Football: Wolves flattered by burst of goalscoring activity

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The Independent Online
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Portsmouth 0

GOALS in the last minute of each half gave Wolves a somewhat flattering First Division victory over relegation-threatened Portsmouth yesterday.

Don Goodman struck at the end of the first half and Simon Osborn just before the final whistle, but Wolves - seven days before their FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal - were largely unconvincing, despite Mark McGhee's flurry of pre-deadline buying.

There were flashes of inspiration from Robbie Slater and Steve Claridge but Neil Emblen made a difficult return to the side he left in August and Pompey could well have heaped more misery on the Midlanders, who have slid out of promotion contention.

In a game devoid for long spells of goalmouth activity, Wolves scored two goals in a match for the first time since their FA Cup fifth-round replay win over Wimbledon a month ago. The breakthrough came, after a lot of pressure, when Steve Froggatt's corner from the left was met with a superb towering header from Goodman that bounced in near the foot of a post.

Pompey, whose excellent revival was ended at Sunderland last weekend, rarely threatened. Wolves were seen home when Osborn - suspended for the semi-final - brilliantly chipped home after a one-two with Claridge for only his second goal of the season.

Goals: Goodman (44) 1-0; Osborn (90) 2-0.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Segers; Wright, Froggatt, Sedgley (Simpson, 83), Williams, Curle, Slater (Keane, 90), Emblen, Claridge, Goodman (Bull, 73), Osborn.

Portsmouth: Flahavan; Pethick, Robinson, McLoughlin (Durnin, 62), Whitbread, Awford, Hall (Allen, 69), Simpson (Svensson, 69), Aloisi, Hillier, Thomson.

Referee: T Jones (Barrow-in-Furness).

Bookings: Portsmouth: Whitbread, Aloisi.

Man of the match: Awford.

Attendance: 20,718.