break when Jacobs's shot from spilled but no Wolves player was close enough to latch onto the rebound.

Two minutes before the interval, Wolves restored their lead when Dicko's right foot shot on the turn took a wicked deflection off left-back Williams and diverted into the net.

Then Evans sidefooted straight at Parish through a crowd of players when either side of him would surely have resulted in a goal with the keeper unsighted after Price worked it to him.

Wolves looked to further reinforce their advantage at the start of the second half and Jacobs saw his left-footed flick from Henry's corner fly into the sidenetting on 49.

Six minutes later, Jacobs was gifted a chance by Henry but delayed shooting when clean through, allowing himself to be tackled.

In the ensuing melee, Dicko and Henry had shots blocked as Wolves desperately tried to grab a third goal.

But on the hour, Wolves suddenly had some defending to do as Greg Cunningham saw a rising shot sail inches over after Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had McCarey at full stretch with an angled effort and Price threw himself in front of Elliott's follow-up as the hosts struggled to clear their lines.

Wolves returned to the attack through Henry, who was just off target with a first-time left-foot flick from Golbourne's cross on 65.

Sako was introduced for Henry on 69 as Wolves looked for fresh energy and ideas.

The home side were building up a head of steam and Kevin McDonald saw a dipping curling effort from 30 yards tipped over by Parish on 73.

Three minutes later they got the third goal they had been threatening when Sako lashed a typically fierce drive into the bottom corner first time after Evans flicked it back to him following a chip when the players seemed to stop for a fraction of a second expecting a Wolves free kick for a challenge on the latter.

That blew out any remaining fire struggling City had, and Wolves played out the rest of the game with the only doubt being whether Jackett's side would get a fourth goal.

They tried; as Dicko's angled shot trickled wide after he robbed Williams, Evans blazed over and the sliding Sako was inches away from a superb cross from Jacobs in the dying minutes.

But there could be few arguments with the victory, with an ultimately comprehensive win for Wolves.

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