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Wolves 0 Sheff Wed 2 - Report and pictures

Sport | Published:

[gallery] Wolves' winless run extended to nine games after a 2-0 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Paul Lambert's first Molineux match in charge of Wolves ended in disappointment with his team surrendering two first half goals.

Fernando Forestieri's early penalty after he was fouled by Matt Doherty was added to by a second from Kieran Lee, with defensive howlers contributing to both goals.

Wolves improved after the break but chances were still at a premium and they never looked like salvaging an unlikely point.

The result leaves them 21st in the Championship table with only goal difference keeping them out of the relegation zone.

Analysis

Well if Paul Lambert wasn't already aware of the monumental task that lies ahead of him, he is now.

Wolves were at their haphazard worst for spells of this game, particularly in the first half when a defensive capitulation gifted Wednesday their two-goal lead.

Steve Bull and Andy Thompson were presented to the crowd at half time to mark 30 years since they joined the club.

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It was a reminder of far happier times for Wolves' long-suffering fans, who have endured a lean 2016 which has so far produced, despite off-field excitement in the form of Fosun's takeover, a desperately poor 11 months.

In 40 Championship matches this calendar year Wolves have scored only 41 goals. George Saville, with six, is their top scorer in 2016.

So there are no quick fixes for Lambert here. The rot set in a long time ago and Wolves have wasted almost half a season with an experiment that didn't work, in the form of Walter Zenga and a number of new signings who simply don't fit in.

Confidence is rock bottom, Wolves can't defend or attack to an adequate level for this division, and the January transfer window remains five weeks away.

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In some ways the last thing Wolves need is more players. But the 30 they have just aren't proving up to it. Or rather, they've yet to be moulded into a coherent football team.

Lambert made two changes to the team that drew 0-0 at Preston last weekend.

In came David Edwards after suspension, replacing Bright Enobakhare in the number 10 role, while Richard Stearman came in for the suspended Danny Batth in central defence for his first appearance since September 13.

Edwards skippered the side and in front of Molineux's biggest crowd for two seasons Wolves began with attacking intent.

That soon evaporated, though, along with the team's confidence.

It was startling how, immediately after Wednesday took the lead from the penalty spot, Wolves visibly looked scared and devoid of both confidence and ideas.

Their defensive line deepened and the midfield struggled to get the ball into the Wednesday third of the field.

It was reminiscent of the Derby first half. Wednesday opened Wolves up several times in quick succession and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead.

In fact the only positive of a dreadful first half was that it was only 2-0.

Defensive mistakes littered their play, with Doherty's dreadful challenge for the penalty mirrored by an awful pass from Iorfa that put Stearman in trouble for the second.

Lambert's bench was full of attacking options and he changed things up at half time, sending on Nouha Dicko for George Saville.

The change brought Wolves and the fans to life. Attacking the South Bank helped, and Dicko added some vim and vigour popping up all over the place harassing defenders.

He sent a half-chance off target when a cross looked a better opportunity, while Kortney Hause produced a first attempt on target 63 minutes in but his header was easily saved.

Wolves were playing far higher up the field and pressing Wednesday, but the quality just wasn't there in the final third in what was a fairly uneventful second half.

Joao Teixeira was also sent on, but with 15 minutes left Wolves had made few inroads in terms of goalscoring chances.

The final throw of the dice was Ivan Cavaleiro, but after he sent Wolves' best chance of the game past the post with his first touch, you knew it wasn't their day.

Key moments

11 - Lovely one-touch move through the middle from Wolves. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson tees up ConoroCoady who set up a volley with great touch, but crashes the shot wide from 18 yards.

15 - GOAL - Barry Bannan plays a superb ball across goal, Wolves don't deal with it and Matt Doherty wipes out Fernando Forestieri for a clear penalty. The Italian dusts himself down to beat Andy Lonergan from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way.

16 - There immediately follows a thunderous minute's applause for Wolves fan Lydia Ameson, who tragically died last week aged 15.

25 - Wolves are cut open, with Wednesday two-on-one. Richard Stearman crucially blocks the pass and the ball comes back in to Bannan who fires over.

30 - GOAL - Another car crash at the back. Dominic Iorfa's pass puts Stearman in trouble - Forestieri nips in and plays across goal. It's too strong for Lucas Joao but he passes back inside for Kieran Lee who can't miss.

34 - Ross Wallace sends a 25-yard free kick just wide as Wednesday threaten again.

53 - Nouha Dicko is released in the box by a superb Jack Price pass - he shoots from a tight angle but it's high and wide. David Edwards was screaming for a pull-back.

63 - Kortney Hause gets up well to meet Price's floating corner, but his header is too close to Kieran Westwood who makes his first save of the game.

78 - With his first touch of the game substitute Ivan Cavaleiro should score. Edwards flicks on a cross, Cavaleiro is free on the left of the six yard box but fires across goal and wide.

81 - Steven Fletcher, being booed on his first return to Molineux, stabs goalwards from six yards and Lonergan pushes wide.

Teams

Wolves (4-2-3-1): Lonergan; Iorfa, Stearman, Hause, Doherty; Price, Coady; Costa (Teixeira, 71), Edwards (c), Saville (Dicko, 45); Bodvarsson (Cavaleiro, 76). Subs: Ikeme, Saiss, Ronan, Enobakhare.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Westwood; Hunt (Palmer, 64), Hutchinson, Loovens (c), Reach; Wallace, Lee, Hutchinson, Bannan (Buckley, 84); Forestieri, Joao (Fletcher, 73). Subs: Dawson, Jones, Pudil, Nuhiu.

Goals: Forestieri (pen, 15), Lee (30)

Attendance: 27,293 (2,416 Sheff Wed fans)

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)

Position in the table

21st (18 points from 18 matches)

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