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Northampton 0 Wolves 4

Wolves' shadow squad took their chance to prove a point to boss Mick McCarthy and earn the manager his 100


win as manager to continue their 100 per cent start.


Wolves' shadow squad took their chance to prove a point to boss Mick McCarthy and earn the manager his 100th win as manager to continue their 100 per cent start.

First-half goals in the space of six minutes from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Nenad Milijas gave McCarthy's fringe players – who included debutants Dorus De Vries and former Northampton loanee Jamie Reckord in a side of 11 changes - the edge at the interval.

Ebanks-Blake headed home his second and Wolves' third in the 77th minute, before departing to an injury sustained as he scored.

Then Sam Vokes rounded it off with the goal of the night in the 88th minute.

There was time at the end for three more Wolves debutants as Leigh Griffiths, David Davis and Anthony Forde came off the bench.

After an end to end start, Ebanks-Blake broke the deadlock in the 31st minute in typical fashion, lashing home a left-foot drive after chesting down Kevin Foley's inswinging cross from the left.

Milijas doubled their lead soon after with a pacy, curling free kick that ripped into the top corner of the net that left goalkeeper Sam Walker rooted to the spot.

Either side of the goals there were chances for both sides, but Wolves had most of the opportunities.

Walker smothered Ebanks-Blake's effort, after the striker was left clean through by Michael Kightly's pass in the eighth minute.

Milijas was a foot wide from 30 yards, before burly striker Adebayo Akinfenwa blazed over from four yards under pressure from Matt Doherty at the other end.

Adam Hammill saw a curling effort deflected wide, following a sweeping move involving Kightly and Ebanks-Blake, before Wolves took a deserved lead.

Three minutes after opening his account, Ebanks-Blake went close to a second goal when he was played by Kightly and rounded Walker.

But Ebanks-Blake was too far from goal and, from a tight angle, his shot lacked the power to reach goal.

A superb kick out to the unmarked Hammill in acres of space created Wolves' next chance and it was Ebanks-Blake on the spot again but, this time, the unmarked striker's shot was blocked by John Johnson.

Then came the second goal, but it really should have been 3-0 to the visitors in the 39th minute but the unmarked Vokes headed over from point-blank range from Hammill's cross.

Lewis Young – Ashley's younger brother - forced De Vries' first serious save two minutes from the break after connecting with with Paul Turnbull's cross, but the goalkeeper was perfectly placed at the near post to smother.

Northampton made the better start to the second-half and forced several half chances without really troubling De Vries.

Young's drilled effort prompted the goalkeeper into a falling save, before Turnbull was inches wide after a forceful burst forward.

Kightly had Wolves' first opening of the second-half when he sent a daisy-cutter inches past the far post with an angled shot, but the League Two Cobblers continued to compete and Jake Robinson flashed a shot on the turn just wide.

After the hour, the tempo dropped from the hosts and Wolves threatened again, when Reckord blasted across goal and the ball hit Vokes.

There was a lengthy lull in the action before Ebanks-Blake's second arrived, powering home a header from Kightly's cross.

The striker's celebrations were curtailed as he was briefly injured after connecting with the header and, although he returned to the fray, he was substituted to allow Griffiths to become the third Wolves debutant of the night in the 80th minute.

Davis and Forde followed him on to the pitch, before a delightful move of first-time football saw Vokes fire home first time from 15 yards.

Griffiths sent Doherty galloping clear down the right for a cross finished off in style by Vokes to complete a comfortable victory.

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