Football: Sharp Keane saves Wolves

Wolves 2 Keane 84, 89 Norwich City 2 Adams pen 31, Roberts 60 Half-time: 0-1 Attendance: 21,014
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The Independent Online
MOST OF this Wolves side will not be offered the chance of wearing the famous Old Gold next season and it was not difficult to see why Molineux is keen to clear the decks for the future. However, Irish International Robbie Keane should still be there and it was his perseverance and sharpness that rescued a point when all had seemed lost.

The visitors had been happy to just soak up whatever Wolves could throw at them and, apart from surviving a penalty appeal and a scare with Keane's shot after a Lee Naylor dash, they were never really in trouble.

Their lack of attacking ambition for most of the first half meant that Mike Stowell in the home goal hardly had to make a save. Ironically, he was picking the ball out of his net in the 31st minute when Keith Curle was adjudged to have felled Iwan Roberts in the penalty box. Neil Adams, who had been accused of a hand ball at the other end, stroked the penalty low past Stowell.

Despite alarming amounts of possession, Wolves seemed incapable of creating a clear cut chance as Matt Jackson, Peter Grant and Malky Mackay had put the handcuffs on Keane and his only accomplice Simon Osborn. The wingbacks Kevin Muscatt and Lee Naylor had lost the power to deliver a meaningful cross despite being allowed acres of space. They should have heeded the warning just before half time as Craig Bellamy took Roberts's clever-chested pass beyond Curle only to be denied by Stowell's legs. The half ended with Curle and Bellamy being shown the yellow card after 45 minutes of mutual intimidation.

Norwich restarted, still seemingly content to absorb the pressure but then, in the 60th minute, the game seemed to have been put beyond Wolves' recall with a clinical second goal. Chris Llewellyn scampered into the hole left by Muscatt and his accurate cross needed a simple nod of Roberts' head to beat Stowell.

A flurry of substitutions did little to raise Wolves' hopes but the ever- willing Keane was to engineer a remarkable rescue act. Six minutes from time the substitute Neill Emblen's header was acrobatically pushed out by Watt, but Keane pounced on the loose ball to thump home his first goal. At least, it would have been some consolation for his unstinting endeavours but, in the 90th minute, he achieved a more realistic reward when he beat the Norwich defence to the substitute Michael Gilkes's left wing cross for the equaliser.

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