WOLVES PASSED up the opportunity to open a two-point lead at the First Division's summit yesterday, relinquishing both a two-goal advantage and their 100 per cent record when Brett Angell struck twice to secure the draw Stockport deserved.
In a fractious match, long on incident but short of anything resembling Premiership quality, Wolves seemed to be on course for a fifth consecutive win when Fernando Gomez added to Dean Richards' early goal. Angell, pouncing either side of half-time, had different ideas.
Stockport were the last visitors to win at Molineux, 4-3 in April, but the positive way Wolves set about their task suggested they would achieve the victory which would ensure their best start for 49 years without too much discomfort.
With hindsight, Mike Flynn's shot against the home crossbar after a fourth- minute corner was a symptom of the defensive fallibility that would cost Wolves dear. Yet it was swiftly forgotten as they swept forward to score three minutes later. Carlo Nash misjudged the flight of Steve Froggatt's chipped shot, which came back off the bar for Richards to drive his first League goal in 19 months.
Nash was less culpable when Wolves went further ahead in the 38th minute, even though he was beaten from 5 yards out. Stockport only half-cleared an attack, whereupon the 33-year-old Fernando Gomez chested the ball down and volleyed a spectacular first goal since arriving on a free transfer from Valencia.
Stockport played a three-man attack, relying heavily on the accuracy of Paul Cook from set-pieces. The former Molineux midfielder delivered the 44th-minute free kick from which Angell, with a glancing header, became the first player to find Wolves' net this season.
Mike Stowell, unconvincing under pressure, was beaten again eight minutes into the second half. Ian Moore crossed and Angell stole in front of Steve Sedgley to bury the equaliser.
Tempers frayed in the final stages, with both Flynn and Steve Bull lucky to escape with yellow cards. Wolves might have taken the points in stoppage time, when Nash made a double save from Richards and David Connolly, but their next home game, against first-placed Sunderland, may tell us more about their promotion potential.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-5-): Stowell; Curle, Sedgley, Richards; Muscat, Fernando Gomez, Osborn, Froggatt, Naylor (Connolly, 71); Keane, Bull. Substitutes not used: Paatelainen, Ferguson.
Stockport County (4-3-3): Nash; Connelly, Flynn, McIntosh, Woodthorpe; Gannon (Branch, 68), Cook, Byrne (Dinning, 80); Wilbraham (Cooper, 68), Angell, Moore.
Referee: G Cain (Seaforth).Reuse content