Express & Star

Report and pics of Wolves 3 Blackburn 1

Last updated

Wolves made it four wins in five as they celebrated Molineux's 125th anniversary with victory at home to Blackburn.



Nouha Dicko (12) and Bakary Sako (33 and 68) gave Kenny Jackett's side a win that was tighter than the scoreline suggested as Rovers, who replied through Jordan Rhodes's 59th-minute penalty, had much of the play.

Wolves had more chances than the visitors and forced Paul Robinson into fine saves from Lee Evans, Matt Doherty and half-time substitute James Henry.

But Carl Ikeme denied Ben Marshall twice and for the first time this season, Wolves didn't control the game.

Yet they emerged victorious again and go into the international break in third place in the Championship, on the same points as Watford and just one behind leaders Nottingham Forest.


Jackett named an unchanged line-up for the fifth successive League game, which meant new signings Tommy Rowe and George Saville, who were available for the first time, started their Wolves careers on the bench at the expense of Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Liam McAlinden, who injured his calf in training.

Half an hour before kick-off, Wolves board of directors took the plunge when they undertook the ice bucket challenge.

Owner-chairman Steve Morgan, chief executive Jez Moxey and directors John Gough and John Bowater lined up in Wolves tracksuits near the home dugout to receive a soaking from supporters pitchside.

When the action got underway, there was an early booking for Blackburn winger Craig Conway for diving under challenge from Rajiv Van La Parra.

The yellow card set the tone for an untidy first half which was littered with free kicks, mostly against Wolves to leave referee Keith Stroud with a flea in his ear from the home support as he walked off at half-time.

Wolves gained the breakthrough when Dicko rose highest in a crowded box to back-head home Kevin McDonald's chip.

Dicko started the move for his first League goal of the season by winning the ball off a defender then feeding Bakary Sako.

The Mali winger opted not to shoot early and was driven wide to the left before he found McDonald with a square pass.

Three minutes later there was a scare for Wolves when Danny Batth's clearance cannoned off Ben Marshall and looped dangerously towards goal only for Carl Ikeme to produce an acrobatic diving save to save their blushes after Wolves conceded a similar goal at Rotherham recently.

The home side created the next chance when Van La Parra, who was on the end of some uncompromising challenges at times, rolled it wide after being teed up by Sako's square pass on the edge of the box.

Van La Parra, who had been warned after an earlier tackle, was booked for persistent fouling following an aerial challenge with Craig Conway.

Then came Blackburn's first chance when Ben Marshall's low drive was turned around the post by Ikeme in the 26th minute.

Lee Evans surprised keeper Paul Robinson with a fierce drive in the 31st minute, the ball cannoning off his chest.

But Wolves fans didn't have long to wait for the second goal.

Dave Edwards won the ball with a sliding challenge and was immediately brought crashing down by Grant Hanley near the right-hand corner of the penalty area.

Sako's brilliant free kick sailed into the far corner of the net without any contact from a crowded box for his second League goal of the season.

There were further half chances for Wolves as Edwards headed wide at the far post from Scott Golbourne's cross on 39 before Dicko could only slice wide when Sako put him through in space in the inside left position.

Wolves made a half-time switch with James Henry on for Van La Parra, who presumably was injured.

The home side were inches away from making it 3-0 in their first opening of the second period on 48 when Matt Doherty cut inside from the right and exchanged passes with Dicko, the ball rebounding to the full-back and rolling agonisingly wide.

Rovers continued to cause Wolves problems however and the visitors halved the deficit from the spot through Rhodes, whose sidefooted effort sent Ikeme the wrong way.

The penalty came after Batth allowed Rhodes to get the wrong side of him in the area and lunged in, but appeared to win the ball.

Wolves broke to force two chances in quick succession.

First the lively Henry hit Robinson's legs from point-blank range after Doherty's cross had been deflected.

Then Dicko could only roll it straight to Robinson from Golbourne's centre.

Rovers replied with a fierce drive from Ben Marshall but it was straight at Ikeme.

And the hosts made things more comfortable for themselves by restoring their two-goal cushion when Sako drilled home first time with his unfavoured right foot after Dicko did well to hold up play, spin his man and cross from the right side of the area.

Wolves had to be alert defensively though and Ikeme superbly tipped over a rising drive from Conway on 73.

But there were fresh legs to preserve their lead and two debuts as Saville replaced Lee Evans on 79 and Rowe replaced Edwards 10 minutes later and there were no late dramas, despite five minutes of time added on.