Bull's dismissal deflects criticism Wolves' woes compounded by Ward

Wolverhampton wanderers 0 Norwich City 2
Click to follow
Graham Taylor might not have seen it that way, but the late dismissal of Steve Bull last night may have taken some of the heat off the embattled Wolves manager as Norwich's first-ever victory at Molineux elevated them to third place in the First Division.

Bull, who was adjudged to have butted Ashley Ward, was sent off for the fourth time in his career just as the home supporters were starting to vent their frustration on Taylor. The former England striker is so lionised by the Wolves faithful that they turned their anger on the referee during the final five minutes.

The fracas in the visitors' penalty area should not detract from what was an accomplished display by Norwich, whose success was only their second away from Carrow Road this year. The first came at Luton a month ago in Martin O'Neill's first game as manager. On the evidence of their slick counter-attacking here, there are more in store.

After the respite of their victory over Grimsby, Wolves again toiled under the weight of the expectations of fans and bookies alike, and remain rooted in the bottom half of the table. Tony Daley might as well have been sitting in the stand for all the service he received.

Bryan Gunn, himself banished at Sheffield United on Saturday, partially redeemed himself with a brave save at Bull's feet. His crossbar was immediately shaken by Don Goodman's back-header.

Wolves signally failed to pick up the tempo after the interval, when Norwich's more precise passing began to stretch their rearguard. Andy Johnson drove them ahead from 12 yards on the hour after slack home defending at a throw-in. Ward put the outcome beyond reasonable doubt with a fine volley from the edge of the area 10 minutes later.

Taylor did not see the off-the-ball contretemps between Bull and Ward, but said: "Steve told me their heads did clash, but that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other."

O'Neill, whose eyes were similarly diverted, nevertheless summed up the episode neatly. "This is an intimidating place to come," he said. "It was a brave decision to send off someone who's a demi-god here."

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Stowell; Thompson, De Wolf, Richards, Pearce (Cowans, 74); Daley, Rankine, Ferguson (Emblen, 74), Froggatt; Bull, Goodman (D Kelly, 74).

Norwich City (4-4-2): Gunn; Mills, Newsome, Prior, Bowen; Adams, Crook (Milligan, 78), Johnson, Eadie; Fleck, Ward. Substitutes not used: Akinbiyi, Ullathorne.

Referee: T West (Hull).