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Blackburn 1 Wolves 2 - Report and pictures

A controversial David Edwards goal gave Wolves three points as they made a perfect start to the season.



Edwards appeared to handle Nouha Dicko's cross as he diverted the ball into the net but, despite loud Blackburn protests, the goal stood.

Wolves had earlier taken the lead through their first attempt on goal, when Benik Afobe continued where he left off last season with a superb finish.

A blunder from goalkeeper Carl Ikeme helped Rovers equalise, when he palmed Craig Conway's wickedly deflected effort into the net.

But, despite some strong late pressure from the hosts, Wolves held on for a repeat of the scoreline on the opening day of the 2011-12 season.

Wolves started on the back foot and within two minutes Jordan Rhodes hit the post, taking advantage of a slack Kortney Hause pass before firing a 20-yard rasper against Ikeme's right-hand post.

Defensive errors littered Wolves early play, as they struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Ben Marshall and Shane Duffy both sent efforts wide, before Ikeme showed wonderful reflexes to tip a Duffy header over the bar.

Blackburn debutant Danny Guthrie and then Conway fired shots off target for Rovers, as the visitors continued to struggle.

Ben Marshall of Blackburn Rovers and Scott Golbourne of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Ben Marshall of Blackburn Rovers and Scott Golbourne of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Blackburn: Raya, Henley, Duffy, Hanley, Olsson; Guthrie (Corry 75), Lowe; Delfouneso (Koita 75), Marshall, Conway; Rhodes.

Wolves: Ikeme; Iorfa, Stearman (c), Hause, Golbourne; Henry (Doherty 90), McDonald, Coady, Edwards; Afobe (Le Fondre 90); Dicko (Ojo 84).[/breakout]

But from nowhere - and with their first shot of the season - Afobe gave them the lead just before the half hour mark, taking Conor Coady's through ball and cutely finishing past onrushing goalkeeper David Raya.

The goal settled Jackett's team and Dicko stabbed just wide from a powerful James Henry cross. But, on 39 minutes, they were rocked by a freak Blackburn equaliser.

Dominic Iorfa and Stearman both make excellent last ditch challenges and the ball fell to Conway, whose 18-yard shot looped viciously goalwards and Ikeme misjudged the flight, palming the ball into the net.

Rovers were good value for their equaliser but, on the stroke of half time Wolves re-took the lead, in controversial circumstances.

Dicko's left-wing cross got the faintest of touches from Edwards - and replays confirmed it had hit his hand on its way past Raya.

Blackburn protested, but referee Mark Haywood was unmoved and awarded the goal.

Wolves came flying out of the blocks in the second half and should have made it 3-1 within two minutes, but Afobe missed Iorfa's low cross after the full-back bombed forward.

Henry and Dicko both saw shots blocked in what was a scrappy start to the second-half.

Both sides were struggling to exert themselves in midfield and the game became littered with slack passes and niggly fouls.

Then Wolves had a let-off when Rhodes got in-behind the defence, only to fire across goal and just wide in a glorious opportunity.

Wolves then came within inches of making the game safe, when Henry delightfully skipped through two players and sent a long-range effort crashing off Raya's crossbar.

Afobe's rasping 20-yarder was straight at the goalkeeper, as Wolves aimed to take control in the closing stages.

But Blackburn came on strong and pushed hard for an equaliser, with Marshall and substitute Fode Koita testing Ikeme from range.

Koita then sent a superb ball into the box which was screaming out for a touch, but it flashed across goal and to safety.

Sheyi Ojo and Adam Le Fondre both made their debuts late on, with boss Kenny Jackett sending on some fresh legs.

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But Blackburn continued to press and three minutes into five added on by the referee they hit the post, with Ikeme brilliantly tipping Koita's shot onto the woodwork.

From the corner, Jason Lowe headed inches wide with Corry Evans unable to get a touch from two yards out.

Wolves were holding on for dear life with McDonald and Ojo making superb midfield tackles to quell two attacks.

Ojo then broke clear with Wolves three-on-one - he raced into the box and appeared to be fouled, but the referee booked him for diving.

With the clock reaching 97 minutes, Blackburn had a free kick on the left of the box, but Wolves cleared their lines and held on for a thoroughly hard-earned victory.

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