Derby County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
WOLVES extended their unbeaten run in the First Division to 10 matches with a last- gasp equaliser at Molineux yesterday, but a strongly but otherwise fairly fought contest was marred by another instance of brutality on the football field in the wake of the Gary Mabbutt / John Fashanu affair.
The match was into injury time when Wolves, trailing by two Marco Gabbiadini goals to one by Steve Bull, won a free- kick 10 yards inside the Derby half. But it was an incident well away from the play and unseen by the referee that sparked a bitter ending.
Bull, the Wolves striker who had spent much of the afternoon in what had verged on a wrestling match with Derby's Craig Short, was the victim and television evidence appeared to leave little doubt that Short's team-mate, Martin Kuhl, was the perpetrator. As Bull and Short tangled again, Kuhl - booked in the first minute for a foul on Kevin Keen - lunged at Bull with studs showing and connected with the former England striker's right knee.
'A lump came up straight away on my player's knee,' Graham Turner, the Wolves manager, said. 'It was a terrible tackle but Bully had been assaulted throughout the game. He has gashes down the back of his thigh. The tactics Derby used to stop him were well outside the rules.'
Turner's Derby counterpart, Roy McFarland, had not seen the incident nor the television pictures but denied the charge of unfair tactics.
Bull, making his 300th league appearance, waved an angry finger in Kuhl's direction as he was helped from the field while his team-mate, David Kelly, protested to referee John Key. Within moments Kelly delivered the perfect response from an angry crowd's point of view, bundling the ball into Derby's net after a header by Andy Thompson had come back off the crossbar. Scuffles in the players' tunnel followed.
Wolves (4-4-2): Stowell; Thompson, Blades, Shirtliff, Venus; Keen, Birch, Dennison, Edwards (Regis, 78); Bull (Simkin, 89), Kelly. Substitute not used: Jones (gk).
Derby (4-4-2): Taylor; Charles, Short, Wassall, Forsyth; Harkes, Kuhl, Pembridge, Simpson; Kitson, Gabbiadini. Substitutes not used: Johnson, Williams, Sutton (gk).
Referee: J Key (Rotherham).